Postal III: New Footage, Little Controversy

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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