Canis Canem Edit
"Dog eats dog" or free: "The stronger survives". How fitting, because
in "Canis Canem Edit" From the beginning it is very hard. Having already flown from various schools, main actor Jimmy Hopkins finds himself in front of the wrought-iron gates of the heavily walled Bullworth Academy. It quickly becomes clear what lies behind these goals: Bullworth is not exactly what one would call the elite university. In general, the term wants "school" do not really grab here. Rather, Jimmy enters the ancient main entrance through a microcosm in which everything around him is just as corrupt and criminal as he is. It begins a fight for survival. Reaching out somewhere between rival cliques and schoolyard brawls, and thus gaining fame and fame in Bullworth, is the only way out of the situation to do anything. And in the staff room? A smorgasbord of failed existences. Partly alcoholic or psychologically insane, in Bullworth, not everything is running according to their rules. For her students, school gowns and lessons are annoying evils, which only discourage unnecessarily pranking and feuding. "Canis Canem Edit" plays in a school, but that’s not the point. It’s about more: The everyday struggle for survival, somewhere between chalkboard and schoolyard brawl.
The manufacturer Rockstar is something of the Till Eulenspiegel among the game manufacturers. Always provocative and cross-border, they like to keep a mirror in front of society. Known by the GTA series (Grand Theft Auto), the game forge‘s signature is unmistakably sarcastic and overpowering. "Canis Canem Edit" is, so to speak, only the logical evolution of the GTA predecessors. The topics of computer games and school are a taboo, which in the eyes of Rockstar almost cries to be broken. The result is a game that surprisingly does not fulfill initial reservations, but leaves behind a threadbare aftertaste at second glance. "Canis Canem Edit" brings things to the point and reflects exaggeratedly a society that is not unfamiliar to us in its fundamentals. The big requirement: you have to be able to recognize and understand this point.
The handling and character of the game should not be unknown to GTA fans. With the left analogue stick Jimmy is steered through the microcosm "school", With the right analogue stick, the tracking camera can be rotated freely in the room. Buttons allow actions such as jumping or shooting – the latter especially with a slingshot. There are no real weapons in the game, because clashes are usually resolved with the fists. The antagonists, who usually belong to one of the archetypal groups of nerds, athletes, the rich or the rocker, can be beaten but not killed.
For this one can humiliate the opponent by key combination, for example by pushed away or spat on. Beaten enemies remain bent on the ground and disappear after some time. Despite the possibility of fighting, the violence in CCE is restrained. Tension is generated here by the story, not by brutality. The language in the game is English – foreign language skills are therefore a prerequisite. Graphically, Rockstar did not make a big move with CCE, but stayed at the usual GTA level.
The Bullworth campus is huge and geographically more akin to a small town than a school. A huge variety of travel tools like GTA will be looked for in vain in CCE, with a few exceptions. Jimmy usually does everything on foot. The scope for action is immense and almost unlimited. Many details invite to all sorts of mischief, such as rubber bands lying around, stink bombs or the fire extinguishers on the wall. A minimap serves to find and localize missions. An important point: As in Bullworth, it does not look like this in Germany. The academy is purely optically somewhere between Harry Potter and a typical American high school settle and gives no resemblance to a German school. It becomes clear that things happening in Bullworth do not apply to one’s own school.
Nevertheless, the content of the game is problematic, the subject area school is all too obviously demoted to the scene of petty criminal acts. While there are fixed lesson times where the player gets bored with subject-specific minigames (like putting different words together on a fixed letter quota), CCE is not really about the school. Rather, it’s about what you would most like to do in school: nonsense. Rockstar, however, here and there, takes a little bit over the measure of what distinguishes pranks from criminal acts. This is not about kauzige Schulbubenstreiche free Feuerzangenbowlen-kind, but sometimes quite tough chunks. Jimmy is more crooked than Paukerschreck, if he Classmate with a hanging fire extinguisher kills. Exactly that makes the game contentwise vulnerable.
To emphasize the positive aspect as well, it is safe to note that Jimmy and the rest of the Bullworth gang come to life in the course of the game. Here is the true power of Canis Canem Edit: In working out and typing of characters and archetypes. Interaction with different antagonists, communicating, deciding, balancing and acting is what makes CCE.
The practice test with the game testers confirms the impression described above. All adolescents (older than 16 years) found the game interesting and attractive. Compare to the related Rockstar title "GTA" were quickly recognized and pulled. The possibilities of free interaction offer young people the opportunity, "her" to design an individual game. However, the demands made, the control, the understanding of interaction processes and the tactical approach were felt to be rather low compared to other games. The young people found it particularly interesting to have a look at their everyday living environment "school" regardless of how unlike Bullworth Academy is to their own school. Faulty or criminal behavior is not sanctioned in the game, but, if you do not get caught, even rewarded. Also, the school life in Bullworth is much more interesting. The free time between lessons is much longer and can be used for all sorts of mischief.
The ironic clothing and social criticism behind the play were only reflected by a part of the young people. For some, it’s just a game that is primarily about assertiveness and the power of the fittest. Others, however, recognized the socio-critical aspect in CCE. This is about a dispute (settlement) with the educational system.
Despite all the criticism, the game beautifully illustrates certain aspects of the subject that can be the subject of conversation: What is the relationship between students and teachers? What are the cliques and rival groups, and what youth cultural aspects are presented here? Where does violence occur? Where and when do teachers use their power? Do students still learn anything at school? And last but not least, what would the teenagers think about the ‘school’ system??
Are teens capable of recognizing the irony and the critical in the game? "Canis Canem Edit" no more problematic than a socially critical film. If this point is overlooked, caution is better than forbearance. For this reason, the game is despite its USK release 16 years rather something for young adults from 18 years.
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