Lightning Review: Racing Games Are Infinitely Better With A Racing Simulator

As a general rule, I've always avoided racing games like the plague. But that all changed when the guys from Pagnian Imports sent us one of their Next Level Racing simulators to review.

The GTExtreme V2 is a $649 racing controller frame that is designed to suit Logitech and Fanatech controllers. Featuring secure steering wheel, pedal and gear shift connections, plus a quality leather seat with reclining and adjustable settings, the GTExtreme is designed to give you the sensation of sitting in a car while you play the latest racing simulator.

Like some Ikea furniture for racing game fans, the seat requires some basic installation. Armed with the included Allan key and a bit of free time, putting the GTExtreme together was like a savoury entree to a delicious meal of high speed racing. It wasn't difficult to put together by any stretch of the imagination, but did require regular glances at the instructions.

Attaching a Logitech G27 racing controller package, it's obvious to see that the GTExtreme is designed with racing gamers in mind. There are some simple and effective cable management solutions (although I did find the G27's power cable lacking in the length department), which are nicely hidden behind the front name plate.

But it's when you actually sit down to game that you really enjoy the benefits of having a dedicated frame for enjoying racing games. Plugged into the PS3 and playing Gran Turismo 5, even a cynical gamer without a care for racing games like myself can appreciate the joy of nailing a tight corner, or slipping up the inside on the final bend to take out the race.

At $649, the GTExtreme feels like a bargain. Sure it doesn't include the racing controls, which are an essential part of the enjoyment, but it feels like something like this should be more expensive. The only downside with the whole rig is that it's quite large - as it needs to be - and storage could be difficult.

But if you spend time enjoying racing simulators and space isn't an issue, this is a fantastic body for your wheel controls.

[Pagnian Imports]