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87

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

User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 169 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: 49 out of 50
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 50
  3. Negative: 1 out of 50
  1. Sep 15, 2011
    10
    Awesome game with great dialogue, characters and gameplay. The school setting of the game is very unique and should be used more in games. One more thing is that when I first heard about this game I couldn't believe that people were complaining about a game that no one knew anything about. Expand
  2. 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
  3. Feb 12, 2012
    10
    Bully is by FAR.. The BEST game on xbox 360, its by far the most underrated game ever... The story is AMAZING!!! Ø
  4. Mar 24, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It really should've been named Canis Canem Edit around the world instead of "Bully". The violence in this game is cartoonish, the characters are all hilarious, for a PS2 open world game the graphics are spectacular. I love how each kid at the school belongs to a gang, so if you punch a "nerd" his buddies throw green fuming chemical bombs at you, et cetera. The AI is what impresses me the most, it is so much more advanced compared to the PS2 GTA games. This game ain't about bullying, you can go into town and fight the police and adults, race karts on the streets, participate in bicycle races, date virtual girls, ... it's just juvenile fun. Having said that, if I had children, they wouldn't be allowed to play games such as this. Expand
  5. Sep 28, 2012
    10
    Outstanding game. It has a unique atmosphere to it. The music, the characters, the school and town of Bullworth, the playfulness... everything blends together and creates one of those games you fall in love with and never forget. 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 50 User Reviews