Crap, Looks Like Everyone in Town had the Same Idea
Once upon a time, the Postal series was a lightning rod of controversy while also breaking all kinds of barriers. Postal was one of the most controversial games of its time for its violent themes. Postal 2 had its own fair share of controversy prior to launch and would have a rocky launch, but it would go on to be hailed as one of the greatest works of video game comedy. After a long hiatus, gamers get to once again step into the shoes of their favorite outcast (plus we are going to pretend Postal III never happened).
Postal 4: No Regerts continues the story of Postal Dude along with the series tradition of not taking itself seriously. It’s also a game that really hasn’t learned anything about level design and world building (which has changed a lot since the days of Postal 2). It’s game fans of the series will enjoy while newcomers should still start with Postal 2.
Don’t Crowd, There’s Plenty for Everyone!
Postal 4: No Regerts has players once again live one week as the Postal Dude. Set several years after the events of Paradise Lost DLC (plus Postal III never happened), the beloved anti-hero wanders into the town of Edensin, AZ. Unfortunately, his camper (along with all his stuff) gets stolen from the get go. With no money or a place to call home, Postal Dude must work a series of odd jobs to get by (all with hilarious results) while trying to find his camper.
Yeah; that is all there is to the story. It’s not deep or thought-provoking but on par with Postal 2. Like with its true predecessor, the narrative charm is not with the story but with the world itself. As in all the dirty jokes, innuendos, and jabs they can pack into one game. To this end, Running With Scissors continues to honor this defining aspect of the series.
The writing also deserves praise for acknowledging that times have changed by abandoning its “edginess”. It doesn’t go out of its way to shock or horrify anyone. It does make jabs at other franchises but this is more in jest than spite. Don’t worry fans, it still has not forgotten or forgiven Joe Lieberman.
This Can’t be Good for Me, But I Feel Great
Right away I want to say how great it’s that Rick Hunter is back as the voice of the Postal Dude. While not the default, the fact that it’s an option is welcoming for fans. While voice acting legend Jon St. John does his best, he lacks the charisma and charm that Hunter brought to the role. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy his performance, it’s just Rick Hunter will always be my Postal Dude.
One issue I’ve had with the previous game was its small and basic arsenal. Thankfully that has changed in this entry. Postal 4: No Regerts has one of the largest weapons arsenals of any title in the series. Each one caters to a player’s preferred style of combat or means to cause mayhem (especially after you upgrade your weapons). While trivial to some, a game like Postal 4 needs to have a massive arsenal or it gets boring way too fast.
I only say this because I prefer to explore this world packing as much heat as possible. Like with its predecessor, there is plenty to see and explore. From homes to businesses and hidden passages, Postal Dude is free to explore as he pleases.
Whoever Designed This Town was on Serious Crack
Postal 4: No Regerts biggest problem at the first glance is the completely outdated and clunky open-world layout. It would have been impressive back in the 2000’s, bigger no longer means better. While massive compared to Postal 2, it’s also barren with very few homes and businesses to explore. With what is there to explore offers very little reward for a player’s curiosity. Besides the lack of a community, the quality of the overall world design is on par with a generic Half-Life mod.
With this comes a bland community of NPC’s that just seem to be there. While I don’t expect a level of interaction on par with Fallout: New Vegas, it’s even a downgrade when compared to Postal 2. People populate the streets but not the buildings. Even going on a mindless massacre is not even that fun compared to its predecessors as the NPC’s don’t have any real emotions or reactions (be it annoyance or terror). I also have to note that the violence and carnage are tamed when compared to its predecessor. The previous game allowed me to hack n slash anyone into pieces or burn them to a crisp. No Regrets holds back on the carnage in every way possible.
Finally; one can also not ignore how buggy the game is even with the latest patch. Like with past Postal games, do expect to encounter performance issues. It’s obvious the game needed more time to work on and many fans would have been happy to wait until a late 2022 launch.
I’m the Damn Gimp!
If you’re new to the series, skip this one and just go try Postal 2. Don’t get me wrong, Postal 4: No Regerts is a major improvement in the series only when compared to Postal III. Don’t expect the same quality of fun and mayhem as seen in Postal 2. While it gets so much right, it also fails to live up to the iconic game.
Postal 4: No Regerts attempts to recreate the success of the comedy classic but falls short in so many ways. It wants to continue the legacy of Postal Dude but fails to learn anything about modern level design. Its humor and tone have changed for the better but it’s dated when it comes to the game itself. Fans might enjoy it but new gamers should absolutely start with Postal 2 or wait until its fully polished.
Despite its performance issues and to its credit, Postal 4: No Regerts functions better on Day 1 than Cyberpunk 2077 did five months after launch.
Disclaimer: I bought this game, via Steam.
This review is the critique and thoughts of one writer. If you want to see how other critics felt then check it out on OpenCritic.
8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that highlights the video game community and industry of the San Francisco Bay Area.