Duke Nukem Forever's Aborted Son
The Postal Series has been around for awhile now. Starting off with the original Postal game in 1997, it was a gritty, intelligent and funny, which made it one of the most unique IP on the market. Eight years later after Postal 2, the postal series has finally returned to conclude the trilogy. What could have been a great game is instantly turned it into a cosmic mess with no clear direction, outdated controller and horrible game design. Postal III isn’t just the worst downloadable game I have ever played, it is by far the worst game I have ever played.
One of the first problems you’re going to spot is the overall story. The Story is focused around you as you play as The Postal Dude, your average muscular dude who got thrown into a situation he has to solve. The Story in Postal III has no clear direction and no goal on where it wants it take you. It is seemly just another comedic sketch over and over again.
Postal III puts you in a post apocalyptic world, but it never quit feels like it. You never get the sense that you are isolate, on the run and need to survive. Majority of your time you spend in small town called Catharsis. The streets are always filled with people and the city looks un-scratched from the post apocalyptic climate. All together, you never get the sense that they are in danger and you are never enriched in the setting. One of the many reasons the setting is toned down is because it is trying to provide the comedic attitude that the series is known for.
Through out the game, what would be missions or quests in similar games are replaced with comedic sketches that fail to be funny. Right off the bat, you are tossed into situation that for the most part are hit and miss. There are some sketches that will give you a laugh, but they are very far in between. Along the way, you will come across a few celebrities who lend their talents to the game, but the problem is that they are given little to work with and are poorly executed.
In one of the first missions of the game after you complete the prologue, you are forced to do the most absolutely insane jobs in order to re-fuel your car. From vacuuming up tissues off the floor in a sex shop and shooting them right back at the customers. To helping a local terrorist group battle Osama Bin Laden by rounding up diseased cats. To lastly killing off an angry mob of Mexican -Sushi restaurateurs. Many will enjoy it for it comedic attitude, but it quickly gets old due how linear the game is. What really diminishes the comedic aspect of the game is the dreadful presentation.
Postal III has been in development for eight years, which is one of the longest development cycles in recent memory. You would of thought that the franchise would make leaps and bounds, but the exact opposite happen. Previously, the engine driving the Postal franchise was Epic’s Unreal engine. In Postal III however, Running With Scissors developed the product under Valve’s Steam engine. The results in glitchy experience that looks outdated filled with inexcusable errors for a current gen product.
The graphics are by far the worst thing Postal III brings to the table. The graphics are in creditable out dated. Shadows and textures pop in and out. Facial textures look awful. These graphics are no shape or form acceptable for current gen hardware. What makes it worse are the annoying glitches in the game.
Far too often, your progress in the game will be stopped at a stand still. To entire area’s blacked out because of the extra time need to load part of the map. By far the worse glitch I experienced, was my entire save vanishing from my game. Making my experience more troublesome then it should have be. Another problem I had was the dialogue in the game. Far too often characters fail to lip - sync to the script, resulting in an ugly result. For the most part it will appear that characters are mumbling through the script, making actors performance look below par and highly unforgettable.
These things should have been ironed out with beta testing, but you can tell this was something they overlooked or skipped entirely. Post apocalyptic wastelands are a mess to go through, but Postal III graphical wasteland tops it all. In many ways, I wish Valve stopped this game from hitting store shelves and give them more time to clean up these mistakes. All this could have been forgiven if the gameplay was decent but it follows a very similar path.
Postal III has perhaps has the weirdest shooting set up I have had to deal with recently. For the PC, you can only shoot by right clicking on the mouse and you aren't given control to arc your grenade. Besides grenades, there are some truly bizarre guns that are fun to fool around with. You want variety with your gunplay, well here you go as every gun plays differently while providing a few laughs in the process.
The Gunplay is sufficient, but I wish I could tweak things around in the settings. If your looking for something groundbreaking and original. You’re simply not going to get it with it taking little or no chances. Postal III focuses squarely on its comedic attitude.
I don’t know who I should more mad at, Postal III for giving me everything I didn’t want out of a game or the developers themselves. I can’t believe that the people behind Running with Scissors would take eight years to put out one of the worst games I have ever played. Then to make things worse, every time you die a developer will flash onto the screen and give you the middle figure. I can understand and respect a developer who knows that their product isn’t great, but don’t you dare make fun of the people who support you day in and day out.
Simply put, Postal III is an injustice to game design and most importantly an injustice to loyal fans of the franchise. If Running With Scissors was trying to develop a product that was so bad, it made Duke Nukem Forever look good. Then after eight long years, you can say that it's the only thing they accomplished.
Score: 1 Out Of 10