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Going Postal

If you haven’t ever played or heard of it, that’s okay. Postal is one of those games where senseless killing is the norm. In the first game, Postal Dude (yes, that’s his name) is being evicted from his home. Of course this can’t stand, so the cops are called in and now he is going on a murderous rampage. The idea for each map is to kill a certain percentage of hostiles before moving on. Of course, there are innocents in the way, so sometimes they can’t stand either. By the way, if you want to move on to the next level once you hit that point, remember to check settings, as there is a setting in the controls to move on to the next level; the default is F1.

Rocket Dodge

Postal is pretty standard in the way it plays; every level is a killing spree in different places, and this also includes a lot of dodging rockets. The scenery, however, is absolutely beautifully hand drawn. The original engine was built for DOS, but has since been open sourced like Doom. The newer engine also has better mouse support and feels more modern, but it still has that old school difficulty curve that makes you want to hit that suicide key even on easy difficulty. Oh, did I forget that there is a control to commit suicide? There is also executing unarmed and downed hostiles, but that is something else. Postal stands to be a standard sh’mup, but Postal 2 changed what Postal was.

Postal 2: Violence and Potty Jokes

Senseless…

Postal 2 is a bag of treats with the features that it has and the way it knocked on the gaming industry back in the day. Released in 2003, six years after the first installment, it built a name for itself by getting banned in multiple countries due to the gross content. They later created an expansion (back when those were actually decent) that knocked on greedy executives in gaming. The biggest difference between Postal 2 and Postal is the fact that this one is built on the Unreal Engine – yes, FPS action. And – my favorite part – soon after release, it got a port to Linux. After getting my better rig setup, I’ve spent a good part of the last month and a half playing it.

PC wasn’t a big deal then

Timeline

The timeline of releases on Postal 2 are rather interesting. Releasing initially in 2003, later that year it got a multiplayer expansion, which also included the Linux port. Then in 2004, the expansion Apocalypse Weekend came out, which comes with the base game on Steam. Then third parties developed their own spin-offs with the game as expansions. In 2015, twelve years later, Paradise Lost comes out and is also set twelves years later in the Postal lore timeline. Paradise Lost was created after the flop that was Postal III and no one really speaks of that outsourced game either. Also, Paradise Lost is all about finding the Postal Dude’s lost dog.

Weapons and Treats

Postal 2 has a few features that Postal didn’t have, one being the ability to pee on stuff. You can also dismember people before killing them with the right weapons. The assortment of weapons is also much larger; you could use a scythe or a nuke launcher to kill people or just stay basic with a Doom-strength shotgun.

The game is also open-world. Each day you start out with a set of tasks and the option to start where you want. There is also holiday stuff to unlock, and each holiday presents different features, events or characters. Nothing is better than catching a leprechaun and getting a wish that you want. You can unlock a feature to open up multiple holiday functions at once by beating the game on Hestonworld difficulty. Yes, it has lots of grades of difficulty, and one such is Lieberman, which only gives NPCs melee weapons.

Glitches and Exploits?

Being an old game, this one has a few interesting glitches – physics not being the least of them, though they are definitely funny. Some glitches can be exploited to make achievements easier to get. If you enable cheats, you have to open them in the console with the code “sissy”, which has its own feature. But once you beat the game on Hestonworld difficulty, the cheat menu is unlocked and does this for you, but the menu lacks the god mode cheat, or “alamode” (yes, that’s the code – priceless). The only problem is the once you enter sissy mode – I mean the code “sissy” – achievements get disabled. Fear not though, I can help with that using glitches.

Becoming God-like to Go Postal

Postal 2 still has the suicide feature that was present in Postal. This has an interesting effect when used at the right time. So, if you hit the suicide button, you can decide to go through with it or sissy out. The secret is to get into this option dialog, then suicide at the right time before a cutscene starts. The earliest time to do this in the base game is at the bank on Monday when cashing a check. So for example, you can wait in line then you hand your check over the the banker lady. While she does her processing, press that suicide button, and wait, when she hands you that fat stack, press that yes option and a grenade pops into your hand while you go to grab your cash. The best part is the invincibility stick with you as you go through the week and as you save and quit. I tried to find a clip trying it on stream, but had a hard time finding the streams of Postal 2 I did in my VODs…

Greedy greedy premonitions

Postal-Apocalypse Week

Later on, I finally got Paradise Lost and I cannot explain how enjoyable it is to go and cause trouble in it. Not only do they follow the classic open-world setup from the base game, but you run errands for other people. Each day is spent with another faction, completing their todo list, and the handwriting shows it. The scenery looks better with some hackiness in the Unreal Engine thanks to eleven years of change. Also, you have quicker opportunities of getting that god mode glitch, too.

There is not a lack of references to other games and horrible jokes either. Al-Qaeda is a bunch of peace-loving hippies too, but still expert at explosives. Nothing can beat Gary Coleman and his Colemen in the Colemine, either. There are more celebrity cameos, too, who voice themselves. The expanse of items, like Habib’s Energy drink that lets you dual wield is very nice.

All-in-all Postal 2 is a very enjoyable experience that I can’t fault for the age it has. Even though it was first created a little over fifteen years ago, it’s still enjoyable and seems like the narrative was made in today’s environment. Despite the fact that they used the same engine to make the DLC, they found ways to make it look just a little bit more modern. It is actually listed at a pretty nice price on Steam, whether on sale of not, so go and get yourself a copy there or get it on GOG DRM-free.