While there are tons of gaming keyboards and keypads on the market, we haven't yet seen one as wild-looking as the plug-and-play Wolfking Warrior XXtreme. Unfortunately, its baffling design left us more focused on finding keys than hunting down enemies. Instead of enhancing our gaming ability, we felt that it detracted from play.
The XXtreme keyboard leaves the QWERTY layout in the trenches. Instead of one long typing surface, it has two large circular groups of keys. The left side has a few of the more commonly used gaming keys and resembles the first Wolfking Warrior keypad: WSAD, R for reloading, +/- buttons, as well as a space bar, number keys, and all of the function keys. The right side has all of the letter keys from a standard keyboard, plus punctuation and other standard keys. Like most keyboards, the XXtreme has two stilts on the back that raise the unit about a quarter of an inch off a desk's surface.
Because of the odd key placement, typing is nearly impossible. In Team Fortress 2, you'll have to hide in a corner just to chat; it's best to stick with a headset. Unfortunately, the keyboard lacks audio ports as well, and its two USB ports are the slower 1.1 version. Thankfully, the XXtreme keeps the "K" lock key--commonly used for voice chat--found on earlier Wolf King keyboards.
There are some benefits, though. For one, it works with both Macs and PCs; the function keys are all within easy reach of your left hand, helpful if you use them for macros; and the space bar is perfectly aligned with your thumb, though the "R" key is farther away than normal, which makes reloading annoying.
While we loved the "Ice Blue" glow of the keyboard and the placement of most of the keys on the left side, we can't help but wonder what gamer doesn't already have his current keyboard memorized. Usually, gaming keyboards offer the standard layout as well as a host of extra buttons that can be used for macros. Wolf King, however, left out all of these extra buttons, making it less of a gaming keyboard than a standard, albeit round, QWERTY with a number pad.
While we appreciate the fresh look, we couldn't get used to the Wolfking Warrior XXtreme's extremely awkward layout, and we needed to keep a second keyboard on our desk at all times just to type. Who wants to clog up a desk or tote two keyboards to a LAN party? We certainly don't.
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