Why Rockstar needs to make Bully 2

Criminals. Superpowers. Criminals with superpowers. For a genre that's all about being able to do anything, sandbox games have become mighty predictable. But you only have to look back as far as the end of the last generation for the antidote to the industry's myopia. Bully. A game that few people talk about now, but which remains easily the equal of GTA IV in terms of playability. It needs a sequel. Here's why...

Above: Jimmy Hopkins may look like a sneering, shaven-headed Neanderthal, but he's actually very likeable


We need variety

The game world in Red Dead Redemption was massive, possibly in answer to everyone who said GTA IV was too small after San Andreas. Maybe too big. Personally, I felt that the wilderness that made up the majority of the play area was a little too empty to hold my interest all the way to the end (I appreciate I'm in the minority when I say that). There's only so much you can do in a big open field - kill birds, ambush stagecoaches, pick flowers and kill more birds. While the execution is superb, there just isn't the opportunity for the kind of gameplay variations that Bully keeps throwing at you.

Bully's game world is comparatively tiny for the first three or four hours, but then opens up once you get outside of the school, giving you a virtual playground that's approaching the size of a GTA island. It's packed full of surprising and fun things to do. The go-kart track, the rollercoaster at the carnival, mowing lawns for money, doing a paper round, hitting the boxing ring, racing your BMX... after the similar variety of San Andreas, this was what we expected from GTA IV but we were sorely let down.

Above: The carnival area is something not even GTA IV gave us. Closed for the season? Bah


There's a time and place for everything...

Clearly, returning to school wouldn't be the best way to do Bully 2. Rockstar would either have to ignore the first game and have Jimmy start afresh at a new school, or (and this is my preferred option), set it at college as a straight sequel. This would be ideal, especially as Rockstar could get past the whole 'child violence' thing and avoid having more angry parents lobbying for the game to be banned. It's hard to believe now, but the outcry was so great last time, they were forced to rename the game 'Canis Canem Edit' (latin for Dog Eat Dog) in the UK, which didn't do anyone any favours.

College would also give you a new campus to explore, complete with halls of residence for stealth infiltration and a cast of teachers who are every bit as crazy and unstable as the old crew. Basically, it would be more of the same, but more grown-up and without all the PR headaches that go with it. All it needs to do is keep tongue firmly in cheek (or firmly in someone else's).

Above: Jimmy will happily kiss anyone. Fat, thin, boy, girl... he's not fussy

We're well into this generation of consoles now and the technology is in place to make a game like this absolutely come alive. The original did appear on Xbox 360, but it was a comparitively shabby port that added little in the way of current-gen gloss. The low-poly character models from the original would be replaced with high quality imagery in a style not as realistic as Heavy Rain but perhaps in the faux realism of Uncharted. And while a few canned animations would certainly be good for humour, adding the physics of GTA IV to the characters would give you loads of new ways to make your own fun.


We need a laugh

The other thing that's been missing from the genre for too long (aside from the odd exception like Saints Row 2) is a sense of humour. Bully's full of cutting satire and humourous observations, mostly delivered with a surprising level of subtlety. Like the alcoholic English teacher who gives you his bottle then opens a new one as soon as you're gone. The girl with the cold sores who insists they're not contagious once they've scabbed over. The Einstein mask you can wear that makes every cut-scene impossible to watch without laughing. The girls who kick you in the nuts when they catch you kissing another girl. When was the last time you played a game like that?

Above: This Qix-style art class revealed your art teacher in increasingly suggestive poses. Lolz

Red Dead has reignited interest in the third-person GTA-style game after the slight feeling of saturation that accompanied the DLC episodes for GTA IV. While we wait for the inevitable GTA V, there's unquestionably room for one more stop-gap title from Rockstar. I'm not convinced LA Noire is going to fill that hole perfectly. I am convinced this would.

Bully was initially misunderstood, modestly celebrated but now almost forgotten. I can understand why Rockstar would be reluctant to put themselves through all the bad press a second time but a college setting could sidestep all that. And with the genre getting just a little stagnant and set in its ways, Bully 2 would be a welcome revision class in how to make a great sandbox game.

Do you agree? Let me know what you think in the comments.

14 Sep, 2010




  • CanCem_2 - July 26, 2013 3:39 a.m.

    Some great ideas on here, but i was surprised no one suggested re-occurring characters. I would like to see people like Petey and Russell (probably not in college), and maybe a few other people especially Zoe and because we didn't really get to see much of her character and also she seems to be Jimmy's main love interest (shes the only one he's spoken outwardly about). They don't even have to be in the college they can be walking around town etc. Also i think that having Gary as a looming threat would be cool, or maybe just someone new all together. Also post game it would be cool if there was more to do, probably difficult to do but loads of missions, maybe that is where the multi-player could come in, player generated missions something akin to infamous 2.
  • Pedja - July 15, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    Or they could make Bullworth Academy a college and the cliques would turn into fraternities. Maybe they could make a couple of cities, each with they're own schools (colleges) that are rivals to Bullworth's. Of course more characters, weapons, vehicles, missions, etc. The possibilities are endless. And that they make it for PS3 and Xbox360.
  • Lilbee1414 - March 19, 2013 7:09 p.m.

    I would love to play bully 2 I just played through the first bully for the fourth time this game is my favorite game
  • bullysegamer - August 28, 2011 3:31 p.m.

  • bullysegamer - August 28, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    Bully 2 would be awesome i mean think of all the upgrades and the colledge campus is a great idea but i have better ideas.... jimmy hoppkins is at it again but this time he is in college and who knows how this college is compared to bullworth academy he can get a job and he can play football and there are huge groups of people and way war turf gangs, but this college is in bad shape so jimmy has to make things right and he also has to worry about some real life activities and new clothes and mostly better graphics and make a huge biggy.....rockstar better make a bully sequel or there are going to be some pissed off gamers so lets try to talk them into making a bully sequel i mean how difficult could it be..... who cares if it takes a couple years to make a bully sequel,it will be worth it.
  • Lilbee1414 - March 19, 2013 7:37 p.m.

    Great ideas
  • kidcake09 - August 15, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    i would like to see bully 2 in college, It should allow you to drink alcahol(get in trouble if you walk on campus drunk),different seasons, more sports( baseball, swimming, football, basket ball), more clothes, a larger fair(the one in bully 1 was so small), have a curfew but it is only inforced on campus, more activities to do whilst at night. no guns or deadly weapons, stick to the spud gun and other funny stuff, i would also like the option to do graffitti. the one thing i hated from the classes in bully 1 was english, i would just pause it and go find out what i could spell on google or something. no driving cars, but you can get a taxi/bus ride. more people, i was ashamed at how many actual people where in the hallways/ on campus at a time, make th epopulation larger i want to have tons of kids around, and for the girls dorm i want a costume(dress and a wig) that you can wear to walk around freely, and no more loading when you go into a building, do it like in gta4 how you can swing the door open. on campu sstores, just a few with good clothes, NO UNIFORMS.i want to wear whatever i want not the ugly ass uniform new groups: Jocks,Preps,Emos/goth,Gangters, also maybe a "black group", hispanbic or white group, not total segragation but just sometimes, the sleep everynight thing should be extended, you can stay up for 2 days but you get really tired and become bad at fighting and fail classes. no more endless summer, i want the seasons to come and go, and id like an option for real time, not 1 game hour=1 life minute, but it can be turned on and off. I'd like to see it located in a more "sea side" location near a beach. also bully 1 was really dull in color id like bully 2 to pop more and be more exotic on the eyes, nothing gay though bro. and please make a bigger map ALOT bigger. Thank you
  • aaronbuhagiar - January 23, 2012 9:06 p.m.

    Do your absoloutly right but i wish you could like keeps stuff in your inventory like baseball bats and all that
  • TurdmanTurner - August 7, 2011 9:33 p.m.

    I would not get sleep if i knew a Bully 2 was on the way. In fact I'm going to play Bully right now.
  • kiddrama - January 25, 2011 6:51 a.m.

    @hester2 hit the nail on the head. but think about it all. the bigger picture. joining frats would be amazing because of the hazing side missions. they might even add gaining ranks and hazing new members of the frat! also, driving cars etc. and think of how college life is too. join a band and stuff, tour the city etc. and bring back some old school san andreas where your eating affects you're body, and working out etc. and think of the attire! cardigans, slacks, collered shirts, ties, glasses(?)etc. but then again...where would the gun play aspect come in? why would jimmy need to kill? they'd obviously have to just move from slingshot to paintball gun, b.b. gun and the such. but the sky is ultimately the limit with this sequel. but even if R* decided to make a bully 2, it wouldn't be for another couple years. hopefully not! but the expectations would be high, and rockstar would need so much time. and i think that the R* team that worked on bully is working on Max Payne 3..
  • HoBoB12 - December 6, 2010 2:19 p.m.

    I forgot to add multiplayer BMXing, skating (with tricks this time!) scootering? etc. Also just a thought but how about if they build some countryside and had a school camping trip, this could offer up a whole new source of humour and gameplay; fishing, water rafting, sabotaging / spying on other students tents and lots of other fun outdoorsy stuff.
  • HoBoB12 - December 6, 2010 2:13 p.m.

    Great article! definately agree that we need a new Bully game, although I'm not sure I agree with the whole college thing, I feel it would be too close to GTA's adult world, I don't see why they can't just have a whole new cast of characters set at a different school. I reckon they should just make a new town or a few towns, bigger, and with 3 or more schools in them, that way once you've taken over your school then you can move out and have running battles with other schools with the overall aim of dominating all of them. Could you imagine a huge pitched battle down the school field between 2 schools? would be amazing! I also think they need to keep it at school because you would lose so much of the childish fun that made the first game so great. And online multiplayer free roam with all kinds of minigames (football / soccer / table tennis ;) / basketball) as well as competitive games like in Red Dead Redmeption. Would be funny as well to have a Grottos and Gremlins card game to play with the geeks. But whatever Rockstar decide to do they HAVE to make this game, I am amazed they havn't announced it already, the potential market is HUGE! DOOO ITT!!!!!
  • BigTitan101 - September 29, 2010 3:38 p.m.

    llege version of Bully would be insane. You would still have to do work of course to stay in college. But imagine driving a car or a golf cart and crashing it purposely to wreak havoc. Trying to get into a fraternity would be awesome. Beating up nerds and all that junk, increasing your rep. Bully 2 would be amazing, better than GTA IV. I would pre-order this game and hopefully get something cool for doing so. Your biggest enemy should be the dean and his little pets. And in true rockstar fashion, you should be able to chat chicks up and try have sex with them, instead of paying money for fat prostitutes. Also working out like in San Andreas would be good and you should get to design what your character looks like, like in Saints Row 2
  • SolidEye - September 27, 2010 9:54 a.m.

    I would LOVE a sequel. Though I would like it to be a little more "American Pie/Revenge of the Nerds" than Harry Potter. Playing pranks on teachers, sneaking into the girl's dorm (maybe even spying on them in the shower lol) and general college hijinks and mini-games
  • JosefMotley - September 26, 2010 1:06 p.m.

    totally, unreservedly agree. bring back bully! the college idea could work. there could be a lot of tributes to 80s frat-boyesque films. i'm thinking like when homer goes to college in the simpsons. that'd be fantastical
  • AonghusM - September 23, 2010 8:34 p.m.

    Good news, Shawn Lee who scored Bully said in an interview that he will be doing the soundtrack for Bully 2 in the not so distant future, this was in 2009 so something at least
  • kor2disturbed - September 22, 2010 3:47 a.m.

    I miss shoving nerds into a trashcan every morning, and sneaking into the girls dorm every night. Bully 2 FTW!
  • axelgarcia1 - September 21, 2010 3:04 a.m.

    i second that montion
  • Headsdown97 - September 20, 2010 8:50 a.m.

    I love Bully, Probably more than GTA, I was in Highschool at the time too, so it made me laugh because I could relate to it, also taking out my anger on the groups that pissed me off IRL in the game instead. xD
  • Darkmessiah24 - September 16, 2010 3:51 a.m.

    I would love to see this game come back.

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