Bully is an open world, action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar Vancouver and published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 17 October 2006 for the PlayStation 2. A remake of the game, subtitled Scholarship Edition, was released on 4 March 2008 for the Xbox 360 and Wii, and on 21 October 2008 for Microsoft Windows.
Set within the fictional town of Bullworth, the story follows a student and his efforts to rise through the ranks of the school system. The open world design lets players freely roam Bullworth, which includes a number of towns.
The game is played from a third-person perspective and its world is navigated on-foot, skateboard or by bicycle. Players control James "Jimmy" Hopkins, a student who is involuntarily enrolled at Bullworth Academy. He discovers that the school is filled with bullies, and becomes determined to bring peace, ultimately becoming more respected among town groups. Jimmy is also expected to attend class, which is a main gameplay aspect. In Scholarship Edition, a two-player competitive multiplayer mode lets two players compete for the highest score in different classes.
Bully is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective. Players complete missions—linear scenarios with set objectives—to progress through the story. It is possible to have several active missions at one time, as some missions require players to wait for further instructions or events. Outside of missions, players can freely roam the game's open world, and have the ability to complete optional side missions.
The world of Bully, named Bullworth, is separated into five areas: Bullworth Academy, Old Bullworth Vale, Bullworth Town, New Coventry, and the Blue Skies Industrial Area. At the beginning of the game, players can only explore Bullworth Academy, with all other areas unlocking as the story progresses.
Players use melee attacks and weapons to fight enemies, and may run, jump, swim or use vehicles to navigate the game's world.[b]Bus stops are located in various locations around the world, allowing players to quickly travel back to Bullworth Academy. Should players take damage, their health meter can be fully regenerated using multiple techniques, such as drinking sodas. If players break rules while playing, the game's authority figures may respond as indicated by a "trouble" meter in the head-up display (HUD). On the meter, the displayed levels indicate the current level of severity (for example, at the maximum sixth level, efforts by all authority figures to incapacitate players become very aggressive). Authority figures will search for players who escape their line of sight; the trouble meter enters a cooldown mode and eventually recedes when the player has evaded the authority figures.
The game's single-player mode lets players control a high school student – teenage rebel James "Jimmy" Hopkins. Throughout the story, Jimmy rises through the ranks of the school groups, which include greasers, nerds and jocks. When not performing missions, players have the ability to attend classes; truanting a required class is a rule violation. Each class grants the player with a special ability upon passing; for example, English allows players to apologise to authority figures after violating rules, and Chemistry grants players with the ability to create firecrackers and stink bombs. Players are also able to initiate romantic relationships with non-player characters, acquiring the ability to give them gifts and kiss them.