Well, I finally did it. Like I said in my previous review, I’ve been very keen on trying out the POSTAL series for a while now. I won’t repeat a ton of what I said but I first became interested in the series, more specifically POSTAL 2, around middle school or so. I watched a ton of clips from it and saw the infamous POSTAL Dude in various Garry’s Mod videos around the time and for some ungodly reason, it always caught my attention. I never had a way to formally play it because I didn’t start actually PLAYING PC games until around 2010 and even then POSTAL 2 was nowhere to be found on the store. So around a decade (Jesus) passed and I started seeing footage of POSTAL 4: No Regerts because the game had entered early access and you know what? I thought the game looked awesome. This in conjunction with POSTAL Redux releasing on the Switch made me finally bite the bullet and start playing these gems and after the ???????? that was POSTAL 1, I finally had the chance to sink my teeth into the game I damn near couldn’t escape when I was 12-14.
Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is POSTAL 2.
POSTAL 2 is an open-world FPS developed by Running With Scissors, a developer that I am convinced is comprised of nothing but extremely talented and creative chimpanzees. It takes place over in-game 5 days (or 7 if you go through Apocalypse Weekend) and has the titular POSTAL Dude perform a checklist of errands for his “Bitch” wife and a bunch of wacky events follow. The game is a complete tonal shift from the original POSTAL as it not only features way more absurdist humor and situations to encounter, you also have near-complete freedom to do whatever you want. While the game uses a mission-based structure now you can do them in any order you want and complete them in any WAY you want. Do you wait in line at the bank to cash your check only for it to get robbed or do you rob it yourself? It’s so cool and if the product page on the RWS website is to be believed, the player has the option to not engage in a single act of violence and can run through most of the game without killing a single NPC or enemy and I think that is FASCINATING.
I mean…I didn’t DO that, but-
POSTAL 2 is the most entertaining mayhem simulator I have ever played. While the majority of guns don’t feel great and the A.I can be a bit TOO good at aiming, the amount of chaos you can cause is unbelievably entertaining. You get gas cans, matches, boomerang machetes, baseball bats, sawed-off shotguns, sniper rifles, napalm launchers, a mini-nuke, cat silencers, and even your own piss. While you don’t HAVE to use any of these weapons because of how the game is designed, I’d argue you would be missing out on all the fun because not only are the weapons fun to use, the NPCs and enemies are all batshit crazy and unpredictable. Citizens will just run around and do whatever they want if you chaos enough trouble and sometimes they’ll just end up sequence breaking the game and make you consider other ways to beat missions. One specific example I can think of is the library mission where you have to return a book. When you reach the book return there’s a long ass line to meet up with the librarian and you’re SUPPOSED to go up to her and pay her $100 to return the book.
I did not do that.
I broke up a bunch of anti-book protestors outside the door by throwing a Molotov at them and wouldn’t you, the chaos reached that office and caused everyone to scatter, leaving me with no way to “legally” return the book, so I just dropped it off. That’s not even close to being the most extreme example of this but that just shows how unique a game POSTAL 2 really is. The amount of unpredictability and freedom you get in this game is almost unmatched and for a game released in 2003 it’s REALLY impressive what they were able to do. I honestly hold a lot of respect for this game in that regard and had a total blast playing it.
If only it wasn’t held together with duct tape and and string.
For all of the positives I can give to POSTAL 2, the game is a technical mess. I cannot for the life of me tell you how many times this game hard crashed and how the game would start to shit itself during certain sections of the game or even certain WEAPONS. The Napalm Launcher damn near bricked my entire game because I used it in an open area with a ton of enemies and I’m using a good PC too. It’s nothing AMAZING or anything but it can run most modern games on high or ultra so to see this kind of amazes me. The A.I as well can perhaps be a TAD too unpredictable and sometimes just flat out stop functioning. I found a ton of NPCs that stopped moving or wouldn’t even react to the things I was doing. I will admit that it DOES endear the game to me in a weird way and it was nothing that ruined my experience or anything like that, it was just frustrating. The only time it started to really bother me was near the end of Sunday and the game crashed 4 different times during the final boss…fucking HATED that since the bridge section before that fight was way too long but, whatever.
Alright, enough beating around the bush. Let’s talk about the humor.
This game is offensive but like, in a different way from POSTAL 1.
POSTAL 2’s sense of humor is incredibly low brow, juvenile, crass, and at times EXTREMELY offensive. While toilet humor has no effect on me and can sometimes knock me the fuck out (The piss mechanic is really fucking funny, man) I will say right now that A LOT of the jokes in POSTAL 2 didn’t land for me. It crosses the line in terms of absurdity and tastelessness and while I personally wasn’t angry or offended by SOME (gotta make that part clear) of it, I can see a lot of people who might be. ….WASN’T A BIG FAN OF ANY OF THE AL-QAEDA AND THE POST 9/11 CASUAL RACISM ATTACHED TO IT BUT..YEAH.
POSTAL 2 is a lot of things, my friends. It’s an extremely fun and entertaining FPS game with a lot of personality. It’s an irreverent comedy that takes no prisoners. It’s a buggy mess that can barely function at times. It’s offensive of shit. But you know what? I would be lying to your face if I said I didn’t enjoy my time with it. I love how much freedom this game gives you and I adore how weird it gets at times, especially near the end. I think a lot of the jokes DO land when they aren’t trying to be inherently offensive and the number of crazy-ass situations the POSTAL Dude gets into really does need to be seen to be believed. Do I think it’s for everyone? Goodness no. A ton of the jokes in this game have aged like goat milk and the game is an unstable mess. I would only recommend POSTAL 2 to those that are either into weird FPS games or aren’t easily offended. I can look past a lot of stuff but I know a large majority of people can’t.
I really can’t believe I’m saying this but fuck it, consider me a fan of POSTAL. I like this game a lot, flaws and all. I hope POSTAL III is just as good! You need to play everything before playing 4, right?
Oh yeah, Gary Coleman is in this game. He shot me a bunch.