Review by Veritron

Reviewed: 07/13/03 | Updated: 07/13/03

Whoa, I'm amazed

Recently, a version 1337 patch was released for Postal 2 that added weapons, levels, a sewer, and new cheat codes, and generally made the game much, much better.

Graphics: 9/10

Based on the Unreal Warfare engine, Postal 2 does a hell of a job rendering the environments. It has a consistant framerate, detailed environments, and amazing textures - heck, you can even read menus in restaurants and everything. Postal 2 also has a lot of crude, visual humor - you'll crack up laughing every couple of minutes just on sight gags.

Sound: 7/10

There's no real music - it's all ambient noise and muzak parodies in some places. Now, the mall sounds amazingly like a mall, and the voice-acting is great, but this game would have been much more awesome with a real soundtrack.

Gameplay: 8/10 (6/10 before patch)

This is not an ordinary FPS. Enemies are effectively just about as strong as you are on hard difficulty, can pick up weapons, mug you, arrest you, and generally do lots of cool things. Unfortunately, the core game itself isn't that difficult because the ai basically has one combat pattern - stand and shoot. Sometimes it'll run away, occasionally it'll run away, but that's basically the one combat pattern you'll have to deal with. Before the patch, the AI could never, ever, ever miss - it could hit you from 500 feet away with a standard pistol. Now with the patch, it can actually miss, which is an improvement. The patch also adds more weapons, a sewer, and generally a lot of cool things. It's also quite possible to beat most, if not all, of the game, without firing a shot, but it's boring and hard to play it that way. The real fun is all the open ended mayhem you can cause - you can walk around town with your fly undone, chop the heads off of burned corpses, and lots of other sick, deviant (light the marching band on fire with gasoline) things.

The game's structured into 7 days. Each day, you'll have to perform a few tasks, like going to the grocery market and getting some milk. The problem with the game on release was that the map was divided into many different areas, and the load times were absolutely appalling - you'd step into a load zone, get a coffee, start playing the game, walk 10 feet, step into a load zone, get another coffee... That's what annoyed the game reviewers - even with a top of the line system, you'd still be stuck with huge loading times. However, the patch fixes the load times, which now are only like 5 seconds as opposed to 20. It makes the game a lot more fun - but I wish they were seamless like those in GTAIII. There's multiple ways of accomplishing some tasks, but others, like returning the library book, force you to proceed linearly. You also can't go to all sections on the entire map until the very last day, which cuts down on exploration a bit. But it's still pretty fun - there are no dummy houses, so you can enter and exit and kill and maim just about anywhere. I also like how dead bodies on screen are kept even after you save - it's a nice touch.

I wish the AI were better, and I wish there were secondary fire on weapons. Before the patch there were lots of issues with the pedestrians being almost invincible, but that was fixed with the patch, which is another mark up for it.

Story: 8/10

You get to meet Gary Coleman. How cool is that?

Actually, once you've played the first couple of days, you probably get the jist of what's going to go down. For an example, when you get your first paycheck, Vince fires you, and then the ''Games are bad, they make me mad'' anti-videogame violence protesters storm the building armed with shotguns. It's pretty funny, but that gag gets overused quick.

I would not recommend anyone under the age of 17 play this game. The game, although thankfully lacking sexual violence, possesses more than its fair share of ethnic slurs ''Don't shoot, I'm a minority!'' However, the slurs are distributed rather equally... But some of the jokes will make you feel really, really, dirty for laughing at, and I wouldn't recommend this game for anyone who gives credence to political correctness at all. Parents, absolutely DO NOT buy this game for your kids, do not let them watch you play it, do not let them read the manual. It's probably one of the most offensive games that's ever been sold in the regular video game market (not including Japan and its Hentai games of course).

Control 10/10

Dead on. I love, love, love the kick key. No matter what weapon you're equipped with, you can always hit Q to kick people with. Not only that, you can also kick open doors, kick open windows, kick dogs, kick decapitated heads around... I wish every FPS had a kick key.

Oh, and the menus are very lucidly laid out, all zones where there's loading are marked so you don't stumble over them, weapon and item switching is quick and easy, the game automatically bails you out if you get stuck in a position, and did I mention that the kick key is amazing? I also like being able to pee on things - makes for some great screenshots. You can also make trails with gasoline easily - one time I turned on fly mode, made a pentagram, and lit it on fire in-game, and watched it from above. And the marching band walked into it and set on fire and soon pretty much the entire town was in an uproar. It was so cool. Seriously, this game lets people with deviant imaginations run wild.

Overall - 9/10

Postal 2 is not just another FPS. It's definitely worth checking out now that the 1337 patch is out, and it's really a whole lot of sick, deviant fun, and it's one of my favorite FPS games. The humor may be crude, and the game may be a pain at times, but if you have an imagination, you'll have fun here.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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