Ah, Postal. Some would argue that it’s one of the original controversial games, especially in the open world. In fact, it released only a month or so after the original Grand Theft Auto with gameplay that resembled the controversial Hatred (remember that game?) more than its sillier sequels. For those who are fans of the series, you might be happy to learn that the terrible Postal III has been retconned, and Postal 4: No Regerts has the type of irreverent humor and casual horrific violence that the series is known for.
Postal 4: No Regerts doesn’t really feel like a modern game to me. I’m not talking about graphics or controls—but more the sensibility, jokes, and style. If I could name one game franchise that reminds me the most of Generation X, it would be Postal, and Postal 4: No Regerts feels like an aging uncle who can’t let go of the past, and snickers about fart jokes and making references to FTW—in this case, “fuck the world,” not “for the win.” And honestly, Postal 4: No Regerts’ strong Generation X humor is probably the best thing going for it—if that’s your thing.
I don’t like to judge a game harshly in Early Access—it’s still in development, and what you’re playing isn’t its final form—but Postal 4: No Regerts is rough around the edges, to say the least. You play as the Postal Dude–an unhinged, sometimes trench coat wearing psychopath that can just as easily decapitate passers-by with a shovel as, uh, pee on them. This time around,with Postal Dude’s purple bathrobe, he’s less Hatred guy and more of a slacker-type—though the Postal Dude’s signature coat has been added with the latest update. It’s possible to be relatively non-violent in your playthrough, but the slimy characters that inhabit Postal 4’s world makes it hard not to take out a stun baton and zap a few greaseballs. As the Postal Dude, you’re at the mercy of these jerks though, because you need a job—and these odd jobs are what make up most of the gameplay in Postal 4’s open world.
Postal 4: No Regerts has a small-ish open world to wreak havoc in—but there really isn’t much to discover yet. One of the best things an open world game can do is to have interesting locations to discover—but Postal 4’s tasks are so regimented, and the open world so empty, it feels almost useless. Still, the world is packed with jokes and references, even if there isn’t much to do beyond the quest-like tasks.
The gameplay in Postal 4: No Regerts is very rough. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun—but what fun I had was mostly because of Goat Simulator type moments like broken physics, or strange AI behavior. Postal 4’s tasks are broken up into days of the week, and with the Wednesday update the Postal Dude not only got his old outfit back, but also got handed a series of tasks that include installing bidets and clearing blocked up sewers—as well as a set of new factions and locations.
While Postal III has been officially disowned by the series’ creators, according to the Steam Early Access information, developer Running With Scissors wants to take the series back. Despite the series revival, the original voice of the Postal Dude, Rick Hunter, isn’t reprising his role. Instead, the Postal Dude is voiced by John St. John, known for his role as Duke Nukem. As for the rest of Postal 4: No Regerts’ Early Access plan, it’s quite comprehensive. The developers have laid out the current state of the game, along with planned features and upgrades. They also acknowledge Postal 4’s jankiness, something that might be a draw for some.
Postal 4: No Regerts is a game you might want to wait on until it’s in a more polished state—but the developers seem to be taking player feedback, and the development keeps rolling along. If you can’t wait, you might have some regerts, because Postal 4 will benefit from refinement. But if you’re a diehard fan of Postal 2 and the Running With Scissors brand of irreverent humor, Postal 4 is brimming with it.
Postal 4: No Regerts is available on Steam Early Access now.
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