Proud To Be Different

Proud To Be Different

"A lot of what the company does seems designed to antagonize, from the names of their products (the Postal Fudge Pack, for example), to the games themselves, to hiring Uwe Boll to direct the Postal movie, but at the same time, pulp can have power, too. Sometimes, being provocative can say more than all the nice words in the world."

Shannon Drake speaks to Running with Scissors, the makers of Postal.

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.................. they are not really being different tho..they have set their sites on ultra violence that might be AO'd by the ESRB and their games"s" revolve around bland linear sand box environments....please they are as diffrent as IG,er 2K is only they do not whince at the AO ban hammer.

I cna't really say any dev has much a choice teh game needs to sale so a rating of M17 needs to be found time needs to be spent on the engine to get it working and then the game has to be built around it leaving no time for polish,details,balance.

When you need Uwe Boll to make you relevant for a news hook, well, I could care less.

Played Postal 2, liked it despite long load times. Advertised choice, but like Yahtzee pointed out for Fable, the only real choice is being nonviolent and boring or a total sociopath.

Interesting article, but at the same time it makes Running With Scissors seem...delusional.

The Postal series can have it's fun moments and it's definitely got some over the top stuff that you just don't get in other games, but all that creative energy goes solely into shock value. The problem with games who rely so much on shock value is that when you're halfway done with it the shock value is gone. You've been watching this stuff for a few hours, it's just level design at that point. When that happens, you lose most of the hook your game had.

It is still intriguing that he points out how the violence is user created. The game doesn't force violent actions, it simply encourages it through all the options for weapons. From shotguns to urine, the game is screaming "Shoot that guy and piss on him! You know you want to!" Why shouldn't it? The whole point of Postal isn't standing in line at the bank, it's about doing exactly what you want to do to that line you've been standing in for half an hour. It's the fantasy we've all played out in our heads at some point in our lives.

Now what am I trying to get at, you ask? Why do I condemn shock value, yet seem to encourage it? Well, my main problem with the Postal series is that it's sandbox in it's purest form. It's not really a game, it's a fantasy violence simulator. There's no real structure, no real plot, just missions and violence. That's where all the negative reactions come from. I submit a challenge to Running With Scissors. See if you can make a truly great game that's rated T or lower. See if you can put your ideas about fantastic AI and gaming as an art into some real practice and eliminate the shock value Postal depends on.

Different, eh?

Face it. You wanted to depict Postal as harmless, then just twisted a whole argument around to fit it.

Kill Bill also isn't violent if you stop the movie after the opening credits finish.

My problem with RWS's position on Postal 2 isn't that their idea is flawed. I think the idea of letting people roam free in a truly ordinary sandbox environment with the option and means to be violent - but not necessarily any outside incentive to be - is a brilliant idea. The Thief series has actually always done a pretty good job with that, encouraging you to get through the game with as little enemy contact as possible, and I've always greatly enjoyed that. And that's how they pitch it; "oh, you don't HAVE to be violent, you could just go about your day, it's all the player's choice."

The problem is, that's crap. I've played Postal 2 - not very long and certainly not to the end - but violence is thrust upon you in the first 15 minutes of the game. You go to the bank, the bank gets robbed. Thieves are shooting cops, cops are shooting thieves, and you're very likely to get shot and die if you don't fire back. Could you choose not to fight anyway? Sure, you could do that in ANY FPS, but it's absurd to pretend that the game isn't encouraging you to fight. Dying IS considered a "lose" condition, after all. Similarly, you go to the RWS office in the game to pick up your paycheck, and the office is stormed by weapon-wielding protesters. Same situation, fight or die.

The only real difference between Postal 2 and any other FPS is that they push the boundaries of how much you can do to your enemies to unnecessarily violent limits. And sure, I'll grant you that you could get through the game without ever peeing on anybody or lighting them on fire. But there's no moral question of "peace or violence" put forth by Postal 2, and I find it thoroughly dishonest of them to run around pretending that there is.

 

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