Postal III Review

Bad gameplay, bad jokes, and bad technical execution make Postal III one bad game.

Almost 15 years ago Postal was released on the PC, giving players a chance to go on a virtual murder spree and setting off a wave of outrage from concerned parties. A few sequels and expansion packs later, Postal III has arrived with a fresh new slate of gory gameplay and gross-out humor. Though the ragged limb dismemberment delivers on the gore front, the game falls short in every other respect. Stilted controls, terrible AI, and poor level design make playing Postal III a chore, while an utter lack of wit or cleverness causes the humor to fall flat. When you add in a suite of disruptive and game-crashing bugs, you've got one dismal download.

Postal III begins with a lengthy cutscene chronicling Postal Dude's sordid past, which involves a whole lot of violence and strange characters. None of it is necessary to follow the plot of Postal III, which is just a long string of bizarre exploits motivated by Dude's need to get paid or get out of bad situations. Your first two jobs offer a glimpse of the vulgarity and irreverence to come. First, you must vacuum up soiled tissues from a porn video arcade and shoot them at protesting hockey moms who have invaded the store under the leadership of a Sarah Palin look-a-like. If you hit one with enough dirty rags, she will vomit profusely and then leave the store. Success! The store owner/mayor/presidential candidate/human slave trafficker (played by porn legend Ron Jeremy) declines to pay you, so it's out on to the street where you get a gig rounding up murderous cats. These feral felines are infected with AIDS and are therefore driven to maul human beings. They are also the primary meat supply for a local Mexican/sushi restaurant, so soon, you are beset by machete-wielding, gun-toting Asians in aprons and conical hats.

The cutscenes help chain these bizarre scenarios together (narrated in bored tones by Postal Dude), but the whole game continues in this scattershot manner. The disjointed flow creates the feeling that Postal III is the result of an attempt to brainstorm a bunch of wacky and offensive scenarios and then stitch them together into a game. The rogue's gallery comprises tired stereotypes, including bungling police officers, gay cowboys, dirty hippies, obsessive nerds, angry moms, cranky Asians, and belligerent Taliban. Each group either plays its stereotype straight (nerds demand rare action figures!) or does the opposite of what you'd expect it to do (Taliban does business with American fast food joint!), but neither option is ever funny. Postal III aims for some "I can't believe they said that!" shock, but the things they are saying became cliche years ago, and relentless repetition encourages you to tune out most of the chatter. Without a spark of wit, a clever twist, or a sense of comic timing, the writing and dialogue in Postal III remains depressingly humorless.

The perfect crime.

Laughs you do get from the game will likely come from the action itself, but it might take you a while to get there. After the intro cutscene, you begin with a tutorial sequence on a zombie-infested bridge. This acquaints you with the basic movement and shooting mechanics, which are fine if you are using a gun in an open area. If you maneuver around environmental elements, though, you're likely to get hung up on corners or uneven terrain. And if you try to melee attack an enemy, your swings might miss despite being directly on target. Throwing a grenade is straightforward, but pouring gasoline onto enemies and lighting them on fire is finicky and inconsistent. Postal III is shaky on the basics, which gives rise to countless frustrations and awkward situations as you progress.

Once you've come to grips with the stilted gameplay, it's time to learn the limitations of the AI. Allies and enemies behave similarly; they meander unevenly around the conflict zone, stopping to shoot the nearest enemy or simply standing around while the fight rages around them. A single headshot from any gun decapitates your foe instantly, so it's possible to run through dozens of foes with point-and-click ease. But playing as a straight shooter is dull, so you may want to experiment with your large arsenal to spice up things. Molotov cocktails, psychotic cats, a pepper spray flamethrower, and a fart gun are just some of the options, but the more creative you try to get, the more likely it is that you suffer an untimely death. Accidentally killing an ally will double your enemies instantly, and setting yourself on fire is practically a death sentence until you realize that peeing straight up into the sky will save you.

Ah yes, peeing. Once again, you can unzip your fly and pee on anything at any time. This kind of vulgar mayhem has some mischievous appeal, but it soon gets old as you become preoccupied with the numerous deficiencies that block your progress. After enduring some frustration and being bombarded with unfunny dialogue, however, you might find yourself with a bit of a grudge toward the game. At this point, you can take your anger (or any spare anger you have lying around) and perhaps find an outlet in the dark reaches of Postal III.

If you're not careful, your feline ammunition will turn on you.

The vigorous dismemberment mechanic allows you to sever heads and limbs, leaving ugly, ragged wounds that spurt blood. Shredding a body on the ground and then throwing the bloodied appendages at passersby offers a certain perverse appeal, as does the subtler mischief of peeing into a policeman's computer fan. Killing a dog with a badger may not be something you discuss in polite company, but it's less creepy than knocking pedestrians out with your Taser (be sure to hold the trigger until they're unconscious), drenching their bodies in gasoline, and then standing over them with a lit match. Even the game's bugs create amusing situations from time to time, notably when you shoot someone with a previously vacuumed turd and it hangs in midair, radiating poop waves like a small fecal star.

Though you can get some depraved enjoyment and mild catharsis out of such villainy, it is small consolation for the aggravations you must endure while playing Postal III. On top of the defective gameplay and barely functional AI (which makes the few escort missions excruciatingly bad), this is an ugly and unstable game. Homely character models, rough textures, and ungainly animations paired with visual bugs and intermittent crashes add technical deficiency to the long list of flaws. Although there's an alternate ending for going the peaceful route, there's too much wrong with Postal III to make it worth playing even once.

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The Good
Opportunities for perverse mayhem
The Bad
Flawed movement mechanics
Terrible AI
Unpleasant visual presentation
Poor attempts at humor
Technical instabilities
3
Bad
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Chris enjoys aiming down virtual sights, traipsing through fantastical lands, and striving to be grossly incandescent.
114 comments
goatman48
goatman48

Who says "Spice up things";  It's "Spice things up",  and this entire review was a steam of consciousness.  Learn to write.  

Mr-Unmanly
Mr-Unmanly

Maybe if the game wasn't in 1st-person mode all the time it would be ALLOT better.

ahmed_tawfeek98
ahmed_tawfeek98

WHAT?? all the jokes in this game are the same jokes used in Postal 2 that was much better than this,i can tell that they only made this to make money and they have no devotion to what they do.What a shame.

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

i hated postal 1 i loved postal 2, and never played postal 3.... id still bye it if it didnt mean going through heck to get a physical copy...or i can just wait until the 360 version comes out... then at least its hopefully more polished...but i wouldnt hold my breath with the companies track record....

robdayz
robdayz

Postal 2 was lame at times but at least it was more enjoyable than this crap. Come on...after all that time from the second game, they could've at least made up a decent story. Looks like another victim of imported programmers.

LoG-Sacrament
LoG-Sacrament

"Ah yes, peeing." i just pictured chris saying that while wearing a leisurely robe and puffing a pipe.

Staryoshi87
Staryoshi87

@jhonl83 - The difference is that SR3 actually plays well. Postal 3 looks like something from 1998.

linedrive09
linedrive09

You couldn't pay me to play this. Not only does it look dumb and stupid, but just the point of the game is so...HORRIBLE. Grand Theft Auto looks like Littlebigplanet compared to this.

BimboShaggins
BimboShaggins

Is a studio really not able to tell how bad their game is before they release it?

jhonel83
jhonel83

I don't get it - Saints' Row 3 gets a high score for practically the same deal this game offers. Here you throw ferral cats and pee on people, there you whack them with a giant sexual toy. Why is THAT a good fun game and this is not? You complain you can hit people with a led pipe 30 times and they don't die? In SR3 you need to shoot everyone in the head 15 times to even deal damage. With a shotgun. The way reviews are chucked at us nowadays... makes me wonder about if it's worh watching anything not done by Kevin

blackace
blackace

Just watching the video is hilarious. The prisoner in the orange jumpsuit just whacks away a 2 military guards in black uniforms and they do absolutely nothing. Who programmed the AI for this crap? lol!! They don't even shot at you. What's more, it take about 15 shots to the head to drop one of these guys. What!?!? A lead pipe to someone's head 2-3 times isn't going to knock them down? What is this, a NES or Master System game? The 3 score it got must have been for it's below average graphics and sound bites. The first Postal wasn't anything special, but it was 10x's better then this crap.

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

Didn't even know they had made a Postal 3, much less that it had come out. Not sure I understand it. Postal 2 might have delivered some fun moments, but it was altogether a poor game. Wouldn't have expected this to be an improvement, but really, how does RWS expect this to be funny anymore? Even in Postal 2, this kind of humor only lasted momentarily, now it's just archaic and childish, but most of all not funny. If they're going to create a new Postal game (god forbid), they need to go take another look at their writing, actually take the time to create good gameplay, and maybe take a cue from some superior open world sandbox games with similar types of humor (like, say Grand Theft Auto, maybe?). But please, please, please, stop making these crappy games.

magusat999
magusat999

Krotchy is very sad about this - very sad indeed...

Geemy
Geemy

why are they rushing to make games these days they should take their time in order not to see something like that :(

prince__vlad
prince__vlad

I wonder how that moron looks , the one who paid for this game to be made...? Second, how sick can you be to make this sick game ?

bjvill
bjvill

Sorry Postal III. Apparently you just beat Duke Nukem Forever by an inch, but are still miles away from Gods&Generals or Big Rigs.

dono14
dono14

lol at the video how when he is beating the guy with the bat and he just stands there. now that quality AI

eliebaz
eliebaz

Metro gave it 0 :O wow i've never seen that before that must suck the elements in this game looked quite promising i guess they've screwed it up when rushing it's release

termadoyle
termadoyle

Crap. I guess they really wanted to hurry the release instead of making a good game. This looked so promising to me.

IMPACT_17
IMPACT_17

I thoroughly enjoyed Postal 2 as an experimental game. It was a game where you can through it's strange scenarios by killing more innocent people than the average earthquake or by never firing off a single shot. I was kind of hoping this game would be it too, but it doesn't really seem to work out.

Haiku808
Haiku808

I wonder if the guys at Running with Scissors are going to go postal at work when they get laid off for making a crappy game

Xandoom
Xandoom

Looks...terrible...the pillar of bad gaming.

PresidentDman
PresidentDman

I had to stop watching at 1:10, I was getting a headache from the repeated hits with the baseball bat.

johnevegas
johnevegas

I have not played this but by what I am hearing.....too bad. I did love the over the top insane fun and humor in Postal 2. It was not the greatest game but it was a juvenile BLAST. It sounds like this one totally misses ANY mark and not worth the price of admission. I am sure my morbid curiosity will get it one day when it is a $3 download and might be that cheap soon.

Chris_Watters
Chris_Watters staff

@topsemag55 Thanks! Keep an eye out for The Gun Show for more Postal III video debauchery.

hitechgraphs
hitechgraphs

Wow it's really weird to see a videogame that scores so poorly.Whatever it is about I not even bother to see what is all about but outstands in been terrible and that's something to make a commentary.

topsemag55
topsemag55

@Chris_Watters Loved your review, I wish you had done a video like the one Alex Navarro did for Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. It would have been cIassic.:P

JimmyCos
JimmyCos

6 years waiting for Postal 3 and it got a 3, damn

Chris_Watters
Chris_Watters staff

No video review this time, @knewace, but we are cooking up a Postal III Gun Show for later this week or early next week!

knewace
knewace

Where is the video review?

SirCrimson
SirCrimson

Amazing, I haven't played Postal 2, but it at least looks interesting while not being technically "good", but Postal III looks like no enjoyment can be had playing it. Isn't the general idea of a sequel to improve on what came before?

Boubou
Boubou

Played this @edsotic?

Andrew_Xavier
Andrew_Xavier

@KadathBird true, it was a guilty pleasure...but when it was funny, it was hilarious. Uwe Boll *can* make good movies...Tunnel Rats, Rampage *especially* and Heart Of America are all good... I really think he just trolls us all with the video game adaptations, like a modern day Andy Kaufman...but a million times less awesome.

Mehfuz
Mehfuz

why they made this game! i actually enjoyed Postal 2 and stp but this! not even considering putting on my wish list.

serial666k
serial666k

i was really waiting for this game- sounds like it sucks. thats life

AloeVera4
AloeVera4

Ok....this looks absolutely atrocious.....but I think I may just buy it just for the sheer pleasure of wholesale killing without the guilt, or Political Correctness police coming after you!!!! Hahahahaha. And oh yeah...it sucks they made it into a TPS, but oh well.

GabrielOnuris
GabrielOnuris

What about the domestic missions from Postal 2? Can I still take my paycheck, draw my cash in a bank and buy some milk? Those are the kind of tasks that make me wanna hit somebody with a shovel, mainly because I hate those lines at the bank. It put some sense in a violent-free video game IMO.

wifithief
wifithief

The Bad: Flawed movement mechanics, Terrible AI, Unpleasant visual presentation, Poor attempts at humor, Technical instabilities. a game with the same issues, won GOTY this year. the world of gaming critics is a strange world... LOL

marvelx3
marvelx3

maybe its just what we need to get our butts off battlefield3. and hating video games forever.

KadathBird
KadathBird

@Andrew_Xavier - The Postal movie was a weird guilty pleasure, admittedly when Boll was making certain jokes it was groan worthy - but the scenes that just made you go "Wad...da....fook...." were actually hilarious in their own messed up way. Fat jokes? Boo. Uwe Boll owning up to hording Nazi gold only to be attacked by a man dressed like a giant penis from a kids show? I have no idea what in the hell that was all about, but it was funny. And yeah, Foley made a good performance. Also - the ending. I don't care how out of date the joke was... the ending to the postal movie was absurdist brilliance.

Born_Lucky
Born_Lucky

A few untalented devs, who will never contribute anything worthwhile to society, got together and decided to flaunt how sick they are. Fail . . fail . . . fail.

slayerSS-3
slayerSS-3

the humor is ok not everyone is gonna like it, like this guy reviewing it but it is good. They screw the game when they turn it into third person. Other than that is all you can expect from a postal game

Warsilver
Warsilver

All the obvious stupidity this game shows aside, it kind of looks fun, and well deserving of the "brutal" emblem

Postal III More Info

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  • First Released
    released
    • PC
    • Xbox 360
    The Postal series continues in this third installment, using the Source Engine from Valve.
    4.4
    Average Rating181 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Postal III
    Developed by:
    Running With Scissors
    Published by:
    Akella, CyberFront, Running With Scissors
    Genre(s):
    Third-Person, Team-Based, Shooter, Action, 3D
    Theme(s):
    Modern