Postal 2 is a highly offensive and violent video game released in 2003. I played the Steam version known as “Postal 2 Complete”, released in 2012. The game takes place in a small fictional town known as “Paradise”, Arizona and you play as Postal Dude. The game is broken up by days of the week, the main game taking place Monday to Friday and expansions were released for Saturday and Sunday. If you choose to play the “A Week in Paradise” mode you will play through all seven days which is what I did. With the exception of Saturday and Sunday, the weekdays have the Postal Dude completing errands, like objectives, and the errands can be tackled in any manner the player chooses. Saturday and Sunday are similar to missions. You receive no map or errands to complete and are guided through the two days by NPCs or the Postal Dude himself.
First I’m going to cover the main game. I preferred playing through Monday – Friday since you have much more freedom with the gameplay. The world isn’t very big and the map reveals new locations with each given weekday. Errands include things like buying milk, voting, picking up your paycheck, etc. There’s no real story going on and you can find a reference to that fact in the cemetery which I won’t spoil. The game’s message overall seems to highlight the worst aspects of society in a comical way. Though you can progress through the game in a non-violent way it’s much more fun causing chaos and destruction. For example instead of paying for milk, you may try to steal it. This will cause the shop to go into lockdown, the clerk to try and kill you, and now you have to find another way to escape. When the time comes to confess your sins, terrorists will show up and proceed to slaughter everyone. It’s humorous to some and offensive to others. I personally had a great time playing through the game.
Saturday and Sunday are not structured the same as the rest of the week. You are no longer placed in an open world environment which is kind of a disappointment. Instead you must progress in a linear fashion and are guided by what’s going on and NPC interaction. The game now forces you to complete certain objectives in a specific order. For example you have to kill a set number of zombies before progressing to the next objective. There is a goal for both Saturday and Sunday but it’s not all that important and the objectives are just excuses to cause more carnage. Most of the time you are working your way through gauntlets of enemies. It gets repetitive and by the time I got to the final boss on Sunday, I was kind of tired of it.
The gameplay in Postal 2 is decent. It’s not exceptional but it works. There’s a wide array of weapons to choose from, the game encourages exploration so there’s always cool things to find, and a variety of different locations to visit within the town of Paradise. There’s no reloading, the AI is pretty much awful, and tougher enemies just mean bullet sponges. There is a “wanted system” of sorts in effect. Doing anything to attract police attention will cause your wanted bar to fill up and the police to come after you. You can always wait around in an area where there’s no police, for the bar to go down. Walking around with a weapon out will cause police attention and other NPCs to react. You can unzip your pants and piss whenever and on whatever you want but this, too, will attract police. Completing an errand usually initiates a cutscene in which something ridiculous is about to happen. For example, after you return your library book, an environmental group will decide to burn down the library and now you have to get out.
The game is buggy. Frequently you will get stuck in the environment and the game will even make a mention of it when it happens. NPCs may not react to being shot right away or they’ll just stand right in front of where you’re shooting. The biggest issue I had with the game is all of the loading. Luckily the load times are quick but the map is divided into sections so each time you enter a different area you will encounter a load time. Even in-game you will notice road signs that read “load zone” indicating when you walk through it, you will encounter a load time. These are everywhere and make traversing the map tedious. Visually the game looks dated. Even for a 2003 game it’s not too visually appealing. The voice acting is terrible but that seems intended.
Postal 2 is just a violent game and a humorous one at that. It’s offensive and it doesn’t care. It’s buggy, it’s dated, and has other issues but it’s also not meant to be taken seriously. With mod support and Steam Workshop integration there’s plenty of reasons to go back and replay so I’d recommend anyone not offended easily check this game out.