Mat Langford’s Gaming World – Go Back to School with Bully!

It’s that time again. When the kids all go back to school and the parents breathe a sigh of relief. Yes, it’s September and the institution of education is in full swing! It reminds of this game I used to play…

If you’ve never played Bully from Rockstar Vancouver, you’ve missed out on a gem – It’s essentially Grand Theft Auto: High School. You control Jimmy Hopkins, a student with a less than stellar school record, who is dropped into Bullworth Academy, a fictional boarding school in New England. It’s essentially a caricature of high school in that all of the teachers kids and others characters have big, exaggerated personalities. It’s an open world game so you’re free to roam the school as you please, often getting into fights with gangs and other students when you cross into the wrong territory. You can customize your look as well, from your hair style to the clothes and accessories.

Wearing that sweater would make me mad too.
Wearing that sweater would make me mad too.

You play through day and night as well as various seasons, taking part in festivities and mini-games. The mini-games make up a large part of Bully, as all of your classes are various puzzles. English is a word jumble,  photography has Jimmy taking photos for the yearbook and Shop class has Jimmy fine tuning his BMX bike. Speaking of bikes, Jimmy has many modes of transportation around both the school and bordering town. He can bike, skateboard, scooter and a few other things as well. You can also take a lawn mowing job on the side in order to make some extra cash, and ride the lawn mower.

You advance through the game by doing various jobs for groups of people. The usual cliques populate Bullworth Academy, so you’ll find yourself running errands for the jocks, nerds, preppies etc. You need only watch out for the prefects, a group of hall-monitors that hunt you at every turn. They’ll catch you, give you a slight beating and send you back to your dorm, interrupting whatever it was you were doing. You’ll also find yourself fighting a lot, as each level usually ends with you fighting the leader of a rival gang of kids. You can also play the love game and try to hook up with one of Bullworth’s eligible bachelorettes, although some of them are a little crazy.

Classes are mini games that are generally entertaining.
Classes are mini games that are generally pretty entertaining.

All in all it’s a pretty fun game with an interesting plot and characters. They’re even in talks of doing a sequel, which as Rockstar executive Dan Houser revealed, ” it is a property that, like Max Payne, [that] we adore and might come back to in the future.” There’s nothing on IMDB just yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll see something soon. Rumblings have been made that there is already a score in the works for the sequel, so here’s hoping!

Pull the fire alarm? Don't mind if I do!
Pull the fire alarm? Don’t mind if I do!

Let us know if you’ve played Bully!

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