It's the game that caused every reactionary US rent-a-mouth to froth at the lips and blow foam out of their ears, but what's the lowdown on Rockstar's latest magnum opus? We blot our copybook to bring you the answers...
"Bully? It's real nasty, right?"
Despite Rockstar being forced to change the name from the tough-sounding Bully to the smartass Canis Canem Edit it's very slapstick in its brutality. You use ass-kicks, thumps and Chinese burns. Although you can twat nerds with cricket bats.
"Is there lots of stuff to do?"
Yep. There are BMX and Go-Kart races to take part in and when Jimmy's not saving the div kids from a shoeing or fighting jocks in a Fight Club-style arena, you'll be playing football, skateboarding and hiding in bins from prefects. And if it becomes too much, you can climb a tree and admire the view.
"Is Bullworth Academy big? How will I get around the place?"
Surprisingly, the campus is only a tiny percentage of an enormous map. Outside the gates you'll find a shopping district complete with clothes stores, a barber and even a seedy sex emporium. Hmm. You can also egg the houses of posh people in the area's plusher estates.
"What are the rest of the kids like?"
Just like real high schools, there will be the usual cliques, including jocks, preppies and nerds, not to mention a BMX gang modelled on the leather-clad T-Birds from Grease. You'll be set missions by these factions and the more you do for them, the more they will respect you. The emphasis is on helping our your mates and dishing out just deserts to those who deserve it.
"So I have to go to lessons?"
Expect bemani-style lessons in chemistry and metalwork, among others. But it's not all bad. Complete each course and you'll learn a skill - like how to make cherry bombs.
"How can I beat the bullies?"
In a manner akin to The Warriors, that's how. You can unleash combos by tapping r, and holding it down will launch a mega strike. This is especially handy when wielding weapons. Also, tapping e at the right time will perform a schoolyard-style special move, like a wedgie or a firm kick in the buttocks.
With GTA4 well over a year away, Canis Canem Edit is a welcome stop-gap. And its certainly going to be more fun than school ever was.