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87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 69 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 182 Ratings

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  • Summary: (Known as "Canis Canem Edit" in the UK/EU) Bully, the brutally funny debut title from Rockstar Vancouver, takes the Rockstar tradition of groundbreaking, innovative, original gameplay and humorous tongue-in-cheek storytelling to an entirely new setting: the schoolyard. As a troublesome schoolboy, you'll laugh and cringe as you stand up to bullies, get picked on by teachers, play pranks on malicious kids, win or lose the girl, and ultimately learn to navigate the obstacles of the fictitious reform school, Bullworth Academy. [Rockstar Games] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 69
  2. Negative: 0 out of 69
  1. 100
    The best games -- games like Bully -- don't concern themselves with technical perfection. They just push headlong into new places and new ideas, leaving behind the ranks of unimaginative, spit-polished safe bets. Bully takes chances, and the gamble pays off big.
  2. Immaculately designed and an absolute joy to play through. The best game of the year so far. [Dec 2006, p.22]
  3. While we definitely don't remember school being this much fun, this is a brilliant return to a more innocent time. One of the year's best games. [Dec 2006, p.102]
  4. Bully raises the bar concerning what a video game should be about and what it is capable of saying. This is a fine experience no gamer should miss.
  5. Refreshing, fun and addictive.
  6. I think most high-school kids would get a kick out of this game, regardless of whether they can play GTA or not.
  7. Bully is the same product I’ve already consumed four-plus times before, and an interesting thematic twist isn’t enough reason to sing its praises.

See all 69 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 50 out of 52
  2. Negative: 1 out of 52
  1. Nov 29, 2013
    10
    So much fun, like a teen version of Grand Theft Auto games. Good soundtrack, nice story, and great gameplay. I had a lot of fun with it. Definitely worth playing. Expand
  2. Jan 22, 2014
    10
    A classic gta style sandbox. However its essentially a kid friendly version of gta. The size of the map is quite nice, and especially how the map has different sections like; the school, down town, the getto, the docks, the mental asylum, and the carnival. It controls just like a ps2 era gta game, so its easy to grasp the controls. The plot is fun if you are young and still in school, that way you could relate to the whole click mentality. This game has a nice undertone of how hard it is to fit into a new school, and how you shouldn't judge people until you get to know them. The game length is quite nice not to long not too short. There are many aspects of the game that will distract you from the main story line such as, classes, side missions, social interaction, mini games, and of course what is a Rockstar game without collectables. I must say that the idea of school classes is a great one that has never been used before, and would be hard to recreate. The idea behind classes is that you only have two per in game school day, and each class will unlock certain things like science class improves your ability to make items like stink bombs etc... The classes are comprised of mini games that each have five levels. The mini games are also very fun like going to the carnival and playing carival games to win real prizes like a mo ped. The other cool thing is that because there is such a large map they include storage for bikes and mo peds. There is so much diversity in this game, so many places to explore, so many things to do that you really just need to play it for your self. You can find a copy on steam for around 15 dollars, or you can find a copy on the wii, or if you have a ps2 you can find a copy for next to nothing. This game defiantly deserves a squeal and knowing how Rockstar improves on its squeal, makes me excited for the future. Expand
  3. Nov 11, 2011
    10
    This original title has a great story as well as a fun world to explore. This school setting feels like a whole new idea despite being so old. Despite a few flaws visually, I know you'll enjoy this game, especially its humor. Expand
  4. Mar 6, 2012
    10
    MOST UNDERRATED GAME EVER!!!!!!

    I just dont get how can people dislike this game.. It AMAZING! The story is really, the characters are
    really likeable, and the game is FUN,, i recommend this game to EVERYONE! Expand
  5. Oct 29, 2013
    9
    In a nutshell, this is "GTA Jr."
    Instead of a city setting, it takes place at a large school campus. Instead of controlling a thug or
    gangster, you play a troubled teen. Instead of rival gangs, you have rival "cliques" like the jocks, nerds, preps, bullies, and greasers. Police presence is replaced by campus security and faculty, and cars are replaced by bikes, skateboards, and mopeds.
    Rockstar did an amazing job turning this into an amazing alternative to their GTA genre.
    I hope to see more of Jimmy Hopkins.
    Expand
  6. Jul 12, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Summary
    +Great levels of originality, making it much better than a “San Andreas without guns” as some have claimed the game is.
    +Excellent variety of characters weapons, clothes, vehicles, activities etc.
    +Good voice acting giving the characters depth.
    +Great levels of humour making Bully one of the most enjoyable games Rockstar has made.
    +Interesting story involving great interactions with MPC from different fractions, with each character feeling individual.
    -Story while good ends on a non-ground-breaking note.
    -The game is too easy, as the enemy A.I isn’t that smart and the use of upgrades and weapons, help make combat a bit of a breeze.
    -Weak graphics by modern standards, but that is to be expected from a game this old.

    Full Review
    One the great things that you will notice about Bully is how the RPG like elements help to make Jimmy(your character) feel more alive, as he progresses gaining skills as the story progresses. This is particularly true after completing individual classes, e.g. in gym class you can unlock new attacks like head-butt etc. Speaking of classes on the great things is how all of them are unique requiring different skills. The only class I found to be particularly difficult is that of English, because I suck at speaking England. Other activities that provide unlocks etc. is that of racing which eventually led you to unlock a go cart which activities also help you earn money you can use to buy clothes, haircuts ,tattoos (on the last section of the map). Unfortunately you can only date girls in the game once, but it’s not major issue as they remain present within various sections of the story. Such activities help to make Bully feel more special than just a “p***y version of San Andreas”.

    The next great thing about Bully is the funny elements of the game. It is so satisfying to get prefects (who are the police of the school) and dunk them in toilets and dump them in garbage bags. My personal felt thing to do is too walk behind them and crank them in the back of the head with a baseball bat, (I am normal honestly). However unlike other games with such humour, Bully mixes in features that help remind you that you are not un-punishable e.g. detention. Such features help maintain a beautiful balances between humour and realism.

    The next great thing about Bully is that of levels of variety. This can be seen by how each student MPC is unique and differently voiced helping them feel like different characters rather than simple copies of each other. This is especially true of MPCs within the story, e.g. Russell, Gary etc. Other variety includes how the environment, while small compared to other open world games, is full of detail and interesting locations, e.g. the mental asylum, the fair ground, the slaughter house etc.

    As far as I can see there are only two sources of concern within the game.

    The first is the combat. This is a really fun feature of the game, with the use of unlocking new moves and weapons e.g. the rocket launcher (not that good due to accuracy issues); help to enhance combat make it feel fresh. What is also good is how the comical nature of the game helps to provide a nice contrast with the really violent nature of the game. There are however two major issues. The first is that the melee combat is too simple, as most moves require pressing square multiple times and holding it. The second issue is how the combat is too easy because the enemy A.I isn’t too sharp, meaning in the whole game I never once got knocked out (in GTA terms “died”). Such features remove tension in battle.

    The second possible issue is that of story. The story is by no means a bad story, as you gradually progress via chapters, in which you fight the leader of each fraction and gradually climb the ladder of popularity. While at first this seems repetitive, it actually proves no to be so, because within each chapter Jimmy takes a different approach to beating each fraction, e.g. in the 4th (Spoiler) he uses the nerds to help beat the jocks. This is lack of repetitiveness, is helped by the variety of characters, missions, but mainly because of Jimmy himself being portrayed as the only sane character in an otherwise insanity filled school. Unfortunately though the ending is not cinematic enough, because while it provides a nice completed ending with no unanswered questions, it is very predictable and the final boss battle, in many ways is worse than the fights with the faction’s leaders.

    Nevertheless these issues are not enough to prevent Bully being one of the greatest games Rockstar has ever made. If you can I would advise getting the ps2 version, because unfortunately the XBOX 360 version has few bugs, not many improvements in graphics, and not enough added in other than 4 new classes (that are mostly pointless) to make it a superior version. Nevertheless the XBOX version will still have great value.

    Let’s hope Bully 2 is going to be just as awesome.
    Expand
  7. Nov 22, 2011
    0
    Horrible graphics, lacking plot line, bad character developement is what makes this horrible game an outcast of all Rockstars products. And whats sad, is i heard number 2 is coming. OH GOD NO! Please do not buy this trash of a game. Use the money on obscure 1 or 2, gta IV, or something decent. Expand

See all 52 User Reviews