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The Postal Dude is back in yet another controversial episode of gratuitous violence and social commentary. This game has been in development since 2006 and I for one was glad to see it's release, being a huge fan of Postal 2. Will this be worth the wait? Read on comrades...
Graphics: 3/5 (Average)
The game has been moved from the Unreal 2 engine to Valve's acclaimed Source engine. The graphics are quite good, but they often glitch and end up looking bad. The blood & gore effects are very well done though, let the gibs fly!
Sound: 2/5 (Bad)
Something went horribly wrong here. One of the things fans loved about Postal 2 was the Dude's funny one-liners and distinctive voice. Granted that a lot of the one-liners are taken from Postal 2, but fans like myself will agree they're not the same because RWS/Akella have changed voice actor. However, the rest of the voice acting - especially the NPC's random conversations - is great. Some of the music and other SFX could use improvement though.
Controls: 1/5 (Awful)
The Source engine is an FPS engine, not a TPS engine. Melee is a fucking nightmare and the camera is always in the way. I spent 10 minutes alone just messing with the developer console to try and sort this out, that's how much it bugged me.
Gameplay: 2/5 (Bad)
So much win, yet so much fail.
This game is not a sandbox like Postal 2 was, in fact, it's about as linear as the Apocalypse Weekend expansion. RWS/Akella have gone for a third-person approach, but it's crap. It just doesn't work in the Source engine very well. They've even put a Gears of War style cover mechanic and even fucking regenerating health! Has a phobia of health kits emerged in recent years?
One mission, I'm trying to lure cats using catnip, only to be attacked by some Mexican sushi chefs. I have a machete and I think "Stabbin' time!". Or so I thought, right up until I tried to deprive someone of their head, only to either miss completely or hit their arms on several occasions. Really, melee hit detection is a joke.
Another thing; why are the guns so piss-weak? Do the NPCs have skin made of kevlar? Also why is the AI sniper-accurate with the LMG, but sometimes ignores you if you run past them? I don't ever recall the AI in Source games being this dumb. I've seen enemies walk past allies and they don't even notice. How does that even work?
I will say though RWS haven't lost their sense of humor. There are very few games that I actually find funny and Postal has always been on the list. It's too bad that the good doesn't outweigh the bad.
Replay Value: 2/5 (Bad)
I'm struggling to finish this game the first time. There are other endings and some achievements but unless they do an update, I'm probably not going to bother. It'll be like Deus Ex: Invisible War - install it, complete it for the story and then decide to never play it again.
Final Score: 10/25 (Bad)
What a fucking disappointment. I'm actually angry that I bought this game. This failure of a game reminds me of Duke Nukem Forever - both games took forever to make and sucked. Don't get me started on the DRM/copy protection. You get one activation. Granted you can deactivate your key, but if you lose your hard drive (for whatever reason), you're fucked because you can't deactivate.
I think RWS' biggest mistakes were changing the Dude's voice actor, making this game third-person, unnecessarily changing to the Source engine and, worst of all, outsourcing development to a Russian game's company! Don't get me wrong, I love the Source engine but Postal just doesn't work in it.
Bottom line is just get Postal 2 instead. Maybe get Apocalypse Weekend. Either way, don't waste your time with this crap, unless they do some serious patches/updates. Even then, it would probably make the game go from bad to mediocre/average.
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