And of course to create a believable schoolyard their has to be social segregation, and its one of the main gameplay themes in Canis Canem Edit. There are four social groups in the game - the nerds, the preps, the greasers and the jocks. Similar to the gang system in GTA: San Andreas, you can gain respect with the different groups by helping them out and performing various missions. Seeing as I was in particularly bad favour with the jocks, they were often trying to start fights with me in the playground, though thankfully, my nerd friends would assist me with me with rock-hard rugby tackles - just like in real life.
Another great aspect of Canis is how the chapters and missions move the school term along. One mission I got to sample in the first chapter took place at Haloween, where I got myself a fetching skeleton outfit and headed out to cause mischief. Canis goes no-bounds in providing you with toys and gadgets to get up to no good. Stink bombs and teacher-tripping marbles were my favourite, but most expressing the world's interactivity are the skate board - which you can pull out at any time and pull-off tricks - and footballs, which are surprisingly manouverable.
As you'd expect from Rockstar, Canis Canem Edit is also clogged full of the studios' infamous brand of humour. I managed to log a few of my favourite moments, which included a student challenging me to a "nut-kicking contest," Jimmy's champion chat-up line: "want to study... anatomy?" and schoolyard quip "hey Hopkins, you psychotic gimp."
Impressively, there's much more to Canis Canem Edit than I saw in my 3-hour play session. In one of my last missions, I got to explore outside of the school and inside the surrounding town - Bullworth's dinner lady's request for more meat ("otherwise I'll have to put another one of Mrs. Jones' cats in the stew") led me to the butcher shop on her bike, and then to the barbers where I managed to get a fetching mullet-cut, and finally to the tailors, where I got a hat to hide my mullet.
It'd really hard, pedling through the town's streets, to avoid comparision to GTA. There's cars, there's shops and there's even police bikes that chased me down when I managed to egg a pedestrian. It will certainly be exciting to see where gameplay outside of Bullworth takes us.
So there you have it. The opening hours of Canis Canem Edit left us impressed, and hopeful for open-ended gameplay rivalling even GTA in terms of potential mischief. Thankfully, we've only got a month to wait before the game hits the streets - stay tuned for our official verdict coming very soon.