Postal 4: No Regerts has been billed by the developers as the “true sequel” to 2003’s controversial Postal 2. The series itself is perhaps more well-known for its reputation rather than its content so will this console release finally give us a game to live up to the hype?
The game is set a few years after the events of Postal 2 and has you in control of the main character, the Postal Dude. You and your pit-bull terrier, Champ, emigrate to the fictional town of Edensin, Arizona. When stopping for a break, the Dude’s car is stolen, forcing him to take on several jobs to make ends meet in the unfamiliar town, with the end goal of getting his car back. To do so you must complete tasks throughout the week and take on certain jobs to earn money.
I had heard lots about the mythos of Postal and how it was an outrageous, violent, and distasteful series and to be honest, it sounded like it would be right up my alley. I am not above enjoying gallows (and even downright offensive) humour and was looking forward to seeing what Postal 4: No Regerts had in store for me. And boy did it offend me, but for all the wrong reasons.
Regrets; I have a few
The variety between different missions is also a huge disappointment. They are just your usual “travel here,” “pick up this,” and “deliver it here” tropes that, to be fair, are prevalent in most open-world games. The difference here though is the fact that it is not fun to travel in this game. It takes too long to get from point A to point B and when you arrive, the “errands” are exceptionally tedious.
When you see it written down, it does sound like it has promise. One day you are working in a prison, the next for human traffickers, then the mob, then the mayor etc. With even a minimal amount of effort, you could make a decent game around that premise. Especially with the capabilities of the current-gen consoles. This is why this game is so bafflingly joyless.
The combat is sterile and feels weightless. There is no peril in combat because when you die, you just respawn at the last checkpoint without losing any progress. The enemies you may have dispatched since then remain dead and any collectable you picked up is still in your inventory. It sometimes makes more sense to kill yourself to get back to a checkpoint rather than travel all the way back.
Every enemy/hazard is a bullet sponge. The AI is non-existent and will either completely ignore you, walk in a straight line towards you, or walk backwards and forwards, spewing inane and situationally irrelevant one-liners. There is a suitable selection of weapons available, but all of them feel the same.
The controls are awkward, and floaty, and intermittently switch from being unresponsive to over-sensitive for no reason. This is particularly frustrating in the many platforming sections where one misplaced jump will bring you back to the very start of an arduous section of the game.
This is BS, It doesn’t work, it does nahht… Oh Hai Mark!
The graphics in Postal 4: No Regerts are simply ugly. So ugly that you would have to assume that it was a choice by the developers to garner a reaction. The NPCs are repetitive and do not move as they should. They glitch in and out of the screen and do not react to their surroundings accurately or consistently. The backgrounds are empty, devoid of life and endlessly dull. There are constant performance issues and jarring loading screens that appear out of nowhere. Loading screens? For a glitchy mess of a game like this? God of War wants a word with the developers.
The sound is just as bad. The NPCs just blather one-line quotes randomly. Sometimes multiple NPCs speak over each other. Sometimes different NPCs say the same quote, using the same voice, at the same time. Even the subtitles are riddled with typos and sometimes are not even related to the speech on screen.
It genuinely seems that it is a poor attempt at trolling by the developers. It might be an effort to market this as a “so-bad-it’s-good” type of game. Like a gaming version of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. But it misses in every metric.
Put quite simply, this is the least fun I have had playing a game. Ever.