I’ve been a PC Gamer for 20 years and my preferred genre has always been shooters. So when my son was sent a gaming mouse designed for shooters to review, he decided to pass it off to the old man for my comments.
I’ve used quite a few gaming mice over the years from a variety of manufacturers. They all sport high DPI, multiple customizable buttons, macro generating software, and of course unique shapes and styles. While I always felt they helped in some way, I never felt they made me better at a game. The Bloody just might just change that.
I have to admit, when I was handed this mouse, I was skeptical. The device was nicely packaged, but the colors on the box were garish and there was a hyperbole strewn across it. To me, this screamed that the product was of questionable quality. Looking on the front of the package you get “6X shooting speed!”, “Ultra core3 Activated”, and “Multi-Core Gaming Mouse Gun3 V7”. That’s it. So what do you call it? The Core 3, The Gun 3, the V7? Then, there’s the trademark symbol stamped on the package and on the device, a somewhat garish bloody hand print. I guess certain demographics might think it looks cool, but to be honest it made me wince.
Fortunately, once you open up the package and get into the quick setup guide, you find it referred to as the Bloody 2. Okay, identity crisis over. Its name is the Bloody 2 and we’re finally past the book’s lackluster cover. I’m glad we didn’t stop there, because things are about to get more interesting in this review.
The package contains the following:
- The Bloody 2 gaming mouse
- Software and driver on mini-CD
- Precision Tracking Combat Mouse Feet
- Cleaning Pad
- Two Bloody Handprint adhesives
The mouse itself is surprisingly light with a solidly-constructed plastic feel to it. It has a five foot nylon covered cord. This is definitely a right-handed only device sculpted with grooves for the thumb and ring finger of the right hand. I will say this is where my attitude about the Bloody 2 started to change. It felt really nice in my hand to be honest. In fact, I’ll say it’s the most natural feeling mouse my hand has ever rested on. They really got the shape right!
There are many other specs listed that are more technical but meaningless to the average user. There’s a two layer lens, the sensitivity can be adjusted from 200-3200 DPI, there is a 3ms response time. Again, specs I have seen on other gaming mice but that never impacted my gameplay to a huge extent. While it may be very impressive sounding, it’s not something I tweak or think about in daily use once I hone in on my preferred settings.
As mentioned previously, I found the Bloody 2 to fit idealy in my hand. The body of the mouse is designed with a notch for the thumb which cradles it naturally. Two buttons reside right above the thumb notch and are easily reachable by gliding your thumb upwards. There’s a broad area to rest the palm on and the index and middle finger extend comfortably over the left and right mouse buttons. In between is a colored, lit scroll wheel with just enough drag on it for good feedback as you scroll up or down. Below the wheel are three toggle buttons, but I’ll touch on those more in a minute. As a final good touch, there’s a little ledge for your ring finger that provides a resting area for this useless digit (where gaming is concerned!). The pinky is left to fend for itself, floating on the desk or mouse pad. I did find myself going back and forth from thinking it would have been great to have provided a thin support shelf for the pinky and finding that I did use the pinky as this sort of anchor and guide to the surface below the device. I found I didn’t miss the support and decided on the latter. Overall, this mouse has a great feel.
As good as it feels, the real magic with the Bloody 2 is in the included software and toggle keys located just below the mouse wheel. These keys provide for different shooting patterns in conjunction with selections made with the driver software.
The function buttons under the scroll wheel, in conjunction with toggling the PC software controls what mode you play in. This combination of software and hardware selections bring in some programming magic that affects the shooting pattern in a given game. Now make no mistake, in some corners, and certainly in competitive play, this could easily be called cheating!
That aside, in the single-player games I tested, the features work and are effective. You can set a mode that with one tap you fire a two or three burst salvo. You can also set a mode that focuses aiming while strafing. These modes are independent of one another: no three burst shots while in strafing mode, for instance. The included software functions in three modes:
Core 1: Non FPS – No magic here. This leaves your mouse in standard functionality mode. This is what you would experience with other typical gaming mice. You can still assign mouse button 4 and 5 near the thumb but the function button 1, N, 3 are useless.
Core 2: Gun3 – This is the interactive software mode included with the device. You must activate this on the PC within the included software. Once activated, the Hardware buttons below the scroll wheel toggle the various shooting modes.
Core 3: Ultra Gun3 – This is kind of a gotcha’. So it has all the functions of Core 2 but Core 2 allows you to use Strafe mode 1,000 times before you must purchase Core 3 to continue to use it. They have taken the in game purchase model and extended it to the hardware used to play it! This is a pretty big downside to me, and reeks of cheapness on the part of the manufacturer.
Hardware Buttons (only functions in Core 2 and Core 3 modes)
These hardware buttons control certain functions while your in the game. The scroll wheel color changes based on the selection you’re making, providing a visual cue to what mode you’re in. However, you have to know what software mode or Core you’ve selected prior to the game.
1(Red): If you double click, you can bring up a setting to change CPI (Counts per Inch) on the fly. This can be useful in sniping games where being extra precise is needed. It can also make the mouse really sensitive. I found after setting it particularly high I had to dial it back. Click once to set your device to normal, Single shot mode.
N(Green): OK, no, I have no idea why they titled this “N” and not “2”. If you’re in Core 2 mode, clicking this will turn the wheel green and each shot/tap results in a 2 shot burst. If you’re in Core 3 mode, the software activates Strafe Mode which steadies your reticule for more accurate shooting on the move.
3(Yellow): While in Core 2 mode, this will result in a 3 shot burst for every shot/tap of the left mouse button. In Core 3, you get more manual adjustment of the pattern and accuracy of your shots and strafe mode.
After spending a little time with the Bloody 2 I’d say it’s a keeper. You have to understand and accept a few things first:
- It’s designed for shooters and it won’t help you with other genres.
- It uses software to help you gain an advantage/cheat depending on your perspective.
- My personal use case is I play a lot of single player shooter games, I want to have a sense of progress and flow in when I’m playing, and the Bloody 2 helps me achieve this like no other mouse I’ve come across.
- It takes a while to understand the hardware buttons and Core settings and their impact on your play.
- You have to pay for retaining and expanding certain features. Which isn’t too bad considering the low cost of the device up front, but it really doesn’t sit well with me.
- It could (conceivably) cause you to get kicked and banned from multi-player contests.
There are a few items I’d like to see added to any next iteration they may develop:
- More buttons. I’d like to add a few buttons to provide more controls at your fingertips.
- Place a mouse button under that ring finger support that can be customized to a control.
- Add a support for the pinky.
- Include Core 3 without a separate purchase.
- Add an easier scripting process to develop macros for your games.
- Get some help from a US firm on instructions and packaging.
I’ll be hanging onto the Bloody 2 and making the world safe from aliens, Nazi’s, and zombies every day. Now to see if A4Tech plans to continue expanding their line forward. As long as developers give me bad guys to shoot, I’ll need all the help I can get!