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GS (Gun System)
Score: 80%
Developer: Act Labs
Device Type: Controller


The Act Labs GS is one of (if not THE) first consumer Gun Systems for the PC. While light guns have been available for console platforms since the NES, it hasn?t surfaced for PCs until now. For this reason alone, a little trial and error is to be expected. In fact, the ?Top Shots? game that came packaged with the GS never would work with the gun for me, even after multiple attempts to ?patch? it. The driver that shipped with the GS was no better, causing my system to actually REBOOT upon attempting to ?select? the GS in ?Game Controllers.? However, once I had downloaded and installed the GS driver version 1.02 (and fiddled with my resolution and refresh rates) the GS calibrated nicely. Furthermore, I downloaded a mod for Quake II that allows it to work with the GS, and I actually prefer playing it with the GS. Essentially, Quake II with the GS becomes an entirely new genre: a ?free motion arcade shooter.?


The Act Labs GS comes with two stylish silver handguns, a handheld joystick with two triggers (which makes an interesting alternative mouse, by the way), and a ?base? which serves as a holster for all of the above. The guns each have a trigger and one action button on its side. (Actually, one on each side, but with single output. This is simply to accommodate both left and right handers.) The joystick device has a thumb-controlled analog stick and two trigger (or ?shoulder?) buttons. In ?mouse emulation? mode, the top button emulates the left mouse button, and the bottom button emulates the right mouse button.

Actually installing the hardware is a breeze. There?s a connector to plug the base into a 15-pin gameport, then the guns and/or joystick controller plugs into the back of the base. There are two choices: plug in both guns or the gun on the left and the joystick on the right. Finally, there is a VGA (or SVGA) pass-through connector that must be plugged inline with your signal going to your monitor. Simply plug the connection that use to plug into your PC into one side of the pass-through connector, and plug the pass-through connector into your PC?s video out.

  • Light Gun System for the PC!
  • Base provides storage for guns and joystick
  • Two stylish light guns (pistols)
  • Unique handheld joystick device included
  • Uses SVGA pass-through for high accuracy
  • Joystick supports mouse emulation
  • Rubberized grips

Drawbacks & Problems::

The guns themselves, once calibrated, have very nice accuracy. The only problem I encountered was that occasionally (rarely) shooting off screen to reload would actually register as a shot to the extreme edge of the screen. This may have been user error, and was infrequent in any case. The joystick device takes practice, as it?s highly sensitive. It?s very easy to pass up an intended destination when using the joystick controller in mouse mode. There is a sensitivity setting in the setup for the joystick, so you do have some control over this.

The software that shipped with my review unit, on the other hand, had some issues. Originally, it was a nightmare. After downloading new drivers, everything is there with the exception of the ?Top Shots? game. They just need to tie it all together. The latest version of the GS drivers allow for automatic in-game calibration, has a cool ?preferences? screen which not only displays the X and Y coordinates of where you shoot, but actually displays a ?bullet hole? at that location on your screen. Too slick! And, speaking of ?slick,? the disc that comes with the GS has the drivers, the packed-in game, some interviews, and other goodies presented in a multimedia enhanced Install program. This kind of flair can earn extra ?style? points in a review, but only when the installed files work right.

If you like arcade-style shooters, and you have Quake II (or Half-Life), then you may want to pick one of these up. Act Labs is working hard to get GS support for many popular games, and they are developing enhancements for the GS as well. If you are a Quake II fanatic, love downloading mods, and trying new things, Quake II GS Frenzy alone might justify getting the GS. Frenzy has become the game I play when my wife?s not looking, and the game I show to everyone that comes over to visit. I can?t wait to see what they do with the GS next. I remember seeing mention of Rogue Spear... Yummy!

Related Links:
Glitter Stream

  • Home of Quake II Gun FRENZY!
  • Home of Half-Life GUN!
Visit GlitterStream.Net to download these wonderful mods for use with the Act Labs GS.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

Windows EagleMax Multiplatform BW2000 Flat Panel Speaker System with Subwoofer

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated