A new and remastered version of Bully, and old Rockstar classic was recently released for IOS and Android devices as the Anniversary Edition. Now, the low-violence open-world high-school prank'em'up is coming to yet another contemporary platform thanks to Microsoft's backwards compatibility program on the Xbox One.
Following in the steps of Red Dead Redemption and its standalone expansion, Undead Nightmare, Bully: Scholarship Edition is the second Rockstar title to get the backwards compatibility treatment for the Xbox One, allowing previous owners to play the title on their new(er) platform, or for new players to experience the game even if they only own the current-gen device.
Bully was originally released in 2006 on the PlayStation 2 but has since seen Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC releases, in addition to the recent mobile debut. With this being the second Rockstar title to go backwards compatible, it seems Rockstar is much more keen to embrace this service, compared to their initial aversion. Hopefully this trend continues and titles such as L.A. Noire and more will become available to play on the Xbox One.
Bully is an open-world action-adventure game in the vein of the GTA games, but with significantly less violence and toned-down adult themes. The reason for this "tameness" - relative as it may be - is the setting of Bully. The game is primarily set in and around a private boarding school with the majority of characters being underage students.
While Rockstar has been known to court controversy in the past, and they've managed to accrue much of it with Bully, they opted against going down the road of arming you with automatic rifles and rocket launchers, then setting you loose in a school. Instead, violence in Bully amounts to fistfights, slingshots and being mean. This very well might be the only Rockstar title with zero on-screen and off-screen deaths.
Though Bully never quite acquired the same measure of popularity that GTA and Red Dead Redemption enjoy, it was well received at the time of release and is fondly remembered today. Critics and fans enjoyed how Rockstar made the most of their self-imposed restriction on violence stemming from the setting while keeping that style fans have come to love from the developer.
Hopefully, the mobile release and this backwards compatibility release will boost Bully's popularity once more enough to show Rockstar that maybe the franchise is worth another look in the future *crosses fingers*.
Will you be (re)playing Bully on Xbox One?