Postal III: New Footage, Little Controversy

By John Walker on August 18th, 2010 at 1:04 am.

No new screenshots in three years. Sigh.

Postal III has been a touch delayed. In development since before 2006, we first mentioned it in 2008 when it was revealed it would include a badger as a gun. A couple of months later, during 2008′s Leipzig, the most remarkable video of footage was released, with the developer apparently not too impressed with his own game. Jump forward another year, March 2009, and we had a new trailer showing some third-person action. Yet another year goes past, little is heard, and that brings us to now. Two new trailers have been released, and they are of course below.

Postal is of course more famous for being the game the Daily Mail thinks all games are, rather than for any outstanding quality. There’s undoubtedly something remarkable about a development team willing to portray the sorts of action present in the previous games, and how can you not call someone over to see yourself chop off a neighbour’s head with a shovel, set it on fire, throw it for a dog, and then piss on the dog once it’s covered in flames. Kieron called me over to his flat to see exactly that back in 2003. And then showed me Postal 2.

But after what will be at least an eight year gap (the game is suggested as being the first quarter of 2011 now), and a film that bombed at the box office, it’s going to be a struggle to convince people to remember all over again.

Peculiarly, the second trailer below shows the game offering what it suggests are alternative moral pathways. Which doesn’t seem quite in keeping with the Postal theme of wanton, mindless violence and bad taste. However, take a closer look and, phew, everything’s as normal.

Developers Running With Scissors have significantly cleaned up their website since last year. Previously we couldn’t link to it without a “NSFW” warning. While there’s still plenty of scantily clad women to be found there, they are now at least clad scantily. It’s a strange page, filled with restaurant reviews, articles about US troops at war, and a section dedicated to their pets. Finding information about the game: not so easy. The game’s previous site has now vanished.

Anyhow – enough of my confusion with them. Here’s a trailer showing the main character visiting a therapist, which demonstrates the boldly unsubtle humour that defines the series:

And here’s a very strange sequence showing the game’s apparent alternative moral pathways. You can either choose to be “bad”, and murder everyone in this mall protest scene. Or you can choose to be “good”, and just kick the protesting women in their stomachs, sending them flying across the floor. Um.

It’s odd to have left in shots of the AI messing up quite so badly. The cops blankly staring, not firing at our player until they’re dead, don’t bode well. Let alone that none of the endlessly repeated characters react to being shot at. But more crucially, after at least four years of development, surely there’s a more interesting scene to show us than this one? For a game made in Source that has badger guns.

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89 Comments »

  1. bleeters says:

    This is the kind of game I wish would shrivel up and die, unloved and alone.

    • Snall says:

      Bah. Postal 2 was classic. Seriously, just too crazy not to be fun in SOME way. I think I even beat it. Twice. (Need to be beat it once for some new story or weird difficulty or something…and you can pee fire).

    • Zogtee says:

      Anyone who enjoys this shouldn’t be allowed to own or use a PC.

    • Klaus says:

      How am I going to find about Postal 4 then? D:

    • Rinox says:

      Agree Snall. Because of some twisted reason, it feels pretty fun letting out all the supressed emotions in some sort of hilariously unreal murder rampage simulator. I pretty much did the same thing in the Mafia 2 demo and went on a senseless killing spree in the diner a few minutes into the demo. :-/ Some people prefer not to go into it which is fine for them, but I occasionally love to embrace the psychopatic / murderous / sexist / xenophic fragments of my psyche.

      Man this makes me sound pretty fucked up. I’m really a very normal guy irl, I promise…

    • BAReFOOt says:

      @Zogtee:
      Protip 1: If you *ever* studied human psychology, you’d know, that *everyone* **including you**, becomes like that in RL in a war. It’s only a matter of time and opportunities.
      Protip 2: Games are NOT real life! And you should be locked up because apparently, you can’t tell the two apart, and may go on random murder rampages after playing a shooter.
      Protip 3: Every child can tell them apart. Even your dog can. And yes, you’re the only one who thinks people can’t.

    • Fixer says:

      @”Anyone who enjoys this shouldn’t be allowed to own or use a PC.”

      Anyone who does not enjoy this shouldn’t be allowed to own or use a PC.

      FIFY (fixed it for you).

    • DrDr says:

      Ironically enough, it’s the people that suppress/repress their dark side that eventually become the ones to become disturbed/perverted/evil / act out against other real world people.

      Katharsis.

      Learn it, live it.

      Also YAY for being able to beat up people with dismembered limbs.

      Not so yay for the usual utter crap hitbox / gore fx / gfx / animation quality.
      Imagine if this game with the same ideas and mechanics had been made by a AAA tier development team.
      Oh, the sweetness.
      Not getting my hopes up to much. As has been already posted, other games like Mafia 2 or perhaps Dead Rising 2 might give more way to the SlaughterSlashKillDestroyLEeeeeroyyyyJenkiiiiiins urges, who knows.

      You know, someone should really mix Red Faction Guerilla’s house physics with some human FX as well and we’d already be halfway there to a really interesting and fun game :P

    • battles_atlas says:

      I’d agree with the postal defenders more if I hadn’t just been to the website of Running with Scissors, and been reminded that its actual living humans on this same planet as me who make this stuff. And going by the site, they are not driven by ironic detachment from the hypocrasies of contemporary Earth.

      Unless they’re really ironic.

  2. Alex Bakke says:

    And of course, I suppose that the startling similarity to Sarah Palin the Soccer Mom possesses is completely coincidental.

    • PHeMoX says:

      I hope not! :-)

      I’m mildly excited about this, but still think the first game is the best. Somehow they have not managed to make this theme work as well in 3D as it used to be in 2D.

      I also do not like how they aren’t trying to make things a bit more realistic and a bit more over the top.

      In comparison, I totally like a game like Total Overdose, where ‘over-the-top’ is what it is all about. But a game still needs a good story and setting, things Total Overdose did a million times better than Postal 2 and I fear Postal 3 too.

      I think translating the Postal franchise to 3D has been an error from day one on for this studio. Still lots of kudos for not caring about all the hate towards this somewhat controversial game franchise (is it really that bad? heck no. I can name a hundred movies with ten times more gruesome violence).

  3. lethu says:

    *Face palm*

  4. Dodo says:

    “You probably didn’t thought you were gonna die today… surprise!”

    Another one of my favorites:
    “Are you saving again!?!”

  5. schokakola says:

    Wow, I’m not sure what’s worse about the second video; the gameplay or the horrible music.
    Dear Running With Scissors, NuMetal is dead and it’s best for all of us if it stays that way.

  6. Freud says:

    I know it is supposed to be an offensive game, but I didn’t think it included the mechanics of the game. The gameplay in the second trailer looks horrible. Like, turn-off-the-game-in-disgust-after-five-minutes-horrible.

  7. Hideous says:

    Am I the only one who enjoyed Postal 2?

    I like these games for how stupid they are, not for the art value or the AI. Dear sirs and or madams, you are missing the point.

    • Matt says:

      Best game-starring-Gary-Coleman-as-Gary-Coleman ever made?

    • MD says:

      You don’t have to take Postal seriously to consider it worthless rubbish.

    • Klaus says:

      I don’t know, Postal is Postal. I don’t even really compare it with other games. Postal is silly nonsense.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Sadly, I played postal 2. There was nothing about it that is even remotely noteworthy. I would rather have spent the time watching the fantastic four, which is a little like sitting in front of a pub slot machine for 2 hours.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Postal is the GG Allin of video games.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Noteworthy things about Postal 2: It has piss physics.

      KG

    • Ozzie says:

      @Spacewalk:
      Yet, none of the developers through their own shit at the audience during any of their demonstrations. Weird. :-|

    • Ozzie says:

      threw instead of through.
      That was a homophone confusion, heh.

      And I hate the comment system. :(

  8. jdeuel says:

    Note: Running With Scissors are NOT ‘developing’ this game. Russia-based Akella is. I had the honor of touring RWS shortly after Postal 3 was announced. Really hip guys. But they were basically just roughing out levels in Hammer and then sending them overseas to be turned into a real game.

  9. Alexander Norris says:

    Peculiarly, the Postal film remains the only true-to-the-game adaptation Uwe Boll has ever done to this date. Its humour is precisely as retarded and gross as the game’s.

    • Psychopomp says:

      You have to at least respect the man for portraying himself as a pedophile, who funds his movies via nazi gold.

      Then he gets show by the Postal creator, so he can’t “ruin Postal.”

    • Psychopomp says:

      Shot, even

  10. Navagon says:

    So I’m not alone in wondering how RWS have sustained themselves all these years?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I hate Postal.

  12. James T says:

    That is the worst music in the world.

    • Nu says:

      That is the worst post in the world.

      Wow, it really IS that simple to post useless fluff onto the internet!

  13. aequidens says:

    I wish they’d go back to the top-down perspective of the first game, I loved the voxel sprites in painted background style. Even though this looks exactly like Postal 2, which wasn’t very good back then, and definitely isn’t so many years later, I’ll probably end up buying and enjoying it.

    • DoucheMullet says:

      Seriously. I loved the first Postal. When they switched to FPS, it became generic as shit.

  14. Eric says:

    Good God, that looks absolutely wretched.

    I can’t believe people have bought enough copies in this franchise to keep them making it.

  15. Sweedums says:

    Aren’t trailers supposed to make games look good?

    I’m confused.

  16. tentoes says:

    So this is like Saints Row 2 with but its coming out after it,has worse but similar game play, doesn’t look funny, with worse graphics and, and they’re showing off their horrible AI? Honestly if can’t be a pants-less, tank-top wearing gigantic morbidly obese man with the voice of a woman, I fail to see what this game has to offer.

  17. kulak says:

    dreadful.

    please don’t post about this game again, it obviously has no redeemable features whatsoever.

    its not even interesting in a “oh look at how terrible gaming can be” way, its just depressing that anyone has wasted their making/playing/promoting it.

  18. FreezerBag says:

    A none lethal takedown is always the most silent takedown.

  19. JonFitt says:

    I could forgive the tasteless theme and humour if the gameplay din’t look like such generic dreck.

  20. Kevin says:

    lol i thought this said portal 3!

  21. Dreaded Walrus says:

    Exxon, Bernie Madoff, Halliburton, and Sarah Palin? This game is already behind the times with its pop culture references, let alone when the game finally comes out.

  22. Matzerath says:

    The most eagerly unanticipated release of 2015!

  23. TCM says:

    I changed my mind, I detest the reply system the most. pipman is a close second.

  24. Petethegoat says:

    I agree with Hideous on this one.
    I’ve long found the people of RPS to be overly infatuated with depthless art games.
    Postal is like one of those games, except instead of a two colour palette and a poem whenever you complete a level, it has urine, and is fun.

    Also, for the record, I love pipman300.

    • Petethegoat says:

      I’m referring to Postal 2, by the way.
      I haven’t played the original, and I agree that this incarnation looks decidedly mediocre.

  25. Theoban says:

    Totally agreeing with pipman300 here

  26. Trevor says:

    If anything, Sarah Palin’s resemblance to the stereotypical soccer mom is startling.

  27. Urael says:

    Oh lord. Can we PLEASE keep American political warfare out of these UK-founded GAMING pages? I spent several years on Digg and have heard all I ever want to hear about Palin, Mom’s basement, Liberals etc. It’s INCREDIBLY tiresome.

    Cheers.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      I sympathize with your sentiment. In fact I wish I lived in a country with a more mature, restrained political culture.

      But over here it’s Holy War, man. Take-no-prisoners. And it naturally spills over into every single online venue. And even if you’re in the center all that means is you just get shot at from both sides.

      Feel lucky that you only have to read it, and not LIVE it. When Americans actually start killing each other suddenly reading things on Digg won’t seem so bad. ;)

    • nil says:

      When Americans actually start killing each other, there will be fewer of them posting on Digg – the problem solves itself.

  28. pipman300 says:

    *down

    yeah being able to edit replies would be cool

    on topic: running with scissors are trying their damnedest to be relevant these days but they can’t stop using pop culture that’s a few years expired. they’re like the Simpsons if they jumped the shark on their second season and somehow still had enough funds to make a third.

  29. Tei says:

    The gameplay video looks like all other consoley-friendly games. TPS, you shot people that hardly notice it, your character is not a normal person at all. I think that is not the point of Postal.

  30. Klaus says:

    You can either choose to be “bad”, and murder everyone in this mall protest scene. Or you can choose to be “good”, and just kick the protesting women in their stomachs, sending them flying across the floor. Um.

    Well, one is clearly more naughty than the other. Man up and murder them and/or kick them in their tummies.

  31. Grape Flavor says:

    @ Klaus
    lol indeed. I’m not against laughing at myself.

    @pipman
    I was venting due to some comments you’ve posted previously that I found highly offensive. Now that it’s out of my system I’m sure we can peacefully coexist and even talk about some video games.

  32. Tetragrammaton says:

    Pipman may well be a leftie, but he’s entitled to his opinions, as are you.
    Personally Ive never understood branding yourself left or right. Life is a complex thing, and such generalisations lead to narrow-minded thought and pointless bickering when a more pragmatic solution would be better for everyone.. (Im looking at you – political parties across the world)

  33. Grape Flavor says:

    @ Tetragrammaton

    I couldn’t agree more. If only there were a political party that catered to those who have this sort of philosophy. Perhaps in a better world.

  34. Klaus says:

    This is what Postal does. Stirs up emotions and causes dissension in the ranks. We need to ban Postal and be friends.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      Nope, it’s about people not respecting other people’s opinions while believing there is an absolute (their chosen, of course) truth. We need to ban those blokes… (about 3/4 of the planet, I believe)

  35. Zombat says:

    Postal 2 did have a moral choice.

    It was a game that gave you the freedom to go through the game pissing, killing, burning, throwing anthrax infected cow heads and generally just being a murdering, laughing, psychopath.
    Or alternatively you could go through the game only killing in self defence.

  36. Po0py says:

    Looks just like all the other postal games. Clunky and boring.

  37. Sarlix says:

    Yeah, I remember picking up Postal 2 after seeing a review about it in PCG. I could be wrong here but wasn’t it the first game to properly feature a Physics Engine? I remember It came out a year or so before HL2. I also remember chopping someones head of with a shovel and kicking it down the street. Actually I didn’t ever finish the game, I got to the point were you fought that man who looks like a child and thought meh, enough is enough. It was all flash and no substance.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Oh, lots of games had physics engines beforehand, but it had an acceptable one. Also was the first FPS since Raven’s early games to use a hub-system to create a faux-open-world for its world – which a lot of games followed afterwards. Pre-dated fable with characters responding to what you’re wearing. Really interesting AI: if you pissed on someone they’d get angry, then start becoming nauseous, ending up being sick.

      It wasn’t very good, but I do have a soft spot for it. You don’t have to squint very hard for Postal 2 to count as an immersive sim.

      KG

    • Sarlix says:

      Your right the AI really was interesting, and quite unique to anything I’d experienced previously. So for that reason alone I should give it some merit. The chap below me sums it better than I can.

  38. Dmo says:

    Despite its complete lack of tact or even sense Postal 2 had some interesting features hidden away in it. The AI had a great way of descending into chaos with the right kind of push in ways that GTA still just hints at. It basically pulled off Oblivion’s radiant AI in a fun way, but their insistence to cloak themselves in poop jokes and insipid self-referential humor makes their achievements harder to see.

  39. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    I enjoyed both Postal II and its expansion….so what.
    I killed, sliced, pissed on people, beheaded them, burned them…and IN THE GAME!
    And the movie is solid.

  40. PrepareToMeetThyGod says:

    I approve of this muchly.

  41. RandomPeoples says:

    How is it we can have bases and units that spout blood in SC2 (along with people incinerating / cleansing whole planet populations here as well as in star wars etc pp), games like Stubbs the Zombie that eats brains, Plants vs Zombies that has “Braaiiins” as call, Kane&Lynch that features essentially a psycho that shoots helpless and bound people/civilians/cops, various zombie mutilation games as favorite pastime etc, all the GTA and Mafia stuff,

    but

    when Postal in it’s amateur way tries funny violence it’s suddenly the bane of all existence and must be banned, forbidden and shunned?

    Sorry folks, but here’s news…truly “evil” games like General Custer(tied up indian girl rapey?) / Commando Lybia(chaingunning down peepz, mowing down people against a wall and decapitation) and so on and so forth have been not only what people wanted to PLAY, but what people wanted to CREATE since day one.
    That doesn’t make the games themselves any better, but the games are what they are BECAUSE THEY REFLECT PEOPLE and who they are and what they feel.

    If something goes seriously wrong with people, then you get seriously wrong games.
    How wrong or right you perceive them can be a question of your value set and humanity etc, but let’s not forget that it is at times also a question of what the intentions are/were.

    Here(with the 2nd and 3rd postal at least) there’s clearly an aim of over the top hilarious(it even says so literally) and not an attempt at being the most vile and brutal thing ever, in order to properly depict hate and singling out just one minority or similiar.
    If you want to be upset, be upset about these things in real life, actual political issues and the origins that create the really bad stuff(games, movies, books, whatever).

    Don’t go off shouting about the media. They’re just really big – sometimes funhouse like – mirrors.
    Go and talk to and change the world and people.
    No, that does not include shouting “Ban this, ban that”, it means actually approaching origins and reasons and cores, not effects, outcomes and symptoms..

    Everything else is just high-horse bollox and hypocrisy, because we already DO live in a day-to-day hype/consumerism/vote-cow/money-over-everything/morals-depend-on-useful-it-is-for-me-personally
    world.

    Your own nose, closer than someone elses, it is.

    Personally I suspect this is all more about rubbing one’s engorged pseudo-moral peen in public until those type of posts ejaculate out (after which the VERY same people go back to reading bad newspapers/ watching bad TV movies and console/PC games with similiar or worse content, living happily in their double/triple/etc standard) and we get to suffer them.

    Srsly people, wtf.

    • bleeters says:

      How is it we can have bases and units that spout blood in SC2 (along with people incinerating / cleansing whole planet populations here as well as in star wars etc pp), games like Stubbs the Zombie that eats brains, Plants vs Zombies that has “Braaiiins” as call, Kane&Lynch that features essentially a psycho that shoots helpless and bound people/civilians/cops, various zombie mutilation games as favorite pastime etc, all the GTA and Mafia stuff,

      but

      when Postal in it’s amateur way tries funny violence it’s suddenly the bane of all existence and must be banned, forbidden and shunned?”

      This is all well and good, but generally speaking the other games you’re mentioning have the advantage of being actually good. Postal is more akin to hammering nails into the eye sockets. Besides, let’s face it, people don’t promote Plants vs Zombies because ‘you can totally knock off heads with a pea shooter plant’. Likewise, would Postal get anything like as much attention if it was, say, yet-another-second-world-war-shooter? Gratuitous violence is all it has to sell itself on, and that’s pathetic.

  42. Flappybat says:

    Postal 2 was a bad game that redeemed itself by being willing to cross lines other games wouldn’t even dare to approach, luckily for it otherwise it would just be a very substandard game. Using a molotov cocktail on a marching band and elephant before urinating on them is at least novel although not something gaming wants to associate itself with.

    Postal 3 so far looks like the developers have polished up the “game” part this time whilst toning down the controversy. Unfortunately it looks so far like this is going to backfire combat looks substandard and the controversy is South Park lite. Without being able to throw cow heads at taliban it’s not got anything going for it.

  43. Quests says:

    I love the moral paths, they’re spot on, they’re not shitty dialogues, they’re as choices should be, in the action itself, like deus ex.
    Beautiful.

  44. Songbearer says:

    People who don’t like Postal 2 are probably the same people who didn’t like the Carmageddon series. These people are known as Entirely Wrong.

    • Vroom says:

      God I miss the pedestrian execution ray.

      Where is the next proper fun and nutterbonkersmental carmageddon goshdarnit!

    • pipman300 says:

      sorry someone could of made a carmageddon game but they’re too busy making generic pretentious art game #53: i studied a useless degree and now you must suffer for it (ps my girlfriend broke up with me i’m stalking her but it’s cool man it’s not like she sees me or anythingi just see her. PS: rescuing the princess is like searching for an atomic bomb or something (nothing to do with me stalking my ex no sirree))

      unless they port crackdown to the pc or something.

  45. Songbearer says:

    Negative cool points for not retaining the old Postal Dude’s voice, though. Dude didn’t talk, he oozed.

  46. the wiseass says:

    Hell yeah, POSTAL!

  47. LionsPhil says:

    Peculiarly, the second trailer below shows the game offering what it suggests are alternative moral pathways. Which doesn’t seem quite in keeping with the Postal theme of wanton, mindless violence and bad taste.

    Don’t forget that the Postal 2 demo (unsure about the full game) could be completed without causing harm to any person or property. Which was a pretty nice arty-farty statement about how violence in the game is player-initiated; you decided that you wanted to piss on that dude’s face then decapitate him so that his neckstump became a fountain of vomit. No game objective made you.

  48. KindredPhantom says:

    I wonder if the badger gun runs off of mash potatoes…

  49. psyk says:

    What other game let you pile up a bunch of bodies and set them on fire, hit the head off of a person with a spade and then play fetch with your dog or pissing in someones face till they puke or being able tazer them till they convulse and piss them selves or pour a trail of fuel over the road then waiting till a load of people are around lighting it then watching as half the population run around setting each other on fire. postal 2 was just fun.

  50. psyk says:

    psyk says:
    August 18, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    TCM says:
    August 18, 2010 at 4:23 am

    How does that work