reTHROWBACK: Postal 2
reTHROWBACK is a random encounter with a game that we’ve played before. It can be from games from the post-Millennium Bug era, or back when the PlayStation was sinisterly manufactured in a coup d’etat against SEGA’s all-mighty, all-encompassing black box. We bring back the classics that influenced a whole generation of simulations that wished you to become like a Roman emperor or an operative who slips through enemy guards disguised as a walking corrugated box.
I clearly remember the days when I was still writing my undergraduate thesis. I chose to expertly defend the topic of the impact of video games to the minds of people playing them regularly. The Internet helped a lot in my research, particularly during my long hours looking for case studies pointing out how Mortal Kombat’s graphic content pushed for the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Jack Thompson’s perpetual hatred of video games. The media blamed Doom II into coercing Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold from carrying out the deadliest school shooting in the USA. And Grand Theft Auto unwittingly catches the vitriol of the public whenever a teenager – obsessed with video games and violent sub-genres of popular culture – had killed someone after a few hours shooting civilians sharing the same facial features and fashion statement.
After taking a few steps back, I was surprised that I never thought of pursuing additional research over the legacy that Postal 2 had left after it was released. Reports were disturbing and Running with Scissors, Postal 2’s developer confidently battled their way out of threats and lawsuits that momentarily affected how the game would be received internationally. Today, it’s a celebrated cult classic. In 2003, Postal 2 drew the hatred of PC Gamer and offended a lot of sacred, well-mannered advocacies.
Many felt that Postal 2 was offensive and inappropriate. The game attracted a lot of animosity from the entertainment industry and the political arena also: a senator ranked it as as America’s biggest problem, while mainstream review destinations hated the game’s inability to drive a capable story that can seriously justify the copious amount of no holds barred violence viciously waiting in between levels.
Postal 2 is a first-person shooter that takes place in the fictional town of Paradise. The Postal Dude is the game’s protagonist, and he is placed in several unusual situations after completing tasks echoed by his irritatingly demanding wife. There will be missions like returning a book from the town’s library. Seconds later, the library has been set on fire by a hate group that inexplicably loathes the production of books. Two choices can be made during the assault: dodge the shotgun shells and escape the burning library in one piece or savagely fight back by using a garden shear to cut down the protesters limb from limb.
Underneath, Postal 2 is a psychological expedition of what could happen when someone on the brink of self-destruction lets loose that steam crowding the valve. Postal Dude knows how to fall in line and wait for his turn, but those in front of him are dangerously impatient and unwilling to give up their spot to rub elbows with Gary Coleman first. It’s really up to the player to decide if the line would end completely without anyone getting hurt or have everyone scramble for their lives after they have been garnished with gasoline and set on fire immediately after that.
Postal Dude has been given a laundry list of things to do; he wants to get back home and do the same again tomorrow. Fascinatingly, Postal 2 will only get violent, if the player responds violently. You can sidestep the brand of lawlessness available at Paradise all the way, but Postal 2 was never meant to be played passively and unassumingly. At its simplest, Postal 2 is an efficient, low-budget stress-reliever that for a moment allows us to escape a life of never-ending queues and divisiveness on all fronts.
You can Download Postal 2 for a small price on Steam. Now that’s the ticket!