Set in Bullworth Academy, a fictional British private school, this game tells about school bullying and the troublesome period of growing to adolescence. You assume the role of Jimmy Hopkins, a 15-year-old boy and a “problem child”, who was already kicked out of many schools for his misbehavior.
Gameplay in Bully is reminiscent of that in Grand Theft Auto games (made by the same Rockstar Games), albeit on a smaller scale. You, as Jimmy, walk around an open world of Bullworth Academy and its surroundings, finding new optional missions that may get you into trouble and fun at the same time. You can pick fights with other hooligans, fire at your schoolmates with a slingshot, drop stink bombs, ride a skateboard, and break into others’ lockers, as long as you don’t get caught by the teachers. You will also attend classes and perform exercises, which are rendered as mini-games. A smaller world, compared to GTA, means fewer characters, but each major character is interactive, fleshed out, and unique. The characters are split between several factions, or “cliques”, and Jimmy will have to complete specific missions to earn their respect. Completed tasks will also provide Jimmy with trophies that he will store in his room to commemorate his successes.