POSTAL 2: Paradise Lost

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It’s been ten years since the Apocalypse Weekend expansion came out for POSTAL 2, so when I saw that a new expansion pack was planned for it; I was more than a little surprised. For those not familiar with the game, it’s probably best described as a game designed to push the boundaries of poor taste. It was a game that promoted drug use, animal abuse and the slaughter of hundreds of innocent people in the most gruesome ways imaginable. In some places it didn’t even make it through the ratings board because it presented such abhorrent ideas. If you’re faint of heart, then you can make it through the game as a pacifist, it’s just incredibly difficult and a lot less fun. All the chaos and havoc that you’re able to wreak in Postal 2 is what makes it unbelievably fun. It’s one of those games that has no filter, where you can do as you please. Feel like hacking someone’s limbs off and then pissing on them? Go ahead. Want to control a horde of dogs to attack the police? Nothing’s stopping you. You’re free to go around and destroy the entire city of Paradise if you feel the urge.

Paradise Lost is, as you’d expect, back to the tried and tested chaos formula. It takes place eleven years after the Postal Dude set off the nuke in Apocalypse Weekend, with the hero heading back towards the nuclear wasteland of Paradise to find his lost dog. The game is a wonderful parody of the Fallout series, right down to the opening introduction movie and the destroyed environment of the town. For those that have played through the original POSTAL 2, as well as its expansion, there’s a lot to love about this game. There are a lot of throwbacks to the previous instalments, from all of the previous props being spread throughout the world to the appearances of some familiar, beloved characters.

Krotchy

It’s Krotchy the Clown in all his phallic glory!

There are some cool new enemies and features in the game – the best new thing in the game comes in the form of a urinal-based robot enemy that can be defeated in two ways: smash it to smithereens with your ridiculous arsenal, or take a leak in it. The benefit to doing it the latter way, besides the hilarity of it and the lines they come out with, is that they’ll spit out some food or drink for you! Running with Scissors also introduced a couple of incredibly useful vending machines. These offer you weapons or drugs at relatively good prices, meaning no longer having to remember where weapons and cat nip spawns and revisiting it at regular intervals.

In the years that passed, the town of Paradise changed significantly. All the buildings have changed who owns them, new shops have sprung up in the place of older shops and there are new factions roaming around the world. In addition to the urinal robots, there are doomsday survivalists, zombies and vigilante cops roaming around. Even making an appearance, as if lifted directly out of Fallout New Vegas (and shoved unceremoniously into the Unreal engine), there are bandits wandering around. They generally ignore you, but some will attempt to rob you every now and then.

Raider

Robbing me didn’t work out too well for you did it?

One thing hasn’t changed in this game though, and that’s the humour. It’s still got its sarcastic look on just about everything. There’s a section of the game where you have to visit a video game company who are advertising first day DLC, and, of course, the paid first day DLC bugfix patch. There are even laughs to be found in the arcade, with some of the hilariously politically incorrect arcade machines available. A large portion of the humour in this game is targeted at anyone who has criticised the developers for anything.

I did really enjoy Paradise Lost, but I can’t say I finished it. I think I was close to finishing it, but whenever I took on the final boss, the game would crash. The game had crashed earlier on but as I couldn’t replicate it, I decided to ignore it. Unfortunately, multiple crashes during the final boss gives the impression the game isn’t quite as polished as Running with Scissors would have liked. I’m hoping they patch it, because I was really enjoying the magnificent mayhem that they’ve recreated, and the crash put a serious dampener on the game, especially as I was so close to completion. The saving grace is that there is an autosave whenever you enter a new area, so I didn’t lose too much progress, it was just disappointing that the game left me unable to complete it.

Helper monkeys at their finest.

At least they introduced some cute little helper monkeys to help forget the crashing!

If you’ve played any of the Fallout games and the base POSTAL 2 game, you’ll really enjoy this expansion. Even if you haven’t, it’s a great play through; there are some fun Easter eggs to find, notably from Borderlands and Minecraft. There aren’t that many new features to speak of in this game. As we’re in the era of patches coming thick and fast to patch bugs in game, I have no doubts that the crashing I encountered will be resolved, but until I see that downloading bar on my Steam client, I’m going to remain relatively disappointed with this DLC.

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