The beauty of racing games, is that they’re the perfect bridge between realism and escapism. It’s fantastic to be given the keys to a virtual car of your dreams (Not enough games have a Lancia Delta Integrale in my opinion) and let loose on a track. It’s even better when you cock up massively, smash a small African country’s GDP worth of damage into the side and you don’t have to have an awkward conversation with your insurance agent.
As brilliantly crafted at emulating the real world that the genre is, to truly get the most out of it you’re going to need to look at investing in some proper kit. Steering wheels and pedals have been around longer than that dodgy Pac-Man arcade cabinet at your nearest bowling alley. They’ve always added a touch of realism to any game, amplifying the experience and it bringing it that much closer to the real deal minus the risk of massive bodily injury.
And yet there has always been a certain X-factor missing from the equation. Logitech’s new G923 racing wheel aims to finally close that gap, and sweet Senna, I do believe that they’ve cracked the code on translating the feel of driving on console or PC, for the masses.
You look at the G923 and you probably think that it’s merely an updated version of the G920, and that’s not exactly incorrect. In terms of materials, everything from the synthetic leather to the stitching and the rubber used feels almost identical but that’s a good thing in this instance. Tweaking the G920 formula, the G923 feels remarkeably sturdy and hefty right out of the box. It’s decked out in enough black to make Batman happy and it has a slight accent of Logitech blue, creating an attractive product.
The pedals that come with it feel like they were ripped straight out of an actual race car, solid chunks of aluminum housed in thick plastic that can also be used to inflict blunt force trauma on any would-be thieves if they break into your home. Connecting the kit to a console (Xbox One X in my case) was easy enough. There’s a USB cable, power adaptor inputs and the wheel itself can house these wires with built-in cradles.
You’ve also got plenty of options for using the wheel to navigate through a console menu, with face buttons, shoulder buttons and a D-pad providing traditional input methods. Which did make for a very weird session of Tekken, I’ll admit. Back to the pedals, each slab of metal feels like it has just the right amount of resistance. The throttle gives way easy for when you’re in a sprint, the clucth gently resists you and the brake is stiffer than a Viagra overdose.
In terms of build quality, mostly o complaints here. You can also mount the wheel on a desk with its built-in clamps, although these felt finicky to tighten and loosen. I don’t doubt that they’ll do their job once properly secured, but I’d still have liked them to feel a little less cheap in execution. So once it’s set up, how does the G923 feel in action?
Like an absolute beast.
Logitech’s kit has newer and more intense rumble features, which syncs directly into a supported game. The catch here, is that only a handful of games support this feature currently. Out of the 38 games you can play on that console, only Assetto Corsa Competitzione and GRID 2019 can pull the best of the G923’s rumble out of its hardware, while PS4 has support for those games and Gran Turismo Sport. On PC, the story is the same as on Xbox.
I fortunately had a copy of Grid 2019 (Thanks for the loaner Dave!) to test TrueForce on, and it’s nothing short of a transformative experience. Every single shake, jostle and violent rumble that you’d expect from actual racing, is given an accurate simulation on the G923 through TrueForce, heightening the overall experience. I like to think that on an instinctual level, this added physical language informs the driver better and results in a more authentic response when on the road.
There’s an honest joy in maxing out the realism settings, changing gears with the flappy paddles and nailing that drift around the corner, fusing man, machine and peripheral together for one harmonious moment of excellence, that the G923 excels at. It’s just a pity that so few games currently support the TrueForce feature, which adds so many more layers of realism to the package.
You can still use the wheel with other games, albeit without the added precision. I tested the wheel out on Forza Horizon, Dirty Rally 2.0 and F1 2019, which still had plenty of rumble and enough torque that the wheel ripped itself out of hands when I messed up on the track, reminding me that even on my best day I wouldn’t come close to being the next Chanoch Nissany on a circuit.
One other thing to be mindful of with this kit, is just how much it would benefit you to have it set up in a proper racing cage. I’m not saying that you can’t hook it into a coffee table, but unless you want to contort yourself into weird shapes and risk having the glass on the table surface shatter into a million pieces, the G923 will probably benefit those racers who have dedicated space and gear to lock it into.
And that’s the market right there, for the Logitech G923: Hardcore racers, who prefer to spend their lunch hour doing a few laps around Silverstone. Better suited for games that prioritise a heightened sense of realism rather than a few races around more forgiving streets in the likes of Forza Horizon or Need for Speed, the G923 is a serious piece of kit to take for a spin. But it’s an afternoon drive that you won’t forget, once you’ve spent some time with it.
A sequel to an all-time great, the Logitech G923 may be hampered by a lack of games that don’t fully support its TrueForce features but it still excels as a hardcore piece of hardware at an attractive price. Future-proofed and a great entry-point for racing enthusiasts looking to up the ante on their living room race course, Logitech’s newest kit makes putting the pedal to the metal more enjoyable than ever before.
The Logitech G923 is expected land in South Africa by the end of November.
Last Updated: August 31, 2020