Nyko Raven Review

This version of the Raven is the ALT version; the non-ALT version features analog sticks in the same place as the DualShock 3

Picking up the Nyko Raven controller you’ll instantly detect the build quality of the product. Saying the controller feels solid would be an understatement. There is absolutely no give whatsoever, though what’s even more impressive is the material; somehow feeling soft and pleasing to hold, while still staying durable. Sony needs to hire the design people behind the Raven, as the small touches given to the controller make it feel like they’ve set the bar in terms of comfort.

Ergonomics here are beyond perfect. The Raven is slightly bigger than the DualShock 3, and by that statement you’ll already know if that’s a good or bad thing for you. For me, it adds space in all the right places, which is mostly on the sides, making slightly more straight than curved. Continuing with the comfort factor, which the Raven trumps the DualShock in, is the two grips at the bottom. They’re slightly longer, as well as have a slight inward curve, which makes them very easy to hold onto.

Where the controller breaks down is what I would say is the most important part. Face Buttons, those things you use in every game come off as a bit mushy here. Never knowing if the button press actually registered is a huge setback. While it doesn’t make games unplayable, it makes precision much more difficult to achieve.

What is the more obvious genre for the Raven, especially the alt style, are first person shooters, which actually control quite well. Instead of having the two, and still very weird, L2 and R2 sort-of triggers, you have real triggers. It’s a huge step up from what I’ve been used to, and in games like Modern Warfare 3, it’s a welcome addition. One genius, but obvious inclusion in the controller is a switch that makes the L2 and R2 triggers act as the L1 and R1 buttons, making all shooters playable in that regard. Something that’s bit strange, but can be overcome with time to get used to the controller, is a dead zone in the analog sticks. It takes slightly more effort to get things to happen on screen that you’ll be used to from the DualShock 3, which has minimal to no dead zone at all.

While I love build quality and material of the Raven controller by Nyko, the buttons and sticks feel a bit off. It seems that more time was spent on the instant “hands on” buy or pass decision consumers make in stores rather than making something that really matters. If you’re looking for something that’s larger and in general just feels better, but only serviceable in the gameplay department, the Nyko Raven is for you. Learn more about the Nyko Raven here.



The Final Word

Nyko has produced a controller that feels great in the hand, but could use work elsewhere.