Our recent Top 10 One-Man Rampages list has understandably left me in a destructive frame of mind – more than usual, I mean. I’ve gone from my normal two to three random old-lady muggings to using the company interns as my very own personal punching bags. Which, come to think of it, was probably a condition of their original job applications anyway. I’m pretty sure “TheMatt may suddenly spring forth from behind a potted fern to beat you within an inch of your life for no particular reason” was somewhere in the fine print. This amusing anecdote segues us nicely into this review of Postal III, a game that is all about letting your inner Arkham Asylum inmate loose.
The Postal franchise is many things to many different people. I like to think of it a virtual punching bag, a way for me to commit all the unsanitary and inhumane acts that float around in my head day to day. To others, it’s a murder simulator, a black mark on the video game industry and a juicy target for the media’s talking heads to lash out at. Whatever the case may be, Postal, as a series, remains a lightning rod of diverging opinions. Crude or in on the joke? Bad taste or innocent role-playing? Tastes great or less filling? Can you turn a rabid badger into a lethal weapon? These are all questions for the ages.
And the answer to that last one is, “Oh, sweet Mother Of Mercy, hell yes!”
Your faithful and currently off his meds reviewer will attempt to not answer any of these questions at all in the course of Yell! Magazine’s review of Postal III, available for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. For review purposes, the PC version was used. For mood setting, Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” was played 24/7 with the amp cranked up to 11. A large variety of narcotics was also ingested to ensure my chakras were pulsating something fierce.
(Yell! Magazine disclaimer: We here at Yell! do not recommend that you ingest large quantities of narcotics. That’s our shit. Not yours. Hands off or we’ll ship TheMatt to your house in an unmarked crate. Also, we’re pretty sure the green stuff TheMatt was downing like Jell-O shots was just a bottle of Nyquil.)
We’ve all been there: in a fit of pique, you’ve detonated a nuclear bomb in your hometown and are forced to emigrate to another hamlet. That happens to me every alternate Wednesday.
Sorry, folks! Must have been all those beans I ate.
The Postal Dude, as your main character is called, travels to the town of Catharsis (yeah, this game is nothing if not subtle) where his patience will be tested, his desire to kill brought forth in an alarmingly regular basis and he’ll be subjected to trashy humor concerning recent headline-making topics like Bin Laden’s death, the economic crisis, and the price of gas. In fact, Postal Dude becomes trapped in Catharsis because of his inability to pay for a prohibitively expensive tank of gas.
On the one hand, it’s nice of Running With Scissors to have a go at topical humor with their Postal games but, much like a D-list stand-up comedian bombing onstage, the jokes are mostly recycled material we’ve all heard a thousand times before. The game’s only real laughs come from the onslaught of (cough!) “celebrity” (cough!) cameos found throughout the story.
Want to shoot a hot steaming load of buckshot into Ron Jeremy’s the face?
“Vile! Digusting! Crude!” says Jack Thompson!
Want to shoot an equally steaming load into Playboy Playmate Jennifer Walcott’s face?
“Upon further consideration, this game has some merit…” says Jack Thompson, before retiring to his office to play with his electoral pole(s).
In what has to be the single greatest video game celebrity cameo ever, industry lightning rod Uwe Boll, director of such “classics” as House Of The dead, Far Cry, Dungeon Siege and, of course, the modern cinematic masterpiece Postal: The Movie, makes an appearance during a mission that actually requires you to save the erstwhile Dr. Boll’s ass. Never before have I wanted to fail a side quest quite as badly as this. Postal 2 bad guy Osama Bin Laden also returns from the grave to be mercilessly mocked once more.
Running With Scissors gives you the opportunity to play the game as a good guy (sort of), but to do so is to entirely miss the point of a Postal game. Postal appeals to the dark side in every one of us, to the little voice inside our head that screams advice on how the line at the post office would move a hell of a lot faster if you would only retrieve that AK-47 from the trunk of your car or how the annoying mime’s (redundant, I know) dancing would be improved by throwing a hive of killer bees at his feet. Postal 3’s dubious charms will only last about an hour before wearing thin, but they are insidiously entertaining while they last.
You can only pee on a hooker so many times before the thrill is gone.
Read about the gameplay, presentation, and verdict after the jump…
- Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
- Published by:
- Developed by:
- Running With Scissors
- Year Released:
- December 21, 2011
- Also Available On:
- First-Person Shooter
- Official URL:
- Postal III
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