Everyone's counting down to the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops on November 9, but we've managed to get our hands on a less explosive, but regardless exciting element of the Activision launch; the official accessory line-up.
On November 9 Mad Catz is set to release a range of high-end accessories to accompany this year's biggest FPS launch - developed in full conjunction with Activision and Treyarch.
The Black Ops gear isn't cheap, but it definitely feels like its had time and cash injected into its design - this is quality stuff.
We've had hours to test them out, and we're very impressed. Here are our thoughts:
Black Ops PrecisionAIM Controllers
Out: Nov 9
The most common acquisition from the Black Ops accessory roster will no doubt turn out to be the PrecisionAIM console controllers, which are clad in 'military inspired' Rubber Grips and soft-touch finish. Their creator says they are 'ideal' for extended gaming sessions.
On the rear of both pads are a pair of 'Combat Buttons' offering the option to remap face buttons, which we found incredibly useful for freeing up the analogue sticks and moving the often essential sprint and melee functions to an easier-to-reach location.
The Combat Buttons can also be used to set the analogue sticks to 'Precision Aim' mode - slowing down feedback in a similar fashion to high-end gaming mice. We imagine hardcore snipers will find this functionality useful at times, but for us, this proved an underused feature.
The most important functions of the Black Ops pads, however, are their look and feel. Both pads feel very much like quality peripherals - with the soft-touch finish on the faces in particular feeling very easy on the skin after extensive deathmatch sessions.
As for pure form, the Xbox 360 controller does feel slightly more comfortable than its PlayStation 3 cousin, with the latter causing many in the office to complain about its width and quality of analogue sticks in particular.
Oh, and it might be superficial, but it's still awesome: Both controllers have LED sticks. Nice.
Good: Soft-touch finish feels quality, Combat Buttons useful
Bad: Xbox slightly more comfortable than PS3
Rating: 8 / 10
Call of Duty: Black Ops Stealth Gaming Mouse
Out: Nov 9
Despite appearances this isn't actually the Bale-era Bat Mobile - it's the Black Ops Stealth Gaming Mouse.
Here's the science bit: Powered by Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T. tech, the Black Ops Stealth Gaming Mouse features a new generation "twin-eye" 5600DPI gaming grade laser sensor, which apparently reads each axis separately for pinpoint accuracy.
What does that mean? It's crazily accurate, which will almost definitely result in you wrestling to select your desktop items for the first 20 minutes of its use. Luckily, the sensitivity can be adjusted by a handy button on its top side, meaning you can fine-tune sniping and run-and-gun scenarios on the fly.
Not a new invention, but good stuff. Also useful for holding-your-breath scenarios is the sniper button on the mouse's left-hand side. This quickly switches to ultra-precise sensitivity for nailing the perfect shot. It's is extremely useful and should be included on ALL gaming mice.
The mouse's big selling point is its bespoke feel; the lower-section can be pulled out until it's most comfortable for you, and like Microsoft's own Sidewinder, it offers 30g of removable weights to get the exact feel you're after. Hardcore stuff.