In 2004, New Zealand banned Postal 2 due to "gross, abhorrent content" and Australia banned the game a year later due to "excessive abhorrent content". On May 1, 2007, Malaysia banned the game outright due to "very high impact violence & offensive depictions of cruelty". The game was also banned in Germany and temporarily banned for sale in Sweden, however it was later legally made available worldwide through GOG.com in 2009 and Desura in 2012, and was successfully greenlit on Steam later that year.
The game received a mixed reception from critics upon its release in 2003, with some reviewers going so far as to give the game a score of zero, while others argued in favour of the game's concept and implementation. Regardless, the game was successful enough to receive several expansions and to be included in multiple compilations, and a film adaptation of the game and its predecessor was made in 2007. The Complete Edition, available through Steam, remains continually updated, with a new expansion pack titled Paradise Lost released on April 17, 2015.
In Postal 2, the player takes on the role of the Postal Dude, a tall and thin red-headed man with a goatee, sunglasses, a black leather trench coat, and a T-shirt with a grey alien's face printed on it. Postal Dude lives in a trailer park in the small town of Paradise, Arizona, with his nagging wife, who is identified in the credits as simply, 'The Bitch'. The game's levels are split into days of the week starting Monday and finishing Friday.
At the beginning of each day, Postal Dude is given several tasks to accomplish, such as 'get milk', 'confess sins', and other seemingly mundane tasks. The object of Postal 2 is to finish all of the tasks throughout the week, and the player can accomplish these tasks in any way he wishes, be it as peacefully and civilly as possible, or as violently and chaotically as possible. It is possible, if occasionally difficult, to complete most tasks without engaging in battle, or at least, harming or killing other characters, as evidenced by the game's tagline: "Remember, it's only as violent as you are!". The daily tasks can be accomplished in any order the player desires, and the game also includes one task that is activated only when Postal Dude urinates, in which the player is tasked with getting treatment for gonorrhea after Postal Dude discovers he has the infection.
Throughout the course of the game, Postal Dude must put up with being provoked by other characters on a regular basis. He is given the finger, mugged, attacked by various groups of protesters, and is harassed by an obnoxious convenience store owner/terrorist and his patrons who cut before Postal Dude in the "money line". During the game, Postal Dude also encounters a marching band, a murderous toy mascot named Krotchy, the Paradise Police Department and its SWAT team, overzealous ATF agents, the National Guard, an eccentric religious cult, cannibalistic butcher shop workers, fanatical al-Qaeda terrorists, and former child actor Gary Coleman, among many others.