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Postal 2: Paradise Lost

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By Doubleplus27-04-2015
Postal 2: Paradise Lost

The Defence

Developer:
Running With Scissors
Publisher:
Running With Scissors
Genre:
Adventure, Shooter
Release Date:
14-04-2015

The Prosecution

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHZ
AMD equivalent
VGA:
Nvidia GeForce 8600
AMD equivalent
RAM:
2 GB
HDD:
5 GB
DirectX:
8

The Case

Postal 2’s world a heavily satirical one where everyone (including the player) is two seconds away from pulling out a weapon and shooting everything that moves. Even something as simple as going to the store to pick up a gallon of milk is bound to end in violence. From there it builds upon itself, starting from things as mundane as waiting in line at the bank, to escaping a Post Office full of disgruntled, heavily armed postal workers, to trying to make it home during a violent cat-raining apocalypse. Unfortunately, its first expansion pack, Apocalypse Weekend, and its sequel that everyone would just like to pretend never happened, didn't really pull that same feeling off. Can the expansion pack, Paradise Lost, coming more than a decade late hope to succeed where the others have failed?

The Trial

To start off, I’m gonna get the obvious out of the way: It is an expansion pack to a game that is over a decade old and therefore suffers from the outdated engine. Ragdolls are buggy, the animations are stiff, and the game’s general aesthetic is very, very aged. Pretty much anything Postal 2 suffers from in this day and age, Paradise Lost suffers all the same. Then again, you can't really expect much more from a $7 expansion pack of a game from 2003.

They seem generous. I should go ask for money.

They seem generous. I should go ask for money.

Putting aside the dating problem, Postal 2: Paradise Lost is pretty much everything I’ve been wanting from a Postal 2 sequel. For the most part, rather than pretending that I’m here for the “FPS action” it instead relies on everything that made Postal 2 a great game. I think that most Postal fans would agree that we aren’t here to be forced to go guns blazing in on a linear succession of enemies. What we are here for is to be given a seemingly easy list of mundane chores with both violent and peaceful ways of accomplishing it.

Without even having it explicit, Postal 2 and Paradise Lost, has one of the best execution of a morality system possible, despite being barebones in terms of being an actual system, per se. The “evil” option is usually easier and pays off more at the cost of being more dangerous and likely to get you killed or jailed, while the “good” (then again, not murdering everyone you see pretty much makes you Mother Teresa in terms of Postal morality) option is usually harder and less rewarding but is usually, though not always, safer and you get the smug satisfaction of having taken the road of non-violence.

However, note the use of “for the most part.” Paradise Lost isn’t without its blemishes where it forgets itself. Towards the end, you are forced to fight several bosses, pacifism or no pacifism. Most of them are fine, however, I assume that anyone who aren’t armed to the teeth because they are doing a pacifism run aren’t going to have a good time. However with a bit of preplanning and hoarding ammo and health, they aren’t a huge deal.

Ahhh... Memories.

Ahhh... Memories.

The one single boss that really...really...made me stop having fun was the final boss. It’s not even an issue of it being difficult, ammo replenishing zombies and health dropping skeletons are everywhere begging for a sledgehammer to the face. What really made it go from a slight annoyance to an exercise in not having an aneurism from sheer anger was just how badly designed it was. Its ridiculous amount of health makes it take forever to die combined with a punch attack that has a chance of throwing you into lava and killing you, a “suck” attack that is SUPPOSED to bring you into their stomach, making you have to escape before digestion kills you, that has a chance of instead just pulling you into the lava pit and insta-killing you. That, alongside the amount of crashing from bugged lava particles or something, made it so the only reason I was able to beat it was a developer oversight that allowed them to be affected by an insta-kill item.

However that huge fucking pimple didn't really manage to kill what was otherwise a fantastic experience. Paradise Lost managed to capture that one spark that Postal 2 had that really made it one of my favorite games of all time. The sheer ridiculousness of it all really plays to its favor rather than having a sense of “trying too hard” that many games that try to be “ridiculous” tend to have (*coughcoughBorderlandscoughcough*). The sheer amount of love and care that went into it in every little detail of its world, every inch of which is begging to be examined is almost palpable.

The Verdict

Anyone who was a fan of Postal 2 and was spurned by Apocalypse Weekend and That Game that Should Not be Named But I Am Anyway For Clarity: Postal 3, will be sure to find that Postal 2: Paradise Lost captures the essence of everything they loved about Postal 2 and is exactly what they would want from another iteration of the series. It’s immature, crass, rude, and every synonym for “disgusting” in the book, and you’ll love almost every second of it.

Case Review

  • Go Postal or Dont: The ability not to kill everyone makes doing exactly that more special.
  • Search Every Nook and Cranny: Large open map with secrets and areas that can be explored for goodies or for the hell of it.
  • Gross-Out Humor: P2’s brand of humor is one that vomit, piss and blood make frequent appearances.
  • Cheap: The base game is extremely cheap and so is Paradise Lost at $7.
  • Aged Like Milk: The engine is from 2003 and suffers for it.
  • Broken Keyboard: Final Boss is a literal and figurative monstrosity.
4
Score: 4/5
I still regret nothing.
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