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Oddballs in Gaming: Postal III

Hailed as a piece of crap by gamers all over the world and banished to the depths of Hades Postal III stands as a test of what shouldn’t be done to a beloved franchise. The sequel to the originally controversial Postal 2 it does no justice to the franchise. While Postal III attempts to be humorous and maintain the spirit of both previous iterations it simply fails in every level. This game retains almost none of the spirit that the original carried, and due to the horrible executive meddling from the developers it became one of the worst games in history. Is it any surprise that it was eventually written off by Running with Scissors (the original developers)?

The answer is no, this game was a complete departure from what gamers had known to love in the second. While it tried to maintain the open world feeling of the second, it did so terribly. Postal II was a first person shooter with open world elements built using the Unreal Engine 2. While Postal III was built using the Source engine which equated to the game looking a lot more goofy, but worse. Developers TrashMaster Studios did try on some aspects though. Unlike the second which had one ending (until its new expansion happened) Postal III has multiple endings which can be achieved by playing differently.

The good, neutral, and bad endings all rely on your karma and whatever story-line you followed. But, as always no good deed ever goes unpunished and while the game is harder when trying to limit your bad deeds, it does serve to give the player a longer campaign. Of course playing good is easier said than done, when you have at your disposal so many lethal ways of dispatching an enemy. But, this is another aspect where Postal III fails as though it gives you variety of weapons it comes off as trying to hard. In P2 you had cats as a weapon (in the weekend expansion) or silencers and even bait for dogs. In PIII you get badgers, bees and even a vacuum for some reason(?). It comes off as trying too hard and while this can be a good thing it doesn’t fit the style of the first two games. But, worse yet are the bugs in the game.

Not only does the game try too hard to please the players, it’s also saddle with tons of bugs which can result in game crashes worse than the ones in Postal 2. While P2 would crash every once in a while after a long session of playing it wouldn’t be too detrimental and a quick restart would fix it. Meanwhile Postal III had issues extending all the way to framerate, and by the looks of the game you wouldn’t believe it’s CPU intensive. It was probably poorly optimized and there is not a whole lot that can be done in regards to fixing those issues. This is especially true after the developers and the original owners had a huge falling out. It’s sad, but this deal burned Running With Scissors rather badly.

Postal III was so jarring that even RWS has claimed it should have never happened. They eventually managed to write it off by releasing Paradise Lost an expansion released in 2015 (12 years after Postal 2 released!). In Paradise Lost the developers eventually wrote off the entirety of the events in PIII as a hallucination caused by the nine year coma the Postal Dude was in after a car crash. PIII is a testament to how outsourcing can be a huge problem in the video game industry. Vince Desi the head of RWS believed that the bigger studio could have created a better sequel they could have managed, but he was wrong. Desi even admitted so during various interviews. Thankfully none of this stuff ever happened and that’s why it will always remain an oddball in gaming history.

Dash The Bomber

Dash The Bomber is a sailor is his 20's with a penchant for goofy, yet deep thoughts. An avid gamer for generations he has played everything from the Atari 2600 to the PC in which he writes his work on. He currently lives in the middle of the ocean and appreciates donations in order to buy goodies from Amazon while deployed (makes his life slightly better). You can help the guy out by donating here: paypal.me/dashthebomber.

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