Review: Battlefield 3 Vault Case

Review: Battlefield 3 Vault Case

Traditionally, I’ve stayed away from cases for my consoles. A combined lack of money/hearing horror stories of overheating nightmares and faulty parts have put me off in the past, but I’m happy to say that, generally, I’ve been converted quite a bit by the Battlefield 3 Vault Case from Calibur 11.

Available for Xbox 360 and PS3 (the PS3 version is reviewed) the BF3 Vault case is made up of several integrated components that entirely surround your console, setting it upright in a vertical positioning.  You could have it flat if you really wanted, but it is recommended that the console remains vertical, as the BF3 Vault comes with a four-pronged stand that your console clips ever so snugly into.

At first glance, the case looks extremely impressive before it’s even emerged from the box it is supplied in. Stylishly finished in black with Battlefield 3 inspired artwork, the box is actually something I’m reluctant to part with, simply because it looks quite awesome. Call me easily pleased if you like, but I’m just a sucker for sexy videogame artwork I guess. Take a look for yourself:

Alas, the case inside isn’t quite as aesthetically pleasing as the initial artwork of the box. It still looks pretty cool and has some nifty features, but I feel it would look a lot better if it used the trademark orange colours and some of BF3’s artwork on the actual case itself rather than just the effect it currently has.

That said, the case is still very appealing indeed. Finished with a black and grey smoke motif, the console case looks like the armoured casing its meant to be – from a distance you’d probably be fooled into thinking your console was heavily fortified. On closer inspection though, you realise that the casing is in fact made from relatively sturdy plastic, which I assume was a design decision that was chosen in order to ventilate the console much better.

The main inspiration of the console case being based upon Battlefield 3 comes in the various accessories that are clipped into the casing. On one side, the console has a realistic looking claymore that has three different (and relatively pointless) LED lighting effects which make it glow with a nifty orange effect. It looks kind of cool, but given that the claymore itself runs on batteries and not directly from your console, I find it hard to leave it on regularly without worrying about the batteries going down. Of course if you’ve always dreamed of pretending that you’ve got a live claymore strapped to your favourite console, it’s probably more than ideal for your needs.

The other side of the casing is composed of an integrated ‘smoke grenade’ (which, alas, cannot be used to cover your tracks when escaping from unwanted visitors as it doesn’t explode), but it finished in a stylish fashion, embossed with the ‘DICE’ logo and has a realistic ring-pull like on a real smoke grenade. This side of the casing also plays home to an (optional) controller cradle, which I have to say has been designed expertly as your controller fits on it so snugly that it looks perfectly at home resting on the side of the casing. This also is doubly beneficial for me, as generally I used to leave my controller lying on the floor so in the dead of the night I’d end up standing on it and hurting my foot. Now, that danger is lifted. Just need to get somewhere to put all the rest of them now…

The casing is also designed to raise your console and give it better airflow circulation, as it rests on the raised feet of the stand. Generally I’ve noticed that my PS3 is in fact much quieter since I’ve integrated the case – before it could be heard whining and groaning from downstairs in my house, whereas now, blissful silence is all you can hear. Anything that improves the general airflow of a console is fine by me as well, as I’ve had my fair share of terrible experience with overheating over the years and have no immediate desire to repeat them.

Speaking of which, the four ‘Vault feet’ which make up the stand of the casing are actually extremely sturdy, and hope the console in place with absolutely minimal wobble.  The outside casing which goes around your console actually clips directly into the case for extra stability, meaning that your console is protected even if you decide to dance around like a maniac near it (which I, of course, tried, just to be sure).

As with anything like this, the case does require some assembly. Thankfully it isn’t difficult to set-up at all, and even me, a self-confirmed IKEA dodger, had it up and running within around ten minutes. Generally things just don’t go together well for me, but this was beyond simple to set up and merely required a tiny bit of screwdriver use to make everything snug and secure.

If you’re interested in more accessories, the casing also supports other ‘Vault’ accessories which can be clipped onto the console whenever you want. It’s nice to see a flexible approach to customization, as a lot of people like to express themselves and make their console look as fine and dandy as they see fit.

The Verdict

A solid, sturdy videogame case with a reasonably appealing design aesthetic, improved airflow circulation and a few neat accessories. Let down somewhat by the visuals of the casing itself, but the smoke motif actually looks relatively decent, and the ‘BF3’ sticker which goes on the front actually works very well also.

The console casing generally retails for around 89.99 euros, which is a tiny bit steep for what you’re getting here, but it is a highly versatile and protective casing that fits perfectly around your console with minimal fuss.

If you’re interested in more information about the case, check out the website at Calibur 11.

Score: 8.8/10

 

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