I started to playe Canis Canem Edit (aka Bully, Rockstar Vancouver) and I find it interesting.
The game takes GTA engine and uses it to brings carricature of a boarding school, where hard-handed headmaster is keeping order and classmates are bullies. The game consist taking classes (which are different kinds of minigames), free roam, and taking missions. Passing classes improves skills of the player character. He learns, e.g, better social skills (manifesting as abilities like making apologies, taunts, and seducing girls) and chemistry (manisfesting as ability to create stink bombs, itching powder, etc.). Missions, so far, have been mainly helping other students. However, motivations of Jimmy Hopkins, the player character, are not (totally) altruistic as Jimmy often wants some compensation (e.g., money or kiss) before accepting mission.
A crude implementation of social dynamics is interesting. Actions of Jimmy, like completing missions, will influence how different groups of students (which naturally are stereotypical groups from tean movies) act on Jimmy — is a NPC hostile or friendly. Unfortunately the challenges so far have consisted bit too much on brawls, running, or breaking and entring.
On the bad side is that the game controls are really awful. When camera angle changes directions of control changes too. Problem with the controls and camera is even worst than with Silent Hills.
Also caricatures and irony in the Canis Canem Edit could be more innovative. Time to time events and characters are just too stereotypical. Anyway, I have high hopes for the rest of the the game.
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