Postal first released back in 1997, when I was seven years old. Naturally, then, because my parents weren’t absolute monsters, I didn’t play the original. I was busy playing Grand Theft Auto 2. My parents were cool.
Postal Redux is a high-definition remaster, meaning it’s essentially the same game, but with fancier graphics and tweaks to the game’s core gameplay. Honestly, I can’t tell you if it’s any different to the original Postal because even as an adult, I never played it. This is my first go, and first impressions count. It turns out, I’m a bit of a psychopath and I enjoy wanton violence.
Postal Redux has one goal and one goal only: kill the hostiles. It’s as simple as that. You play as a nameless fella (called the Dude, according to my Googling) and you just want to kill hostiles. The hostiles are cops, SWAT, Army, and any other government agency in between. Innocents are killable, but their murders don’t contribute to your overall score to reaching the end of the game’s 20-odd levels. You’re given a target, normally “kill 90% of hostiles” and once you’ve killed the required amount, you can leave the level and move on to the next one.
The gameplay plays out like a twin-stick shooter, meaning you use the left stick to move around and the right stick to aim your deadly weapons. It works fine but the aiming never felt quite accurate enough for me. There are options to tweak the controller’s dead zones, but no matter the amount of tweaking, I couldn’t get it to a point where I felt 100% comfortable. The controls are good enough, but I’ve played other twin-stick shooters that felt better to control. The game was designed for play on a PC with a keyboard and mouse, mind you, so that might have something to do with it – oh, and the PC inputs are shown during the loading screens unless there’s an F button on the Switch I don’t know about.
The gameplay content is not for the faint of heart, even if the graphics aren’t especially gory. Sure, you kill a bunch of people and the game definitely tempts you to kill innocents by bundling them up together and handing you a Molotov, but there’s nothing here that hasn’t been portrayed more realistically in more modern games. Still, it’s not one I’d want my boy playing, at least not until he’s, what eight?
Some may find the context a little disturbing, and in a sense it is. You’re killing cops and army men, and if you’re a twisted twat like I am, everyone else, without any good reason other than the game told you to. Yes, it’s crass and a little rough to stomach these days, but on the other hand, I’ve played the Pandemic video game and watched Contagion during 2020, the year of The Rona. Oh, and The Walking Dead, just in case things take a turn. Just need to convince the missus to let us re-name the kid Carl and I’ll be set.
While the game has been remastered for modern audiences, it still shows its age. The level design is old-school and doesn’t care about making anything easy for the player. That means you’ll get shotgunned by enemies hidden from view, and often. You’re also on a health limit and your ammo is limited. You have a submachine gun with unlimited ammo, but the rest of the guns need to be stocked up by finding ammo stashes within the levels.
Graphically, it’s nothing to shout about either, but it’s good enough. Compared to the original – which I’ve watched gameplay clips of – it’s a massive improvement, in terms of animation, design, and even sound. It’s odd to hear the dying people screaming while the Dude makes a crude comment. It’s silly fun, but it still sits a little uneasy. But I’m adult enough to see it for what it is, was, and will forever be; just another mindless arcade game.
I couldn’t play for long stretches because the repetition got to me, and at times, so did the difficulty. I played on normal mode and it was solid. I’d often have to try and retry levels at least a half dozen times before I managed to scrape my way through. This means that for me, it was best played in handheld mode in short bursts, and that’s how I’ll probably keep on playing it.
While the aiming never felt great and the repetition kicks in early, it was still a fun game to play. Call it my mature meal after being a big kid playing Super Mario Sunshine for the last couple of weeks.
Postal Redux Nintendo Switch Review
Postal Redux is a solid little shooter that’s great to play in short bursts, especially in handheld mode. It’s a big improvement over the original, but the gameplay is still stuck in its ways with the trappings of a 90s arcade-style shooter, for better and for worse. The subject matter may raise a few eyebrows, but if you’re adult enough to see the game for what it is, you’ll have some nasty fun on your rampages.
Very simple to understand – see person, shoot person
Challenging but not very rewarding
Lots of content with the extra DLCs included
Plenty of variety in maps, weapons, and enemy types
- Can be very difficult at times
- The accuracy of the twin-stick shooter controls leaves something to be desired
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using Nintendo Switch in docked and handheld mode.