Publisher: Running with Scissors
Developer: Running with Scissors
Release Date: Q2 2009
It takes a special breed of gamer to appreciate the humor and design of the Postal series. The team at Running with Scissors should, in a way, be commended for sticking with their guns for all these years. The games they've created have always been rude, crude and utterly hilarious, and now they're back with Postal III, yet another game that is sure to delight and offend all at once.
Those familiar with the Postal titles will remember that at the end of Postal 2, the town of Paradise was destroyed via nuclear bomb. Therefore, the Postal Dude must relocate, and this time, he finds himself in the town of Catharsis. Obviously, it's kind of hard to take care of necessities like food and shelter without any money, so the Postal Dude must take on various jobs to get by.
In the GDC demo of Postal III, the developers showcased a mission which took place in a ahem … "gentlemen's club," where you were given a modified wet/dry vacuum and assigned "cleanup duty." You then proceed to make your way around the club to take care of the customers' leavings, which you can in turn fire back at them, in a sort of karmic retribution. Later in the mission, the establishment is beset by angry soccer moms, and these rather rotund women must be taken care of by using either lethal or non-lethal force. One possible solution involves sucking up certain large, vibrating devices and firing them at these women, if you catch my drift.
Now then, if the above highly sanitized mission description offended you, then you may as well move along to something else because you're not going to want to take part in this. However, if you find yourself laughing uncontrollably at the mere thought of what may happen next, then welcome to the Postal brotherhood. At first you're going to feel a bit dirty, but you're just going to have to get over that.
Players have the option of either playing as a good and civil character, or a cold-hearted, take-no-prisoners jerk. The missions you are offered change depending on which path you choose, and there are different endings for different play styles. If you wish to be a good and noble soul, you will end up helping the citizens of Catharsis improve their day-to-day lives. If you choose the evil route, you'll be hacking up innocent pedestrians with your badger chainsaw. Yes, one of the weapons the team is working on is a badger strapped into a harness that you can use to shred and maim anyone who's in your path. I told you these guys were twisted.
In addition to the single-player mode, Postal III will also be featuring full online multiplayer. Plans currently allow up to 16 players on the consoles, with even more on the PC. While multiplayer details are not yet being revealed, I personally can't wait to see what sort of modes make it into the final build. If you thought blasting friends with a Spartan Laser was fun, you ain't seen nothing yet.
The last Postal ran on the Unreal Engine, but this time, the developers have opted to use the Valve Source Engine to deliver the payload. The demo build is still very rough, but it's still very early in the creation process, and we've all seen just how good a game can look when the engine is humming along smoothly. Indeed, those badger chainsaw kills will look all the more glorious with each passing day.
One big question mark will be just how much Running with Scissors will be able to get away with, considering that Postal III is being released for the Xbox 360 and the PS3 in addition to the PC. Previously, the guys could include pretty much whatever they wanted (including using decapitated heads as soccer balls), but this time around, the suits at Sony and Microsoft will have the final say in what is deemed appropriate and what is over the top. The guys say they're fine with that, and they understand that the transition to consoles will mean sacrifices; they just hope that the fans are willing to stick with them even if things have to be toned down a bit.
With Postal III, PC owners will get another dose of the hilarious and risqué franchise, while console owners will get to take their first whack at it. With the promise of another solid single-player outing, massive online death matches and future downloadable content via the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, it seems as though the wait between games will have been totally worth it. The easily offended and politically correct should do themselves a favor and stay away when Postal III comes for everyone else's soul.
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