Updated Tue, Jan 15, 2013 by Shayalyn
Core3: Ultra Gun3. The software adds some optional features to the V3, which are (according to A4Tech):
The kicker? The additional software will cost you $20. Fortunately, you can test it for a brief period (1000 clicks) before buying, but...you still have to purchase it if you want the added features. The entire inside cover of the V3 box is dedicated to the glories of the Core3: Ultra Gun 3 features. While the box does clearly state that the software is “optional” and you must “order to activate,” it doesn’t tell you how much the optional software will cost. If you’re purchasing your mouse from a brick and mortar retail store without easy access to the Internet, you’ll have no way of knowing how much extra you’ll have to shell out for the Core3 features that appear to be a key selling point.
Although our test mouse came pre-loaded with the Core3 software, I’m not an advanced shooter player (and it’s the shooter aficionado who might want the optional Core3) so I didn’t put things like auto recoil suppression and auto-cycling strafe through their paces. It’s up the individual buyer whether he wants to pony up the extra cash. Personally, I don’t appreciate what feels like a gimmicky up-sell, and I’m hoping this sort of hardware microtransaction won’t develop into a trend where what we get for the box price won’t function at the peak of its capabilities without laying out extra cash for additional, high-performance software tweaks. Then again, you could probably make a case for being able to purchase a cool mouse that you can pay to upgrade without having to go out and buy a whole new unit. It’s all in the marketing, and A4Tech’s seems questionable.
As I’ve already explained, I haven’t exactly tested many gaming mice; I’m picky, I know what I like, and I tend to stick with what works for me. I expect a mouse to feel solid and substantial, operate smoothly (oh, the clicky joy!), and track with speed and precision. I’m sensitive to any hint of lag or inaccuracy. In this department, the Gun3 V3 is a winner. I tested it in the only FPS I currently have installed on my PC, Warframe, and it was fast, responsive, and accurate right out of the box, and even better after I loaded the software and started tweaking things. It tracked not only on a mousepad, but also on my uneven wooden desk surface, and even (just for fun) on my blue jeans. A quick test of the V3’s polling rate with a mouse rate utility tracked it at an average between 689hz and 1180hz. Although that seems a bit inconsistent, I honestly didn’t notice any drag. You can adjust the V3’s CPI on the fly--double-click the 1 button and the utility will pop up to let you tweak the rate between 800 and 1600. For performance and functionality alone, the V3 is worth the box price.
Get into the V3’s software and you’ll see that you have a robust suite of options at your fingertips. For starters, the multi-core system refers to the mouse’s multiple modes. For straight-up gaming and general use, there’s Core 1, which has the programmability and features you’d expect on any standard gaming mouse. For FPS gaming, the Core 2 mode lets you adjust your left button shooting by clicking the center buttons: 1 for single shot, 2 for two-burst shots, and 3 for burst shots. If you have the optional Core3 activated, clicking the N button gives your left mouse button the promised auto recoil suppression, strafe fire, and precise gun adjustments. You can also dig into a full set of hardcore options like real-time trajectory adjustment, and the Oscar macro editing (and sharing) software.
Frittering around in the Warframe beta, I noticed no significant performance difference between the V3 and my DeathAdder. Then I opted to give the mouse a whirl in the one game where, if it’s present, I will always notice mouse performance lag (to the point where the game becomes almost unplayable)--Zuma. Don’t laugh! It may be a casual match-three game, but unless you’ve ever tried to beat your sister-in-law’s whopping high score in an all-out death match by lobbing colored balls repeatedly between tiny gaps (gap shots increase your score), you shouldn’t judge. I’m pleased to say that the V3 also passed the all-important Zuma test.
The Bloody2 Multi-Core Gun3 V3 Gaming Mouse isn’t something you’re likely to easily stumble across right now if you’re looking for a new mouse at a $50 or less price point. Razer and Logitech seem to lead the race in popularity, with names like SteelSeries and Cooler Master coming in behind them. Before I began this review, with a mouse supplied by A4Tech, the brand wasn’t even a blip on my radar. And my research revealed that it’s difficult to so much as find pricing information on this mouse in North America. I did find other mice in the Bloody2 series for sale, and it would appear that they share the same price point and specs, with the only difference being their chassis design. Despite its scarcity in this market, the V3 and its contemporaries, the V2, V5 and V7, are worth searching for.
My harshest criticism is of A4Tech’s marketing of the optional Core3 software features, unlocked for an extra fee of $20. It’s interesting that the mouse is upgradable to include PFS-friendly features like recoil suppression and macro programming and sharing, but A4Tech needs to be up front in its packaging by providing information on how much this upgrade will cost the consumer.
Overall, what stands out about the Gun3 V3 is its quality for this price point--you get a solidly built, quick, precise, feature-rich and sharp-looking mouse for $40. Despite my history of returning any mouse that didn’t live up to my decidedly picky (if not especially technically demanding) standards, the V3 emerged a keeper.