Read our Full Review of Postal 4: No Regerts
From the get-go, Postal 4: No Regerts holds no shame about what it is. The satirical, open-world “adventure” is an attempt at becoming worse than Postal 2, which is what the game developers called “the worst game ever”. And at some level, it succeeds, but in a different way than expected. The series, long-known for its controversial gameplay mechanics, jokes, and plain ridiculousness, has reached a point of staleness, trying to claw its chance back at publicity without anything new to say.
Postal 4’s story, or lack thereof, is a set of missions that see the Dude earn to make a living after his trailer home is stolen. While there is technically a narrative throughline, each day of the Monday to Friday week feels not too dissimilar from each other. Generally, you, playing as the Dude, are running from one side of the map to another, chasing giant green buttons on your minimap in order to earn some cash. Many of the missions feature an edgy joke that the job is centered around, but we will get more into that in a few.
Traveling to and from each mission feels mind-bogglingly slow and boring. Each of its areas of the open world is as bland as eating dry sand. Pedestrians simply walk on by as you attempt to shove a dead cat in your pockets, pee on other civilians, or pour gasoline over the roads and watch as people burn alive. Running with Scissors seems to have padded out the length of the game, making your character slow enough that the open-world actually seems rather large. But even if the world is bigger than expected, its lack of any memorable areas or locations makes it a chore to get through.
It’s soul-crushing to know that something so uninvolved as destroying the lives of innocent virtual characters is not fun in a game that aims to push you in that direction.
It just feels like all of the gameplay mechanics are something that a child attempting to seem older than they are would make up after playing Grand Theft Auto for the first time. I know Postal has a history of being able to urinate on people, but after playing Postal 2 back in my teen years, it becomes more cringe-inducing than hilarious. Using a cat as a suppressor feels like just a way to get PETA to publically shame the game, giving them more sales, but even PETA isn’t responding here.
Even something as effortless as gunplay feels completely devoid of any fun. Shooting innocent bystanders has become a staple of what these satirical mass-murdering games aim to do, but in Postal 4, it feels like a chore to even go off the beaten path, as I trudged along to reach the end of the game. It’s soul-crushing to know that something so uninvolved as destroying the lives of innocent virtual characters is not fun in a game that aims to push you in that direction.
Postal 4’s attempt at jokes, is something that I admire in a sense. Similar to South Park and other shows which offer edgy, controversial, and crude jokes in an attempt for laughs or winces, Postal 4 aims to hit the same marks. But many don’t even get a smile from me, let alone a chuckle. I always think there’s a place for dark comedy, as it’s a great method of holding a mirror up at our society, but Postal’s way of delivery feels like that AI on Twitter that got corrupted by random users.
It’s as almost if Postal 4’s final attempt at a joke is permanently damaging my psyche, leaving me begging for my computer to just turn itself off.
Then again, humor is subjective, so if you enjoyed Postal 2’s comedy, you may find some bliss here. But what isn’t subjective is performance, and the performance of Postal 4 is terrible. I had numerous hard crashes over the course of my playtime, as well as plenty of lag, glitches, and bugs. You name it, it likely happened. How Running with Scissors can say that this version is the full release of Postal 4 is beyond me after some time in Early Access. It’s as almost if Postal 4’s final attempt at a joke is permanently damaging my psyche, leaving me begging for my computer to just turn itself off.
I’m certain Running with Scissors aimed for Postal 4 to look graphically similar to Postal 2, for nostalgia’s sake, but considering the fact it looks atrocious and it performs terribly, it feels like a poor design choice. Funnily enough, the voice acting isn’t half bad and some of the sound design is fairly decent, but subtitles are hit or miss whether they want to work.
If I could credit Postal 4 with some things, there would be two “good” (I use good for lack of a better word right now) moments that keep it from receiving an even lower score. The machete is ridiculously fun to use, where you use the reload button to throw it and slice people in half to horrifically funny effect, and the fact that Running with Scissors knows its fanbase. While I can sit and talk about all of these mistakes the game makes, such as terrible performance, poor comedic senses, and pretty dull gameplay, it still makes Postal fans happy, like they’re ironic fans of the franchise. If you’re going to make money regardless, why waste the effort?
However, for those with an interest in Postal 4: No Regerts, but who haven’t played the series before, your best bet is Postal 2. It’s far cheaper, performs better, and you can clock most mistakes up to simply being from a bygone era. Much of Postal 4’s mistakes, while made intentionally I assume, cannot be saved by the developers pointing at it and laughing. Running with Scissors pretends Postal 3 doesn’t exist, and I hope they forget that Postal 4 exists in the future too.
A Review Code was provided for the purpose of this review