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3. Postal 2
2003 | PC
We admit it: Postal 2 makes our inner political-correctness zealots go apeshit. From the game's mincing gay stereotypes to its apparent inability to distinguish between Hindus and Islamic fundamentalists, there's plenty here for easily alarmed busybodies to find offensive. But that's not the real problem; as far as we're concerned, you can be as offensive as you want, so long as you can be clever about it. Postal 2, however, has all the snappy wit of a 12-year-old using a Sharpie to draw a giant penis on a photo of the World Trade Center collapse, and then making a big deal about how much he doesn't care that you didn't laugh at it.
Postal 2 can be a funny game, but the comedy is all user-driven. Launching missiles into an irritating marching band? Funny. Getting a dog to play fetch with a severed head? Also kind of morbidly funny. Once you start actually playing through the game's plot, though, "funny" takes a hike and you're left with that 12-year-old grinning in your face and going "Eh? Ehhhh?"
Above: We have absolutely nothing to add here; the image says it all
Postal 2 had the potential to be a bizarre work of genius. The only stated missions in its free-roaming, first-person world are mundane tasks like buying milk or getting petition signatures, theoretically leaving everything in between up to you. Unfortunately, the choice to kill isn't ultimately yours, as you'll soon come under fire from ham-fisted "satires" that include an ultraviolent anti-violence group, a church full of pedophile priests, a bunch of Deliverance-grade rednecks who make you their "gimp" and an army of evil Osama bin Laden lookalikes who ululate whenever they show up.
Every last one of these stereotypes is either stale or just plain ignorant, and they're all overbearingly unfunny. Even so, Postal 2 thinks they're all hilarious, and forces you to deal with them constantly. But hey, look at the bright side: if you follow the horrible plot, you'll eventually be able to trick a couple of elephants into trampling some of them for you. That's worth a chuckle, right?
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