Wow. When I finally got around to playing through this game, I can say that this is once again another amazing title from Rockstar Games.
Bully is a game where it is very similar to Grand Theft Auto, from the missions to the side activities. Once you finish the opening cutscene, you are able to do anything you please. And as you progress through the story, you try and become ruler of each of the cliques: Nerds, Jocks, Preps, etc. and make a name for yourself in the Bullworth Acedemy. The city of Bullworth is very fleshed out with a slew of activities and collectibles to find and complete.
One thing I want to say is that this has the best hand-to-hand combat i've ever seen. There is a lot of moves you can learn and pull off that become very useful, and all of these moves are pulled off from a single button, not 3 different buttons, which is a huge plus for me. This also means that the moves can be memorized and pulled off easily and quickly. One thing that I have a divided opinion about is the lock on system. Rockstar has always had a problem with this (at least not until GTA 5) and Bully is no exception. If you want to fight back when you are running away, you have to do a full 180, which gives them the chance to make the first blow to the face. This goes for all of the weapons as well, which are also very handy. And of course they can be inaccurate and target the wrong person. But the inaccuracy is rare to happen, and likely won't happen at all when fighting a whole group.
The game is also full of collectibles to find and secrets to discover. The major collectibles are shown on the map however, and while that saves a lot of headache, it also removes that feeling of discovery without help, but we'd probably pull up Google anyways. The side activities are also very fun. They are from simple carnival games, to bike races and lawn mowing. They are all fun to do and have been executed well. This brings us to the classes, which besides the guessing classes: Geography, Math, and English. The rest are either minigames or on-screen prompts. These classes are the most fun, and passing a class grants some really cool unlockables or very useful features, like doubling the amount of tickets you win at the carnival. Also, the handling and driving mechanics or bikes, scooters, lawnmowers, are also something to note. They are all super satisfying and you wont be running into everything much.
However, no game is perfect, and Bully isn't an exception, it has issues that definitely are immersion-breaking, frustraiting, or overall annoying.
One obvious issue is the PC port. Rockstar is not known for making very good PC ports. You can only access the video options through the main menu, the game is capped at 30FPS (but you can unlock it through .exe replacing), the keyboard controls are HORRIFYING (Seriously, I highly recommend using a controller instead), there is pop-in everywhere, there are awful audio issues that might be very difficult or even impossible to fix. So be cautious of that. However I can say that you can play for HOURS until freezing or crashing happens. I played for 5-6 hours straight without pausing the game for a period of time and it eventually crashed.
Another thing is the difficulty. It is mostly very easy, especially if you have played through a GTA game. A lot of the enemies are very easy to knock out, and some of the bosses are extremely easy to defeat. However when you pi$$ off the police in the game, they will constantly chase you in their bikes and can go through EVERY shortcut. When they catch you, you have the option to try and escape through a QTE, but sometimes it doesn't show at all, and you automatically get Busted.
But with all of these problems, it is still a game I highly recommend to anyone who needs a fresh change from GTA or Saints Row.