For those people not of my *ahem* vintage, the original POSTAL was released way back in 1997 by developer Running With Scissors (remember that date because we’ll revisit it here in a bit). The premise was simple: everyone went f’n nuts and you, the crazy Postal Dude with an arsenal, is there to rid the world of these cuckoo birds. That’s the story, love it or hate it. Simplistic. To the point. Perfect.
POSTAL Redux is not a reboot in the strictest sense; and this is a good thing as I’ve always loved Postal. Starring a murderous character in a trench coat, it would eventually receive its share of negative publicity after the horrific events that took place in 1999 at Columbine High School. The similarities of the game’s lead character to the murderers was uncanny and as such became one of the fallback reasons for the tragedy.
This, of course, was unfounded bull. The game never takes itself seriously but yet the graphics are stunning and the gameplay effortless. If you need to blow off steam then Postal Redux is a fantastic way to just sit back and kill shit. It has certainly helped me!
As the Postal Dude you come armed with a machine gun that has a limited range and but infinite bullets. In addition, you can pick up a shotgun, rocket launcher (with two type of missiles), .357 Magnum, and other weapons. You also have a secondary weapon slot where you can have hand grenades, dynamite, land mines, Molotov cocktails among others. Gameplay is so simple that within a minute or two you will be murdering harmless bystanders, cops, military, construction worker, and even an entire marching band with all of your various weapons. It’s simple spray and prey type of stuff.
Each weapons has its effective distance and rate of fire. Your machine gun has an infinite supply of rounds so is your signature weapon. Each level features a high quality area (trailer park, cave, small town, etc.) in which to commit carnage, pick up new weapons, and increase your health. Each area has a certain number of inhabitants and a death toll you need to reach in order to move to the next level.
There aren’t any complaints that I can think of as Running with Scissors gave us exactly what we wanted: Postal in HD. As a fan of all things free roaming RPG I was hoping they would take the time to add SOME story elements to the Redux, even if just cutscene nonsense. They didn’t, and perhaps this was for the best.
Let’s be honest: POSTAL Redux isn’t a game you’re going to invest a lot of anything into. It’s pointless fun and that’s all it was ever designed to be. It’s a gory (just barely – there aren’t even exploding body parts) top-down shooter like many arcade games were in the late 80s and 90s, just updated for the HD crowd. If you’re looking for a stress reliever without dropping a few hundred bucks on therapy, you could certainly do worse. If you prefer couch surfing and extolling your deepest feelings then, well, buy it anyway because you lost your gamer edge.