As a result of the first round of voting for the Year of the Backlog, I’ve since started on Bully, which is a game that was first released on the PlayStation 2 in 2006, and later re-released as the “Scholarship Edition” for the Xbox 360 in 2008. It’s a Rockstar game, which generally tells you most of what you need to know (at the very least, that Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption have been two of my favorite games of this generation).
So far, the game tells me that I’m 4.14% complete after a couple of days, and I’m still clearing the first bits of tutorial from the game. So far, it has a pretty similar structure to most Rockstar Games, in that it slowly introduces you to a rather large cast of characters, and then forces you to do a bunch of things for them, sometimes for little apparent reason.
It’s also a bit different from other Rockstar games I’ve played in that the missions aren’t being given by any specific characters, but instead you’re sometimes given a choice of which mission to take on based on the title of the mission only. The dialogue is well-written, which is normal for Rockstar, but after GTAIV I reserve judgment on the story until I’ve completed more of it.
I’m mostly enjoying it so far, but it’s showing its vintage in a few ways:
- The graphics are really rough. It definitely feels like an upscaled PS2 port.
- There are loading screens everywhere.
- You can fail missions without knowing what you’ve done, and there are no mid-mission checkpoints.
- You have to go to specific locations to save.
It has some promising characters, a decent setup in this idea of a boarding school, with all of the built-in ecosystem that a school contains, and the promise of a wider world to open up later in the form of the surrounding town.
While I continue to work on Bully, and prior to next weeks’ arrival and interruption of the backlog process with Dead Space 2, I’ll get the voting for round two going. I’ll include the two write-ins from the previous vote, and let you choose the next game on my plate. Here it is:
I’ll leave the poll in the sidebar from now until the next game gets started.