Sometimes stirring up controversy can help you with sales and name recognition. After all, bad press is a form of marketing after all – especially if you’re a game that came out anytime between 1992 and 2005.
Those are the years Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas dropped and introduced the world to pretty much every kind of controversy a game could have. But the Postal series is also notable for its ability to stir people up back in the day, and Postal 2, the sequel, is not an exception. The only problem with it now and then is that it just wasn’t a very solid game. Controversial game choices aside, execution is key when it comes to making a lasting IP and that’s one area where this series has struggled.
How to Download Postal 2
To download the game, click on the Download button located below this review. Check out also what we think about the more recent Postal game – Postal 4: No Regerts.
The Game Review
Released in 2003 for the PC, Postal is the sequel to the 1997 game and has every bit of the former’s 1990s edge still alive and well inside of it. That’s kind of what makes Postal 2 awkward in 2003: Its sentiments seem somewhat dated even if the gameplay is trying new things.
So what’s the point of Postal 2? You play as a fictional character known as “The Postal Dude” in a place called Paradise. Interestingly, the game has received pretty much continuous updates since its initial release back in 2003 with the most recent expansion, Paradise Lost, dropping in 2015.
As far as the gameplay for Postal 2 is concerned, it’s something else entirely. Based upon the phrase “going postal” or to get angry and violent in some form, the game tasks you with rather boring, everyday fare and tests to see how you react to it.
As we said, it has a heavy 1990s edge to it and some things just don’t translate well today such as the name for the main character’s wife, among others. In a nod to the above gross-out humor and general edgy thrust of 1990s fare, some of your tasks include things like “getting gonorrhea” (because that’s funny, apparently) and vague nods to domestic violence and even murder.
All of it just seems kind of tired today or even somewhat sad that someone considered things like this to be cutting-edge narrative in gaming. For better examples where gameplay and solid writing combine, play any of the South Park role-playing games. Going back even further, the Duke Nukem series does a better job of balancing gameplay with its style of humor.
What Postal 2 does do really well is present a novel concept in gaming: Interacting with other people on a daily basis. The level of unreasonable and quirkiness displayed by non-player characters in the game is a hoot and there is a solid underlying concept here if it wasn’t obscured by way too much 1990’s detritus.
Given how much of an insight into human behavior 2020 gave the world, it might just be the perfect time for a series like Postal to attempt a revival, albeit with a more modern approach to presenting humor.