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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Game Play: Bully

I didn't play much of Bully before putting it back into the GameFly envelope. It wasn't that it was bad - actually there would seem to be a decent amount of good in the title. The graphics are pretty decent for a PS2 title. There's this level of immersion to the school that kind of feels like Rockstar. The premise is handled well - a game about a horrific school that enforces the boundaries and restrictions of a school from class bells to truant officers.

No, it's not that Bully is a bad game - its just that it made me reminiscent about Grand Theft Auto a little too much. I didn't really want the boundaries of a school, I wanted the open roaming of a vast cityscape. That Bully rides ontop of GTA's engine is apparent in just about everything - from the UI to the fact that various gang will hunt you down for being on their turf. I know a lot of people defended Bully as "not another GTA" - but c'mon, it really was. And not being violent? Please. I beat the snot out of like five kids just trying to make it through the tutorial. Just because you don't get an AK doesn't mean it isn't violent.

I feel a little bad because I always thought Rockstar should expirement with the GTA framework for non-GTA titles. Instead of a gang story, put it into a sci fi, fantasy or western setting ( i.e. Gun ). Rockstar has done amazing work with the "sandbox" concept and they should spread their wings a little wider.

But kinda like that one novel from an author you fairly like, Bully was good but simply didn't grab me. I'd recommend it as a rental for sure - and definately for fans of GTA.


Weefz said...

It does get better once you get past Act 1 and into town. There's not a lot to do inside the school beyond classes and picking up rubber bands.

I agree with you that it's a bit dull and slow to start off with. You spend an awful lot of time beating up other kids. The fact that they hit you first doesn't really make it any less violent.

Josh said...

Ah, ok. Thanks for the heads up on that - I might return to Bully when it goes on budget or something then.