The postman always rings three times

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
Author and references

There are software houses that are only remembered for a video game. In the case of Running With Scissors, however, the situation is different: Postal is the only franchise ever born by the team, and we can say without fear of denial that the reasons for its popularity (a film has also been made, which is the best that the fearsome Uwe Boll ever directed) should not be sought in the quality of the product, but in its being decidedly over the top in terms of the topics covered and the visual violence. The first episode, released in 1997, saw us controlling the protagonist, Postal Dude, in an action context with an isometric view, in which our goal was simply to kill as many enemies as possible to go to the next level, without the although minimum plot supplied.



With the second episode, released in 2003, the team chose to turn everything into a first person shooter, providing the character with some leeway, pushing the accelerator even further on gratuitous violence and adding a humor to the mix. very low league, full of references to sex and racism. This actually made the series famous, albeit in the wrong way, so much so that in some countries Postal was even banned. Eight years have passed since then, and Running With Scissors has decided to change the shape of its creature once again, moving to the third person shooter genre. Postal Dude finds himself stuck in the seemingly quiet town of Catharsis and has to do some chores to raise the money to fill up his car and drive away. The structure of Postal III is based precisely on the nature of these "jobs", assimilated to single and practically self-contained missions: suffice it to say that the first task we will have to perform is to collect, through a vacuum cleaner, the paper handkerchiefs used by customers in the "booths for the masturbation "of a large sex shop, then defending the shop from the assault of a group of angry feminists. And this is certainly not the lowest point of the game, in fact it is literally just the beginning.



Going Postal

One of the (few) strengths of Postal 2 was represented by the huge number of weapons available to the protagonist, able to kill anyone in any way: from guns to swords, passing through ninja stars, hammers and flammable liquid, it was possible rage both on armed people and on unsuspecting passers-by, tearing them to pieces and possibly urinating on their corpses (well, let's hope no one makes a juxtaposition with the recent - and shameful - news stories regarding the Marine corps). Most of these elements have been taken up for the third episode, and in fact using the mouse wheel it is possible to equip the most disparate tools, which this time include a laser pointer to poke the faithful pitbull Champ against the lower parts of an enemy, one pepper spray (using it on officers in riot gear clearly represents a quote from what happened to some Occupy Wall Street demonstrators), a heavy machete capable of tearing apart enemies, grenades, pistols, rifles and so on.

Dance something here ...

The problem is that the scenic effect of most of the most imaginative weapons does not go hand in hand with their effectiveness, and the degree of difficulty of the game will force us to equip only the most reliable and effective tools, putting everything else aside. . This is just one of the limits deriving from the almost total lack of balance of the new Running With Scissors production, which stands out in particular for the artificial intelligence of the opponents, equal to zero: the NPCs move following predetermined patterns, once alerted they simply come towards us and attack, however without flinching when we return the fire, until they fall to the ground lifeless. If the defect ends up being partially "masked" during firefights, it reveals itself in all its drama when we have to fight with our bare hands, highlighting one of the worst collision detection systems ever seen in a video game: Postal Dude throws punches in the air, the enemy moves as if nothing had happened and we even have to chase him to keep hitting him. We will have proof of having actually hit him when, after a series of direct, he finally goes to the ground. The very low sensation of impact is amplified by the lack of support for controllers: managing a third-person action game with a mouse and keyboard is not in itself the best of life, and in this specific case the experience proves to be particularly frustrating, cumbersome and badly made.



"I'm on the side of good!"

The developers have tried to insert an element of novelty by providing the player with the possibility to choose between two different "alignments" from a certain point of the adventure, to be precise to be on the side of the police (and therefore to face enemies with non-lethal weapons) or side with the evil mayor Chomo (played by Ron Jeremy, a veteran of American porn) and with his uncle Dave, then use the classic arsenal without getting too much trouble if you kill some civilians.

It goes without saying that the second option turns out to be the most faithful to the philosophy that has always characterized Postal, as well as the least worst due to the high degree of difficulty. Beyond this factor, unfortunately, there is very little that can be worth buying Postal III, currently on sale only on Direct2Drive and GameFly, respectively at a price of 29,95 pounds and 39,99 dollars (the release on Steam, scheduled for the end of December, has been mysteriously postponed). It is in fact a title made really bad, very frustrating due to the poor combat system and the non-existent artificial intelligence, with repetitive missions that involve the elimination of a certain number of targets or the defense of a certain subject, and that they differ only in the themes, each time more "rough" but unable to snatch the slightest smile, their level is so low. The only thing that can be saved is the technical sector, powered by the proven Source engine (and therefore able to run even on low-mid-range PCs), which offers a good amount of scenarios and characters fairly realized (even if most are clones of each other). On the other hand, the loading times are very bad, very long, while on the glitch front we report the presence of a lot of more or less serious problems, to be solved by patches.



Comment

Resources4Gaming.com

3.0

Readers (73)

6.8

Your vote

Let's clarify things immediately: we have no problem with the issues addressed by Postal III, despite the humor of the game being so low-key that it saddens rather than elicits a laugh. We are for freedom of expression and therefore this intentionally absurd and exaggerated vision of issues such as social integration, sexually transmitted diseases (we want to talk about the AIDS sick monkeys that infect passers-by in an at least imaginative way?) And of course the violence. The problem is that you cannot make an "outrageous" product and hope that people will talk about it and buy it simply for that reason, and unfortunately the third episode of Postal, perhaps more than the previous ones, is clearly set up in this way, given the obvious shortcomings in terms of quality and variety of gameplay. Forget it.

PRO

  • Discreet technical realization
  • Two possible ways to follow
  • A lot of weapons available ...
AGAINST
  • ... but the combat system is bad
  • Artificial intelligence practically non-existent
  • Extremely linear and repetitive action

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Processore Intel Core i3 350M
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • Scheda video ATI Radeon HD 5650
  • Windows 7 operating system

Minimum requirements

  • 3,0 GHz Intel Pentium IV processor
  • 2 GB in RAM (Windows XP), 4 GB in RAM (Windows Vista, Windows 7)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6600 video card, ATI Radeon X800
  • 13,5 GB of free hard disk space
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 operating system

Recommended Requirements

  • 2 GHz Intel Core 2,4 Duo processor
  • 3 GB in RAM (Windows XP), 4 GB in RAM (Windows Vista, Windows 7)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7600 video card, ATI Radeon X1600
  • 13,5 GB of free hard disk space
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 operating system

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