IMG Archives
Archives  Reviews  Postal 2: Share The Pain  


Gameplay

Sound
  Graphics

Value
Publisher: Running With Scissors    Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.2.8    CPU: G3 @ 700 MHz    RAM: 256 MB    Hard Disk: 2000 MB    Graphics: 32 MB VRAM


Postal 2: Share The Pain
February 1, 2005 | Eddie Park
Pages:1234Gallery


Click to enlarge

Graphics, Sound, all that Jazz
Postal 2 runs on an older version of the Unreal engine, meaning that its look and feel should be familiar to anyone who has played Unreal Tournament. Technology wise, I'd place the engine somewhere between UT and UT2003, meaning that it's definitely dated, but not so much so that it feels ancient. Characters look a bit blocky, but the detail is there. The character animation is actually pretty good for what it is, as NPCs saunter, jive-walk, or puke their guts out, depending on the given situation. The frantic arm-waving and running around of a person on fire is believable enough.

Effort also seems to have gone into the physics engine, at least when dealing with bodies. Sporting what can be generically described as a ragdoll system, a player can spend all day unceremoniously kicking a corpse around town, watching the unfortunates limbs splay in a variety of contortions as his broken form gets propelled down the asphalt via Postal Dudes tireless boot. While inert onscreen objects may not bear the same level of interactivity, RWS seems to have made sure that players derive as much satisfaction as possible from the abuse of someone probably too far gone to feel what's happening to him.

The environs themselves are a bit of a wash. Most of the town sports a dull rusty color, which quickly translates into visual mud. Some of the subplots will take Postal Dude to more interesting locations, including a napalm factory, butchery, and a library, but overall, anyone playing this game will have sienna burnt into their eyes before too long.

Audio wise, if there's a soundtrack to this game, I don't even remember it. As with the physics system, all the care seems to have gone into the meat puppets blithely going about their lives. The game contains a large amount of speech, most of it bearing the expected dark humor. People will stop and have random meaningless conversations, scream their heads off, or beg for their lives. Shoot a person in the leg, and they'll sob, cry out to some random Christian deity, or beg for mercy. Theres a lot of screaming in there too, depending on the circumstances. And of course, Postal Dude himself supplies many a quip, many of them designed to elicit a grin.

Performance wasnt up to what I would have liked, though it was passable enough. The recommended system requirements listed on the box include a 1Ghz G4, 512MB RAM, and a 64MB Radeon 9000 or GeForce 3. I'm currently running on a 1.33GHz G4, 1.5GB RAM, and a GeForce 4 Ti, and I found I still had to throttle the settings back quite a bit before the game would run smoothly. Even then, the game would sometimes choke when things got too hectic, particularly given my propensity for setting entire crowds on fire. The issue was even more apparent on multiplayer, where I had to turn everything to minimum in order to get things smooth enough to aim properly.

Final Thoughts
In final analysis, Postal 2 is much like a cheesy horror flick. If you're in the right mood, it can be an utter riot, and perhaps even therapeutic (I use that term loosely). It is very much a pick-up-and-play FPS; the town of Paradise is always well-stocked with helpless victims, ineffectual law-enforcers, and annoying protestors just waiting to be taught a lesson.

However, Postal 2 is one of those games that must be played with all sense of seriousness discarded. If, at any moment, you attempt to take this game seriously, chances are that you won't like it, and perhaps might even get offended. Postal 2 revels in irreverence and ridiculousness, and taken in that context, it succeeds. I dont think I've ever played such a brazen game before, it seems to take every point on the ESRBs list of what NOT to do and does it to the point of absurdity.

I can see Postal 2 as a guilty pleasure of sorts. Many people will never admit to playing it or liking it, yet every gaming friend I've talked to about it has expressed interest in it, and those that have played it immediately snuck off to buy their own copy.

Of course, people are going to look at the numerical scores I'm forced (and hate) to give on this title, and wonder if I liked it at all. By today's standards, it's not particularly pretty, it doesn't sing like a bird, and it doesn't have the rich plotline of, say, Space Invaders. But Postal 2 is fully what RWS seems to have intended it to be, and in that respect, it delivers.



Postal 2: Share The Pain
Publisher: Running With Scissors
Download Postal 2: Share The Pain Demo
Buy Postal 2: Share The Pain now at MacGameStore.com


Pages:1234Gallery




Archives  Reviews  Postal 2: Share The Pain