Postal Redux Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD


There are few games that can claim to have created such widespread controversy as the original Postal. A game where the sole objective was to simply massacre everyone on screen. Aside from Mortal Kombat (the reason we have the ESRB), it may be the most controversial game that has been released since the abhorrent Custer’s Revenge. Naturally this sparked outrage with people calling for the game to be banned and threw the entire concept of gaming into question. So when Running With Scissors announced they were remaking Postal as the new and improved Postal Redux, there were faint murmurs of the old argument. But does Postal Redux stir the same level of awe, unease and outcry?


It all started with a snowman…

The simple answer is no. Postal Redux doesn’t even get into the top ten list of most violent, disturbing or controversial titles in the last two years. It is no reflection on the game. Postal Redux is a fun time killer, something that you can pop on for ten minutes at a time and have a blast, but it isn’t ground shaking.

The artwork has been completely reworked and for the most part, it works well. We still have the Postal Dude with his long trench coat (black as standard but you have the option to change the colour), along with some lovely environments that range from small suburban towns to industrial locations and even a trailer park. The environments are varied but the Postal Dude lacks any real interaction with them, running over a snow covered street is exactly the same as venturing into mining tunnels. The bird’s eye/orbital view is a double edged sword. In some missions, you have a complete field of vision but in others, specifically the bird’s eye view levels, enemies can be hiding below rooftops or struts of a bridge. It can be incredibly hard to see these enemies and more often that nought, a large chunk of health will be snatched away before random fire and luck combine to get the kill. It might seem like a minor complaint but the camera angle can work against you more often that it works for you and is one of Postal Redux’s major problems.


If there is one thing to set me off on a rampage, it’s a marching band.

The gameplay itself is simple. Using either a keyboard and mouse setup or a controller (I’d recommend the keyboard and mouse as it is MUCH easier to aim at mid-long range) you move through each map, killing enough hostiles to unlock the exit and move on. Hostiles. You will note, that while there are civilians that run around the levels, their deaths don’t count towards the overall goal. You have to tackle law enforcement, gang members and other assorted heavily-armed enemies to unlock the exit. That’s not to say you can’t kill the civilians but other than a throwback to the franchise’s roots, there really isn’t much point in doing so in the missions.

On Rampage, a scored attack mode, the more people you kill, and the quicker you do it, the higher your score and bonus multipliers are. Rampage is significantly harder than the main missions and does add a lot of replay value to Postal Redux as you play again and again seeking that perfect score.

The weapons are another bittersweet addition. Your standard gun is a submachine gun of sorts, it has infinite ammo and will see you right in the early stages, but as the game progresses, much more firepower will be needed and it doesn’t quite come in a way that is practical. There are two shotguns that can be used once you pick them up, your standard pump action style and an automatic shotgun. There’re rocket and petrol bomb launchers and the good old magnum, but there is a gap in the area of medium-long range kills. Most of the weapons are designed to be used at a fairly close range but this can become a herculean task when there’s an army of armed dudes (and dudettes) all trying to blow you to hell. The one weapon that can tackle that kind of onslaught is the flamethrower (a personal favourite of mine). I had hoped that there would be a wider range of firearms available for the postal dude but sadly it isn’t the case.


I’ll take my ostrich well-done, please…

The sound design is pretty barebones, what little voice acting exists in the game is (I think deliberately) very hammy, but instead of sounding like a parody of violence, it sounds like it was done by “Kevin from HR” instead of a proper voice actor. The loading screens are occupied with quotes I would expect to see in fourteen-year-old emo’s diary sometime in the early 2000’s. It is too broad to be taken seriously but not quite broad enough to be taken as a joke, something that I believe was the intention. Instead, it feels like Running With Scissors hedged their bets in this regard, not wanting to go too far down the parody path but being almost just as reluctant to make a serious statement.

I am possibly being too hard on Postal Redux. The game itself is fine. Its gameplay can get repetitive after a while but with the Rampage mode, there is always a reason to go back for more. I think my issue with Postal Redux is more of a reflection of what I was expecting a Postal game to be. The game is probably just as violent as the original, but the landscape of gaming has changed in a drastic and fundamental way. Audiences are not easy to shock, at least gamers aren’t and instead of trying to go down the path of controversy, Running With Scissors tried to take a more light-hearted approach to this remake. The problem seems to be that they didn’t go far enough down the path of comedy and parody and in the end Postal Redux comes off more as a middle of the road time killer than the controversial powerhouse that it once was. There is nothing wrong with middle of the road and if you like top down, twin stick shooters then you should definitely check Postal Redux out, just don’t take it too seriously.