Postal 4: No Regerts Review
After a couple of years in Early Access and several post-launch patches, how is POSTAL 4: No Regerts? It’s a first- or third-person action game which puts you in the shoes of Postal Dude, as he settles into his new home of Edensin after losing his car and caravan. His hometown and wife were destroyed in a nuclear explosion, and we don’t talk about Postal III, so what lies in store for him with only a fistful of cash and a bathrobe?
There isn’t a lot of lore to learn despite this being the fourth (numbered) game in the franchise, so honestly don’t get hung up on wondering what happened before Postal Dude’s car was stolen. Suffice to say, things got a little crazy, and we’ll leave it there. You’ve arrived in Edensin on a Monday, so let your week progress from there. Each day presents its new challenges, quite literally, as you try to find your feet, finishing Monday having done several temp jobs, and done them well.
So long as you can find the jobs and work out what you’re doing, that is; Postal 4 does not hold your hand, probably because you’d find it covered in something unspeakable if it did. The tutorial tips are light on the ground, so it took me trying several buttons to find the “use item with other item” button to complete the game’s very first objective. There is a mini-map in the corner of the screen, but not every mission will give you objective markers — missed a bulb that needed replacing? Go back and find it. Sure, you can set waypoints on the map which will highlight a trail on the minimap for you, until it doesn’t work.
That’s the big problem with Postal 4, which has been out of Early Access for 19 months now, and had multiple big updates: it still feels like an Early Access game, just a feature complete one. It’s buggy as all heck, and within 15 minutes of starting the game I was unable to use the map. Bringing up the pause screen wouldn’t allow me to move the map, place waypoints, choose an objective, and I couldn’t even swap tabs to check my inventory or read the scant number of tips! I had to save and reload to get that working again, and honestly it wasn’t even the first major bug I encountered. Upon starting the game it loaded on the wrong monitor, and I had to swap it in the settings — but the setting is called “Display Number” so I didn’t spot it at first. Worse, the tooltip under Display Number legitimately says “Sample text (change me)”. Also, pressing F3 to apply changes does nothing, instead I had to scroll down and click on Apply Changes. Why have a button to do it as well as a place to click?
Let’s ignore the bugs and crashing I experienced and move on to the loading times. Moving from one area to another requires a lengthy loading screen complete with progress bar, and I’m here using an M.2 SSD. I’d almost expect it if I was using a hard drive, but an M.2 is the fastest type of solid state drive, which themselves are noted for being faster than hard drives! The most annoying feature of these loading screens is when it randomly puts you into third-person mode when it finishes loading, meaning that I have to press N to get it back into first-person. A button that I had to find out through the Steam Community because the game didn’t tell me.
While I’m focusing on the negative aspects of Postal 4, I’ve got to touch on its main selling point. Did you enjoy POSTAL 2? Well, this is just like that game! Why yes, I did list that as a negative! Because Postal 4: No Regerts is basically the same game with some better graphics and an updated script. I enjoyed Postal 2, and the Postal movie which was based on it, but they were products of their time and the humour hasn’t aged particularly well. So seeing the exact same juvenile humour on display in this 2020s game is disappointing to say the least.
The game does manage to be funny, though, as it’s not like I played through the entire thing without smiling or laughing. References to the pandemic, Blizzard’s “phones” gaff, that kind of thing. And who doesn’t appreciate a good old fashioned bow and arrow, but the arrow is a sex toy? The script isn’t the game’s strongest feature, but the cast makes the most of it, at least. With voice acting from Jon St. John and Zack Ward (from the Uwe Boll movie version!), as well as voices from previous games Rick Hunter and Corey Cruise, there is a Postal Dude voice to fit your mood. You can listen to a few radio stations, too, and the hosts can be kinda funny in between the alternative rock songs.
Something of a recent addition, there are multiple difficulty settings, as well as fully customisable difficulties. Of course, altering any of them makes you ineligible to obtain achievements, so use at your own risk. But it does make the game more accessible to those who want a little bit of a challenge rather than choosing between a full one or a complete lack of one.
As you complete missions around Edensin you will encounter all sorts of enemies, but luckily you’re going to be more than equipped to deal with them. Pistols, assault weapons, grenades, a mop — all this and more can be found just littering the town, inside and out. Sure, you can buy it all too, but if you want to whip something out in public you might want to keep your money for a gun licence or three. You don’t want to anger the police, after all. Just don’t come here hoping for super accurate gunplay.
So, when you anger the police in Postal 4 you will get a wanted meter beneath your health, showing how much longer they will be chasing you for. Manage to evade them and all will be forgiven. Don’t, and you’ll be beaten to death so… The game regularly autosaves, but I wouldn’t call them generously spaced, and when you reload things might not be how you remember them. I had to reload because my objective marker wasn’t updating, only to find my mobility scooter was missing, and the fresh graffiti I had put on a sign was no longer there.
Poop. If that just made you laugh, then you probably already bought Postal 4: No Regerts. If you’ve wanted an unoptimised remake of Postal 2 that’s full of bugs, then this is definitely what you want. There is fun to be had here, I genuinely enjoyed a few minutes here and there during my time with the game — but unfortunately that doesn’t mean it’s a good game, or a well made one even after so long.
POSTAL 4: No Regerts (Reviewed on Windows)
Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.
Multiple updates since leaving Early Access have still resulted in a game that barely squeezes past “mediocre” in the fun department, and should have probably not left it.