Another entry in the Bully franchise is long overdue. The original PS2 title is a classic that still lives fondly in the memories of many. And by that we mean no other game outside of Japan has you roaming a boarding school attending classes, beating up bullies and getting the girl.
Recent rumours suggest Bully 2 is in development and will follow in the footsteps of Red Dead Redemption 2. Like most speculation, we took this with a pinch of salt – but it did get us thinking about what we’d like to see in a sequal.
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TrustedReviews has compiled everything we’d love to see alongside all the latest news, rumours, gameplay, release date info and more.
What is Bully 2?
There’s huge potential for a Bully 2 sequel in terms of narrative direction. Could it continue the story of James “Jimmy” Hopkins in the illustrious Bullworth Academy, or take us to an entirely different part of the world?
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With only one title under its belt, Bully 2 is free to go wherever it pleases in terms of character and setting. UK, Japan, or a fitting return to the US. We’d be happy to see any and all of these realised in the beloved Bully formula.
Bully 2 release date – When is it coming out?
According to the main admin of GTA Forums, Yan2295, Bully 2 is currently in production and will be Rockstar’s next game after Red Dead Redemption 2.
The Western sequel is currently slated for an autumn 2017 release on PS4 and Xbox One. So with that in mind, Bully 2 is likely to be a 2018 title at the earliest, but most likely later.
Bully 2 wish list – What we’d love to see
A bigger, more ambitious setting
Back in 2006, Bullworth Academy was at the top of the open-world pile. The sprawling campus gave each player an opportunity to explore countless locations, whether it be school dorms, classrooms or the local fair. It only grew bigger as you progressed, too. Gaining the ability to travel into town was a liberating experience, showing that Bully was far more than a middling classroom adventure.
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However, Rockstar will need to a make few improvements if Bully 2 is to make an impact after 11 long years of waiting. Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher 3 and other contemporaries continue to push the envelope of open-world game design, and Bully 2 has plenty of catching up to do. That said, we’d hate to see the school setting stretched too thin and as a result lose all of its charm.
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The ability to pick your classes
Imagine if Bully 2 split the school year into different terms and semesters, as it is in real life. Now, imagine if each class was an hour long and made you learn stuff for real! Just kidding. However, we’d love to see the fun yet brief mini-games of the first outing expanded into a more meaningful simulation of a schooling experience. Picking your favourite subjects at the start of each term could be part of that.
English could boost socialising power, while science grants you access to different upgrades and equipment to craft. Mathematics might increase lock-picking prowess, while P.E could give you a hardened edge in battle. There’s plenty of potential here, and that’s without even mentioning the fun that could be had in the classes themselves.
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Give the player a smartphone
This idea seems like a no-brainer in 2017. GTA 4, 5 and all of the Saints Row titles have provided us with a virtual smartphone to play with. They’re an in-universe way of communicating with allies, marking the map, and browsing the fictional interwebs in search of different products and services.
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Rockstar has a knack for creating a convincing virtual alternative for real-life brands and personalities, and the youth of 2017 feels like the perfect stomping ground for such a thing. We wouldn’t say no to an in-game variant of Snapchat, either.
It pains me to say that Bully’s combat is downright archaic in 2017. Its hand-to-hand scuffles and assortment of ranged weapons are still fun to experiment with, but don’t hold a candle to modern action games. Now, we know it’s unreasonable to kit out a student with dozens of guns and grenades, so Rockstar needs to develop a melee combat system with depth and nuance.
This could be achieved with individual combat styles, each with their own upgrade path. For example, Nerds, Jocks and Greasers could have their own special ways of fighting dirty. Each faction having access to specific weapons and skills would also reward the player for dedicating themselves to a particular storyline.
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Relationships with NPCs
In Bully, it was perfectly possible to go on dates with girls and hang out with friends, but many of these were restricted to one-note side quests and forgettable mini-games. Bully 2 should flesh out this element with fully fledged narratives away from the main story. Great characters could become even better with a little breathing room.
These could also tie in with the factions we mentioned earlier, rewarding the player with new items and upgrades as each quest unfolds. Progressive elements such as LGBT relationships and male and female playable characters wouldn’t go amiss, either. It would be risky, but Rockstar could certainly address many of the stereotypes of school bullying.
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Would you like to play Bully 2? Let us know in the comments!