Postal 2 Demo - Actually funny

Downloaded the demo of Postal 2 and messed around with it for a few (short) games. The demo limits you to 7 minutes at a time, since you could easily just wander around and cause havok at will for a long time.

You’re given a task to do, in this case pick up a carton of milk. And that’s pretty much it. You can go straight to the store, buy the milk, and go back home, and that will be that. Of course, the gimmick is that you can pick up various harm-inducing objects and maim/kill/disfigure just about everyone and everything in your way. When you pick up the milk, it even hits you with the text message “Got the milk! Go pay for it…or not.”

This game probably wouldn’t exist without GTA’s influence. It’s essentially like someone took the pedestrian abuse in GTA3/VC and turned it into its own game. I have to admit, the ragdoll physics and funky dismemberment tricks are fun at first. The first time I swiped at someone with the shovel, I decapitated the guy, prompting my character to quip, “And one to grow on!” I then batted the head around like a golf ball for a while before continuing.

Of course, if you don’t pay, the convenience store (Lucky Ganesh) goes into lockdown mode and the East Indian clerk charges you with a machine gun. Take him out and you’ll have to go out via the roof (“I guess I need to get to the top floor. I’m sure that seemed intuitive in the design docs.”) Up there you’ll be confronted by insane howling women in ninja masks with guns.

It was actually after the howling ninja women killed me that I encountered my favorite part of the game so far. I left it idling with my dead body onscreen while I checked my laundry, and when I came back the women were still standing around my corpse kicking it and taunting me. “He seemed like such a nice, quiet boy.” “Somebody call Lieberman!” “I blame Doom.”

I imagine the premise may wear thin after an hour or so of play, but it makes a nice first impression if you’re into the wanton violence with a healthy dose of “paint-the-room-red” style gore.

~MJK

As of now, after playing the demo a bunch of times, I can’t decide if it buying the full game would be worth my time. I am enjoying the demo but I’m not sure if it has a GTA3 sort of longevity.
The main thing limiting my enjoyment is the lack of interactivity. For example, outside the Lucky Ganesh there is a power switch (or something looking like one) and you can’t do anything with it. I would like to be able to mess with it. Maybe I just don’t know what I’m doing with it… Can anyone tell me?

I dunno, but I’ve discovered you can get cash from kicking the ATM :p

For some reason the game keeps making me think I should get off my ass and do something…

Chet

… like go and get some milk?

The model animations are horrible.

The model animations are horrible.

I don’t know - I like the “running in terror” animation where the terrified victim keeps looking back over his/her shoulder. I don’t remember ever seeing that before.

Bub, look at the monitors a little closer - reminds me I need to get a site back up.

Chet

It has some okay moments, but for the most part it seems to be one big gimmick. I couldn’t see myself playing a game like this longer than the 7 minutes in the demo. Also, the fact that the people scream, cry and plead just disturbs me. Kind of like the guys in SoF2. I guess I’m old fashioned, but I feel like I shouldn’t have any sympathy for the bad guys in videogames that I have to kill.

Ok, I already uninstalled it (that’s how much I liked it - not offended really, just not entertained. It lacks “frantic action feeling”) so I’m going to have to guess here. There’s an Old Man Murray reference in the “monitors”? I did notice a lot of in-jokes during the game but I guess I missed one. Heh, maybe they should just put a secret room that unleashes a giant-headed Erik Wolpaw.

This may be the only useful purpose this game has. I don’t see the appeal of playing a regular guy, and I didn’t see a glimmer of intelligence behind the humor.

I didn’t see a glimmer of intelligence behind the humor.

There’s one part in the full game where you have to return a book to the library. Out in front, there’re a bunch of anti-book protesters. One of them is carrying a picket sign that reads “Hitler wrote a book!” That’s funny. Through day 3, though, the rest of it isn’t. Wait, I think there was a headline in one of the day’s newspapers that made me laugh too. Anyway, the “Hitler wrote a book” sign makes me like it more than Unreal 2 at this point.

Also, I still think the fact that they actually made it so you can solve the whole game non-violently is pretty brilliant. Again: This brilliance does not appear to extend to any other part of Postal 2. Maybe one guy thought that up, and then he thought the Hitler sign up, and then he got fired.

The mere fact that there are anti-book protesters will make me pick this game up when it hits the bargain bin (as opposed to not picking it up at all).

Since there are at least a couple people enjoying the Postal 2 demo, here are some little things you might want to try (I’m sure some of this have been pointed out elsewhere, but oh well).

You can kick things (namely bodies and heads) MUCH farther if you run towards your target and jump just before you kick (once you get the timing down it’s really easy).

If you get a civilian into a hostile stance (i.e. get them to draw a weapon) while there is a police officer present, the two will start fighting each other (peeing on someone is a good way to do this - geez, never thought i’d say that).

There are really quite a few more interesting things (like the attack dogs, eating catnip, etc.), but I don’t want to ramble on too long and you’ve most likely seen all that stuff anyway.

Oh, and here are some commands/binds you might find fun/usefull (bring down the console with ~, enter the text without the quotes, change the input keys to whatever you like, this is just something I started playing with when I was trying to figure out a way to summon weapons, which I couldn’t get to work).

“set input b slomo .1” (this will bind the b key to start slow motion, like eating catnip)
“set input n slomo 1” (this will return the game to normal speed)
“set input v playersonly” (this will freeze everything except for the player)
“set input p SET GAMESTATE DEMOTIME 9999” (this is the demo time extender that Duke Nukem Forever found yesterday, this binds it to a key so you don’t have to mess with it every time you play the demo, just press the assigned key)

Well that’s enough I guess, have fun.

I disagree. Maybe it gets more difficult later on, but waiting in line and being insulted by a poorly stereotyped clerk aren’t the type of challenges for which finding a non-violent solution seems particularly difficult. Now, if later in the game your funny protestor was blocking the door to the library and getting past him non-violently involved something more difficult than just hitting him with a shovel, that would be brilliant. Maybe if you had to set off a Big Mouth Billy Bass nearby so he’d go and become entranced by it.

This reminded me of what happened to me in the later stages of Jedi Outcast. At a certain point, Kyle’s so goddamned powerful that I felt sorry for all the stormtroopers I was brutally massacring with waves of my hand. Instead of frying them all, I started just stealing their blasters with Force Pulls and leaving whole rooms full of troopers with their hands in the air.

And yet I felt no shred of remorse for slaughtering enemies pleading for their lives in SoF2 and the Postal 2 demo. Strange.

~MJK

I was watching Steve play the full game for awhile on Friday.

Yes, it seems you CAN play through the whole game non-violently. But clearly they didn’t mean for anyone to take that route. It continually eggs you on and deliberately makes you bored and frustrated so you do something violent. Not to mention that the AI sometimes makes it hard to be nice. Accidentally run over a weapon when auto-switch is on, and you might pull out your gun and get the cops firing on you. There are a couple parts where you’d just have to do a whole lot of running away - while under fire and armed to the teeth - if you wanted to stay non-violent.

But more telling is that for all the many violent things you can do, there are absolutely no non-violent activities. Well, besides walking and running. You can kick lots of things and shoot everybody and pee on people and grab cats for silencers and all that, but non-violent interactivity and animations are limited to…locomotion.

I really didn’t find anything particularly funny. Sometimes you chuckle in that “oh my GOD I can’t believe they thought that was funny and put that in this game” kind of way. Laughing at it, not with it. There was one thing that made me genuinely laugh, though: a pedestrian has an idle animation where he looks down, picks up something off the ground by his feet, kind of looks and it and smells it, and then pops it in his mouth.

It’s sort of a shame because except for a LOT of level loading (that takes a long time), there are some nice things hidden in there somewhere. There are no closed doors in the game really, you can open them all and explore everywhere. That’s kind of cool.

There are no robot frogs.

The exploration part of the game is the only reason I’d get it. I enjoy games that let you go anywhere, and Postal 2 seems well-detailed. It’s too bad the pacifist mode wasn’t better thought out. I saw some potential there. I’ll probably pick it up when it hits the bargain bin, just so I can visit the other parts of that town.

Now THAT is a f**king understatement.

Sorry. Still coming down off the brilliance of the site. I think I’m starting to accept crates as required scenery / “interactive objects” in games again. Also, who’s going to deal with Mortyr 2 when it’s aborted and released to the gaming community?

P.S. I’d be glad to help in whatever way would facilitate getting the site online again. Been hacking websites for years now.

Edit: I just noticed that the link to the old site was removed from slashdot. Perhaps this is a good thing in your eyes. With that said, it feels like the end of an era, which is a shame, and only makes me more serious about what I said in the postscript.