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Postal 2

/ Apr 15th, 2003 No Comments

Maybe people are growing up a bit; there will always be a minority of blind, head-in-the-sand idiots who believe the world would skip in fields in a state of love and tolerance without the likes of Marilyn Manson and Doom. But I have heard remarkably no complaints about Postal 2 whatsoever. This is probably slightly annoying for developers ‘Running with Scissors’ who would love a bit of front page anger, but for the rest of us the silence is welcome.

Postal 2 is the sequel to the scapegoat of so many killers worldwide, Postal. Postal 2 however raises the bar for sheer outrageous, un-necessary violence and it is quite hilarious for it provided you approach the games humour in the right way. Most FPS games default the ‘R’ key to reload, Postal 2 uses it to unzip your fly so you can…well…urinate on stuff. The attempt with this title is not necessarily to make a great game, but to just have a laugh by pushing the boundaries of taste with the intent of doing things that; frankly, no-one else would dare to.

Through the gratuity of the game is actually an interesting, if flawed, structure. If you consider GTA3 without the cars as an FPS game you are pretty close to the mark, albeit GTA3 with the majority of its content removed. The game is split into days of the week; each day sees you being given, for the main part, normal tasks. Go buy some milk, take a book back to the library, urinate on your fathers grave…that kind of thing. Complete these tasks, head back to your trailer and the day is done.

Thankfully though, things are not as mundane as this, tasks are often spiced up by some scripted sections. One day sends you to church to confess your (not in-considerable) sins. On leaving the church things get a bit nasty, in an amazing combination of blasphemy, political incorrectness and xenophobia a group of Middle Eastern suicide bombers attack the priests while screaming the praises of Allah. Upon seeing this attack more priests come running out of the church with M-16’s and a bloodbath ensures.

Apart from these sections though, the game basically sets up a playground for you. The city is there for you to be as violent and sick as you want to be, the tools you are given are there to be used creatively. Bored of waiting in line for your groceries? Well empty a petrol canister on the line and chuck in a match! Unfortunately all this madcap mayhem does get tired quite quickly, the city doesn’t seem quite alive enough and the novelty of committing random acts of violence soon wears off.

Postal 2 uses the Unreal engine so you can expect some lengthy load times as you traverse the city, sections of the city taking over a minute at a time to load which break up the gameplay somewhat. But on the other hand you also get some nice physics, boxes tumble over realistically and barrels roll down slopes, you also get rag-doll physics which, as you can imagine, is used very well. There are some bad points though, character animation is generally quite stiff and some of the texturing is not much better than Half Life. Worst though is the level architecture, the majority of buildings and objects are distinctly low on the polygon count and really detract from the visual appeal at times. There is an editor included however, and considering the raw materials, I expect some pretty vile mods will be in the works given the mentality of the net community!

Postal 2 is difficult to judge as a game as the emphasis is so clearly on just being offensive. I kept playing because I wanted to know just what the designers would have me do next, not really because this is an amazingly playable game. I enjoyed the experience lets say, but it really isn’t a game I will treasure or even play through again.


Jamie Wharton

Jamie Wharton

Jamie Wharton was based out of Europe before disappearing off the face of the Earth. His contributions in the early days of Gaming Illustrated's history, however, shall never be forgotten.
Jamie Wharton

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