POSTAL PLUS / Running With Scissors / PC

Just prior to playing Postal Plus, I reviewed Carmageddon. Carmageddon was like playing Grand Theft Auto 3, but you're stuck in constant street races and can't leave the car, and all the driving manuevers such as handbrake turns and burn-outs are excised. Postal is like playing one of the original Grand Theft Auto games, except you're stuck on foot and in Kill Frenzy mode. Oh, and it's seen from an isometric perspective, which I need to mention because I guarantee some nit-picking sand-in-the-vag Postal fan will email me about it. Probably while blasting Fear Factory at a ridiculous volume and pissing off all his neighbors.

Postal had the marketing benefit of being targeted by Joe Lieberman during his anti-violent-video-game grandstanding crusade in the '90s, and thus has both racked up a bunch of sales and gone down as "one of the most controversial games ever." But really, these days, kids using Flash not only regularly make shit that's 10x worse than this, but the quality of the gameplay is actually about the same or better as well.

The Plus version is just a re-release of the original game with all the expansion pack levels included, as well as some new weapons. There's also a LAN multiplayer option for up to 16 players, which I'm unsure was in the original release or not.

The title screen makes it look like some sort of Silent Hill-esque horror game, but once you get into it it's nothing like that. I know this is going to be a semi-obscure reference, but it's also a perfect one - you ever play General Chaos for the Sega Genesis? Playing as the commandos in that game is largely what gameplay here is like, except roaming over a much larger scrolling map. And instead of hard-fighting hard-farting army grunts, you play as stereotypical Columbine basement dweller loser in a trenchcoat who goes on a killing spree. Well, I guess it's supposed to be a killing spree, but most areas actually seem to have turned into a war zone, with the majority of the townspeople heavily armed and usually taking potshots at you before you even do anything to them. Also hampering your kill spree is that most people in the game seem to make a habit of wearing Kevlar under their clothes and take quite a few bullets to go down.

I think the game would actually have been more fun with something like Smash TV or Robotron controls, where you could move in one direction and fire in another. Unfortunately, you're stuck firing in the direction you're moving/facing, in primitive 8-bit style. The gameplay is thus semi-clumsy even at its best moments, and extremely simplistic. You go around, look for better weapons, shoot the people that are shooting at you, once they're all dead you can move on to the next level, all of which look pretty samey. There's no destructible terrain, you can't perform any manuevers like ducking behind cover or rolling, it's basically Gauntlet for socially maladjusted ragers, but even more simplistic given the lack of obstacles and items.

The game's focus was obviously EXTREEEEME SHOCK VALUE rather than depth and quality gaming. As such, I just don't see how you won't find it boring and tiresome unless you're really into the idea of "LOL FRAGGIN CIVILIANS LOLOLOLOLOLO."

Videos :

* Gameplay Video