POSTAL 2: Paradise Lost Review

Check out our video review:

I have a lot of respect for developer Running With Scissors. They released POSTAL 2 back in 2003 and they still support and update it to this day. Maybe it’s because they don’t have enough resources or money to develop a new game or maybe it’s because POSTAL III was a colossal failure but whatever the reason, I think more developers should show the same kind of love and support for their own games as these guys do for theirs. POSTAL 2 isn’t necessarily a technical masterpiece nor is it as polished as other great shooters, even back in 2003, but it’s a fun, offensive, and hilarious experience that anyone who isn’t an asshole can enjoy. Paradise Lost is DLC for POSTAL 2 released in 2015 with an all new story, new weapons, and more offensive content for you and your family to enjoy.

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Set twelve years after POSTAL 2, the Postal Dude awakens from his coma, his dog Champ goes missing, and he makes it his mission to find him. He travels back to his hometown of Paradise, Arizona, now a post-apocalyptic wasteland and gets help from various factions to find his missing dog. The game plays out exactly like POSTAL 2 where each day of the week is essentially like a mission and you must complete errands or objectives to proceed onto the next day. In POSTAL 2 you had to walk back to your home after completing the errands to end the day but in Paradise Lost this isn’t necessary. After completing the final objective you can just leave the area to progress. This is actually a major plus because it reduces the tediousness of trekking through those dreadful loading zones. Yes, loading zones return and they’re just as bad as they were before. It’s not that they take forever to load on modern hardware but because there’s so many of these it really brings down the pacing. The game runs on the Unreal 2 engine so there’s probably not much they can do about it but the frequent loading zones made me not want to explore which is really what the game is all about.

Because of the nuclear explosion at the end of POSTAL 2: Apocalypse Weekend, Paradise now contains different zones. I guess this is just an excuse to give the world more diversity and it works. You’ll go from the desert into a zone where it’s wet and rainy and then into a winter wonderland. And finally a zone where ash falls from the skies. This is a great way to make the world interesting and it mixes things up nicely. As you progress through each day you unlock more of the map and your free to explore to your heart’s content. Each day has you completing various objectives that either assist or, most of the time, piss off some faction. Once you piss off a faction, if they see you on the street they’ll attack you so by the end of the game, it’s like everyone is shooting at you. The game is extremely self aware and just as ridiculous as POSTAL 2. You’ll be milking cows infected with Ebola, collecting components for Al Qaeda hippies, helping the Running With Scissor’s staff fend off zombies, and even fight against robotic urinals.

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Paradise is just as fun to explore as it was in POSTAL 2 and exploration is the primary means of finding weapons and items. You could just go from one objective to the next but if you take the time to explore and stock up you’ll have more fun in the end. Plus it will make things easier since you should be well equipped for intense situations. New to Paradise Lost are vending machines where you can buy weapons and health items and these are actually really helpful. In POSTAL 2 you could take the easy way out and spend money, when possible, to complete objectives but causing chaos instead was always more fun. You still have these options here but the vending machines are a great way to stock up on weapons and items quickly. You can obtain a drink called “Habib’s Power Station” that enables you to dual wield weapons for a limited time. It’s awesome. There’s tons of new weapons, my favorite being the lever-action shotgun with a reload animation inspired by Terminator 2. I also loved the weed whacker. I also couldn’t help but laugh when I was being attacked by dude’s in gimp suits wielding dildos.

The gameplay in Paradise Lost remains relatively unchanged from POSTAL 2. The shooting itself is decent and it’s still fun to pull off headshots. The boss battles kind of suck and enemies on fire always manage to run towards you and catching fire is annoying. You still can’t manually reload, sprint, or fast travel around the map which I think would have been a great addition considering all of the loading zones. The textures can look sharp but due to the ancient engine, the game is not a visual powerhouse, and the world mostly looks bland. The character models still look bad and the animations are still stiff. The game was running smoothly most of the time until the end when it crashed to the desktop three times. Thankfully you can quicksave. I got stuck in the environment a few times and even glitched through a wall at one point. Yeah, it’s not a masterpiece.

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Paradise Lost is a perfect example of style over substance. It’s got plenty of humor, content, and replay value to keep people playing. Yes, it runs on the outdated Unreal 2 engine but Running With Scissors still manages to squeeze out a good time even though it carries over most of the flaws from POSTAL 2. If you enjoyed POSTAL 2 you definitely won’t feel ripped off and it’s honestly one of the best video game expansions I’ve played in a while. Just know it looks dated and even the gameplay feels dated. Paradise Lost is crude and shameless so it may not appeal to everyone but for anyone who enjoys this type of humor or who isn’t a social justice moron will find a lot to love here.

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