Bully is basically a game where you.. well… become a bully. You go through the game trying to get all of the clicks (the nerds, jocks, preps, greasers, and the bullys) to be on your side, through tasks and fights etc. But then there’s a twist that ends up making you fight Gary, the first “friend” you made in the game.
Bully is a mission-based/ linear type of story. You can runaround for hours earning money to get a fancy outfit, or stay on track and go through the correct missions to keep the story moving. Leading up to fighting Gary, a lot of dialogue and character development takes place. The Writer of the game had to make the player see some type of trust in Gary (even if he did seem snobbish) then completely flip the script and make Gary the bad guy. The game is full of cut scenes to establish the story line and set up tasks, all leading to the point where you eventually have to fight Gary to rule the school. The cut scenes and environment go through the seasons, and there’s even special Halloween, Christmas, and April Fool’s missions that you can miss if you’re not too careful. Therefore even though it is a mission based game, a sense of time passing is created and you know that it’s around the end of the year when you fight Gary. If the writers and game designers did it any other way. the game would seem too structured or a complete sandbox like it is when you defeat Gary.
The fact that if you run around too early in the game (before you get the Greasers and Preps on your side) you get beat up every two seconds adds to the sense of story progression. You want to progress in the story to see how the world changes, and see who ends up on your side and who doesn’t.