By: John C. Mayberry
There are sure to be some sick little puppies amongst any fanbase, especially that of the virtual kind. But come on, is that really a bad thing? Really, think about it, have the supposed diseased minds of game programmers not occasionally brought gamers some of their most guilty pleasures? Anybody who’s played the disturbing, yet entertaining 1997 classic Postal, will understand completely. A fun play for what could arguably be all the wrong reasons, the original version really struck a chord with the older gaming audience, pre-teens who knew how much their parents would freak out if they knew they had it, or others who were likely scarred for life. For the new generation of gaming’s twisted little minds, the PlayStation 4 version of the remake, Postal Redux, is a clear and welcome reminder that the video games that shocked parents, probably to the point of considering professional help for their kids, are still alive and well for anyone who can stomach them.
Once again taking control of the Postal Dude, players will replay through the original seventeen levels, along with the two additional ones featured in the Japan-exclusive Super Postal, and the Special Delivery levels, which were first released as an expansion onto the 1997 original. The premise is as disturbing as it was back then, with the Postal Dude being tasked with wiping out all the hostiles in various areas, and any unfortunate pedestrians caught in the middle as well, to proceed through the game, with his rampage coming to its climax at an air force base. In between levels, players are also treated to equally disturbing artwork that’s consistent and fitting with the tone of the game, along with cryptic diary entries that really give players a glimpse into his demented mind. With a top-down view and an improved set of controls, players are still provided with a game that proves an addictive, continuous challenge since this series’ debut over 20 years ago.
Completely re-made using the Unreal 4 engine, Postal Redux still possesses all the sick and twisted fun that came with the original and then some. Everything from the extra levels to different gameplay modes, this is a title worth a play for anyone whose taste in gaming is open to the more brutal, mature themed concepts. The controversial material of this game is, I’m sure, one of the main things that appeals to older gamers almost immediately. Attention getting, however, is only one thing Postal Redux has going for it, as it also offers solid gameplay which, together with the excellently designed levels, will continue not only grab the attention of players everywhere, but will keep it for ages.
Minimal hold time – The hold time between levels is minimal to the point of being almost non-existent. Players will love how quickly they’re able to get straight to playing the game, which overall enhances the strategic, yet fast-paced nature of this game.
Gameplay – An improvement on the original, gameplay is easy to pick up with responsive button commands. Together with level design, players are continuously provided an addicting gameplay experience where they can test their skill across multiple difficulty levels.
Sound quality – The game’s audio was completely re-recorded with sharper sound quality from the game’s characters and sound effects alike. The music/sound effects heard on the load screens is eerie, twisted sounding, and matches the overall feel of the game nicely.
Improvements on the original – Postal Redux was remade using the Unreal 4 engine, giving players loads of updated content on top of the original 17 levels. Various camera/graphics filters, animated artwork, re-recorded sound, extra gameplay modes including rampage and the new online multiplayer co-op mode.
No extra benefit from gratuitous violence – Faithful to the carnage-fueled original, pedestrians frequently get in the way of the Postal Dude’s rampage in this game as well, which is done to a degree of dark comedic effect, at first. They appear in every level and usually in great numbers, and in a game with 23 levels altogether, is something that not only grows stale, but there are no rewards for shooting them or sparing them, which to some will make their inclusion seem unnecessary to the game for nothing more than shock value.
Glitches – Players may encounter glitches during gameplay, which at minimum are a minor distraction. Other glitches, however, can affect gameplay, especially when a player’s shots do nothing to other hostile characters or players, which will leave them vulnerable to attack.
OVERALL SCORE – 8.5 out of 10
The ideal game for the sick, twisted, and fun-loving individual who appreciates a good game, no matter how far out there, or for that matter even, how offensive, the material presented may be. Other than occasional glitches and a extra NPCs that really don’t seem like they need to be there, Postal Redux achieves exactly what Running With Scissors started with the original, with several improvements that will keep dedicated fans of the series, and other gamers alike, coming back for more.