After reviewing Hatred, why not review the older game that it was inspired on?
Postal is a game developed by Running With Scissors, released on November 1997 exclusively for PC and Mac.
You take the role of a unnamed protagonist simply known as Postal Dude. The story is not exactly very clear, but it's believed that the Postal Dude freaked out and started believing that he was now in charge for the "purification of the Earth". How is he going to do that? Grab a bible and knock on doors and perform exorcisms? Fuck no. Postal Dude grabs his machine gun and goes on a killing spree across town, believing that he is doing a good deed to humanity. And, yep, that's pretty much it.
First thing you might notice is that the story is way darker and heavier than Hatred's "I fucking hate this world" plot. In this game, you're taking the role of a mentally ill person who is simply killing everyone he sees. Hell, actually, there are even theories around that the Postal Dude was actually possessed by the devil and is now going on a killing spree for pure evil.
The voice acting in the game is pretty okay. Some voices are laughable, but, back in its time, it was pretty horrible to hear civilians and officers writhing on the ground in pain. Also, the main character is voiced by Rick Hunter, one of my favorite voice actors ever and definitely the most underrated one in my opinion. Here's a thing that Rick Hunter did better than whoever voice Not Important: he did it like how it was supposed to. Not only some of the Postal Dude's lines are creepy enough to read (some are actually quite funny), hearing Hunter say them with his deep voice makes them even creepier. What he did right was that he didn't force his lines like how Not Important did, making them not sound edgy and stupid. Here's all of his quotes.
Voice acting doesn't rely just on quotes and acting. It also relies on voice. Some were born for it, some weren't.
Postal has you doing the same things you do in Hatred, but, with a much lesser variety of stuff to do. Because all you do is shoot people. That's it. Just, shoot, blow up and set people on fire, like any other action game out there. The gameplay gets boring right on the second level. There is almost no enemy variety (there are the ones who shoot you with shotguns, throw grenades at you and the ones who fire with automatic shotguns that deal a shit ton of damage, but that's it), civilians are just there to be shot and...that's it. You can't drive cars, you can't blow up cars, you only kill people...oh, and eventually ostriches.
Postal Dude runs, shoots machine guns, shotguns, rocket launchers, grenade launchers with flammable grenades and an automatic shotgun. He can also throw grenades and molotovs and execute people when they don't die instantly (which by the way, unlike Hatred, doesn't give you health back. You have to pick up med-kits, which is much more logical).
None, unless you count the cool front flips people do when blown up.
You can have your infinite machine gun, a shotgun, an automatic shotgun, a rocket launcher, a flammable grenade launcher, molotovs and grenades, and you can also wear body armor. Gunplay is boring and repetitive since it's mostly shoot a person until they fall down and die or start agonizing begging you to end their pain. Civilians can't pick up weapons like in Hatred.
Not sure if the NPCs have A.I because boy, they're stupid. They run around in the open getting shot, run towards you, blow themselves up sometimes and they also occasionally don't fire back when you start shooting at them. Some cops actually run from behind a object and shoot you before running back behind it, but I believe that's scripted.
GraphicsBad, but let's remember the thing is from 1997 and RWS was small at the time. Hell, I don't know if I should say the game has graphics, because it's pretty much old school Resident Evil style, with the characters set in a scenario that's in fact, painted and drawn.
While Hatred has dark and eerie soundtrack, Postal has soundtrack that sounds like it came out of an asylum, to fit the psychopathic atmosphere of the game. It always plays during loading screens, accompanied by disturbing, complex art.
The entire Postal series is subject of controversy, but Postal 1 really sparkled a bit in its time. The game received a major backlash for it's premise, making various reviewers give it a negative score not only because of the game actually being quite bad itself, but because of the fact this was a clear spree killer simulator, and the very first one probably. The game, however and surprisingly enough, is not as controversial as its sequel.
Gameplay-wise, Hatred is better. Story-wise, Postal is better.
Postal, if it wasn't such a monotone game, could've easily been a much better game than Hatred. Hatred beats Postal hard gameplay-wise, but, thanks to Not Important constant stupid edginess, Postal wins with the fact you're playing with a demented person or a possessed one. I have heard somewhere that Postal 1 is being remade. If that's true, please, RWS, PLEASE don't make Postal Dude like Edgy McNot Important.
Postal gets a 2.5/10.
Reviewed by Synthwave