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Postal 4: No Regerts – Review | Guts, Gore and More.

Postal 4: No Regerts – Enjoy At Your Own Risk

The following review of Postal 4: No Regerts concerns an obscenely offensive game which is not appropriate for all ages. Read this review with caution if you’re not comfortable with intense violence, gore, or offensive humor (basically, if you’re sane).

Most games today try to make you feel like a hero. Whatever deeds you may perform to achieve your final goal, be it killing hundreds or nuking an entire city, games will heap on the praise for your “heroism,” and “bravery.” Too often you hear something along the lines of:

“Oh, Mr. Generic Likeable Character voiced by Troy Baker, you saved the day by decimating a small country’s worth of people! Thank you so much! Don’t question your actions for a second, or feel any sort of remorse – for you are our HERO!”

Personally, I find this a tad annoying, and when I encounter it in a new game I tend to take the narrative less seriously and ignore important plot elements. However, it’s this exact trend of painting the player as a savior which makes games like Postal 2 and 4 stand above the crowd.


The Bleak But Satisfying Violence of the Postal Series

Postal 2, an FPS released back in 2003, is a game all about unnecessary violence. It’s simple, crude, bareboned, satisfying violence coupled with absurdly offensive humor. The game tells you to disregard any and all humanity or morals. Why? Well, to kill innocent people in the most cruel and absurd ways using your vast arsenal of ultra-violent weapons. Of course.

Piled on top of that, the humor is so nonsensically insulting that only a gruesome, nihilistic experience like Postal could remotely justify its use. Strangely, you can complete the entire game without harming a single soul. Thus, your terrible actions are entirely your choice. If that sounds off-putting to you, let me put it this way: you don’t really understand this game until you’re laughing because you just urinated on a dead body soaked in bloody vomit. That’s Postal for you.

The new title, Postal 4: No Regerts, follows that same formula and improves upon it. Currently in early access and under development by Running With Scissors, Postal 4: No Regerts is actually the third installment in the series. Yes, we don’t talk about Postal 3. Postal 4 attempts to expand upon what Postal 2 Pioneered, bringing additional features and content but maintaining the classic sense of mayhem. Of course, it’s still in the early phases of development, so what I say here is subject to change. Which is good – because Postal 4 has a lot of room to improve.

Postal 4 Early Access: A Lot To Love, A Lot To… Not Love

Postal 4: No Regerts follows the story of Postal Dude (brilliant) and his dog. After the events of Postal 2, our “heroes” find themselves trapped in a new city after their van falls downhill. Stranded, homeless, and broke – your first job is to find a job. You talk to a job hunter, and your first missions unlock on the map.

A great premise, but here’s where you run into some speed bumps. The missions are, sub-par, honestly. Postal has never been about the objectives in themselves, but the journey to solve them. That being said, how the mission plays is still a large part of the experience, and it feels overlooked here. Contrast this with Postal 2, where you have mundane tasks that take surreal turns and escalate into situations you never expected. Such as:

  • Being attacked by gun-toting maniacs while trying to steal milk
  • Facing terrorists while en-route to your uncle’s birthday party
  • Arriving at the party and finding it surrounded by hostile military forces

The missions in Postal 4 lack all the flair and charm of Postal 2’s. You never feel like something completely unexpected or ridiculous is right around the corner. It doesn’t help that there are only three main missions and two side jobs… which leave a lot to be desired.

Mission One: Cats and Dogs

The first mission tasks you with capturing pets and handing them over to someone who is totally not going to do awful things to them. The gameplay consists of… running around and uh, luring the animals with catnip and dog treats. There’s really not much more to it. I found myself bored, and it took me twice as long to complete as it should’ve. Why? I kept getting distracted by innocent civilians who needed liberation from their mortal coil. At least this mission doesn’t overstay its welcome like:

Mission Two: Sewer Duty

Our second stop maintains the same tedium of the first and is much longer. The job is simple, you need to clean up the sewers. Surprisingly, it creates a great sense of immersion, as it manages to be about as thrilling as janitor work in real life. Nice touch of realism, if you ask me. Your objectives are mundane, like:

  • “Shovel Feces”
  • “Replace Light Bulbs”
  • “Fix Valves”
  • “Shovel More”

Sadly, they remain fairly pointless and never evolve into those absurd circumstances you encountered in Postal 2. The most interesting part of this level are the alligators, as they improve any game upon addition. I’d have less issues with the stage if the layout was more linear, but the sewers wind like mazes and only add to your confusion. Again, my favorite aspect of this stage was killing the bystanders who lived in the sewers, as the rats posed too little of a challenge.

Mission Three: Prison Time

The Prison job provides much more entertainment, which is still meager, but better than the previous missions. You’re sent to guard a penitentiary, but your boss accidentally gives you the wrong PIN number. No problem right? What’s the worst that can happen? Well, it releases all of the prisoners. Now your job is to clean up again, but this time instead of sewage it’s criminal scum. I enjoyed myself, but it could’ve been a bit longer.

Postal 4: No Regerts - Water Gun

Side Missions: Short And To The Point

The side jobs in Postal 4: No Regerts essentially amount to collectibles hunting, quite actually. One has you track down special paintings for a collector. The other puts the hose in your hands and asks you to quell the fire which, ironically, has engulfed the fire department station. Each grants you some money, and that’s about it.

Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Your Arsenal

As you head towards your missions, you’ll inevitably get sidetracked since you’re free to roam around the town from the start of the game. You can do as you please, and begin to experiment with the new mechanics as you discover different weapons, items, and interactable objects to harass innocent people in whatever creative ways your perverse mind may invent.

Currently, the arsenal is quite dry, with only: two throwables, four standard guns, three melee weapons, the classic gas can, and a new special water gun dubbed the “Splurt’N’Squirt.”

The Shovel

It’s not a Postal game if it doesn’t have a shovel! I mean, I think so, I’ve never played Postal 1 (nobody has, let’s be honest). There’s a high damage attack with M1 and a quick stab with M2. Either way, you’re probably not gonna use it much after you’ve acquired the magnificent Machete.

The Machete

The Machete works as you’d expect it to. If you attack someone with it, chances are they’ll die, especially if you cut one of their limbs off. (Of course, there’s a slight difference between decapitating someone in real life and doing so in Postal. The latter tends to significantly increase the urge to burn and urinate on their corpse. Unless you’re a hardcore Postal fan and you consider this a normal inclination. You do you.)

What really sells the deal, though, is the ability to launch it. By pressing “R”, you can turn what was previously a mid-tier weapon into a deadly boomerang that slices through everyone it can reach before coming back to you. Seriously, the thing is no joke. Postal 4 achieves a unique sense of satisfaction in chucking this blade, slashing through a line of bodies, watching their limbs and entrails fly, and hearing the gruesome “blosh blosh blosh” of bloody meat chunks slapping against one another.

The Police Baton

The baton can either non-lethally shock people with M2, turning them into brainless ragdolls for a few seconds, or just bash them with M1 – like cops normally do to innocent people anyway. The reload button allows you to… bash people harder? It’s useless as of now, but it won’t matter in the future when the devs add as many weapons as they did in Postal 2, which I’m sure they will.

Standard Firearms

The shotgun, assault rifle, and pistol don’t stand out much. They all function well enough, however, I think some improvements could be made. Such as:

  • The AK 47 should be a little more precise
  • The Pistol could do more damage
  • The Shotgun should blow its victims to pieces

The head explosions on a close-range shotgun are satisfying, don’t get me wrong, but I think the whole body should follow suit. But that’s just my preference. I hope more “standard” guns like these are added in the future, as the quantity is currently quite underwhelming.

The Revolver

The revolver causes normal damage, but hitting the head satisfyingly liberates your target’s brains. Every headshot fills up a meter at the bottom of your screen. Based on how much you’ve filled your meter, you can tag people’s heads with M2 and release it to automatically and effortlessly instakill them, Overwatch McCree style.

The Splurt’N’Squirt

This is Postal 4: No Regerts’ new water gun, which can soak people with three different liquids: gasoline (and later fire, essentially making it a flamethrower), water, and urine. Nothing much to comment about that, particularly because I didn’t find it in my playthrough, and wasn’t aware of its existence until I checked the game’s wiki.

Grenade And Molotov

These throwable weapons are pretty neat. The grenade transforms people into a satisfying paste, while the latter efficiently sets their flesh aflame. To be honest, I was surprised by how well they worked in the current, somewhat janky iteration of the game.

The Pigeon Cage

Here’s where it gets funky. It’s true to the name, a cage of raging pigeons that, when thrown, break out and chase people down. They then slowly (and very painfully) kill everyone. It’s a true joy to see those terrified civilians scatter while my birds bite the life out of them.

Postal 4: No Regerts - Geniass Bar

Power To The Player: Give Us More Mean Killing Machines

My primary complaints with the weapons are simple:

  • Small ammo counts and bullets/items not resetting after loading a save
  • Ammo doesn’t reset after spawning from the nearest checkpoint
  • You respawn with the same amount of resources you had upon death

Couple these with the fact that ammo is very scarce compared to Postal 2, and you have a whole lot of fun equipment that you just can’t use. Instead, you need to use melee items first and save the guns for shootouts. That means no more mindlessly headshotting civilians with your shotgun, just for the sake of it. However, this is only the first level. I assume resources will become more plentiful as additional days are added to the story.

There are other new additions that foster entertaining situations. Like attaching a water hose to a fire hydrant, then launching civilians into oblivion with its massive surge. Or, the electric scooter which allows you to run people over and enter third-person mode (which lacks a few animations here and there, but works fairly well).

Postal 4: No Regerts - Water Cannon

Mechanics, Mayhem, And My Final Impressions

While I’ve had my fair share of criticisms, it’s not to say it’s all bad. Other than the new mechanics and weapons already mentioned, the stuff everyone loved about the last game is here too. You can still use cats as silencers for weapons, urinate on people, kick everything, and set stuff on fire! 

Plus, the good ol’ gas canister returns in all its glory. If you’ve played Postal 2, you know how it works. Dump gasoline on someone then right-click to throw a match at them, setting them alight. It’s masterful how they beg for their lives and run aimlessly, all the while accidentally setting others on fire. Mere seconds after burning the first fellow alive and everything on screen is aflame! As well as your computer, because optimization is certainly not Postal 4’s strong point.

I have a decent gaming laptop. It might not be able to run the newest AAA titles at Ultra on 120 FPS, but it does a good enough job and I can’t complain. That said, I’m pretty sure it thinks Postal 4 is a game from 2050 judging by how it runs. Holy mother of Postal Dude, it is bad. Even on medium graphics, the game is borderline unplayable. I had to turn every. Single. Graphics. Option. to the lowest settings possible so I could experience the game at a suboptimal but playable framerate. 

It looked so ugly that the visuals were more offensive to my eyes that Postal itself is to a suburban mom who thinks videogames cause violence. I endured ultra-bright and distinct colors with little to no depth, coupled with non-existent or very poor textures and choppy frame rates. Luckily, this doesn’t happen to everyone, as I’ve seen others play it with much better performance. Still, I’d hope that my decent computer could manage some passable graphics.

The icing on top of the low-poly cake are the random, yet frequent crashes. I think I witnessed the Unreal Engine 4 crash error screen more than my own mother’s face. I expect the performance issues to be ironed out, but frequent crashes have a long history of consistent pain in the Postal series. The older games had the benefit of quick restarts, but the same can’t be said for Postal 4. The first few notes of the title screen music are burned into my neurons thanks to the sheer number of restarts. The excruciatingly long loading screens don’t help either. Needless to say, Postal 4 does not earn high marks in the performance department.

For those who can run the game, the art style and graphics look great, especially for a relatively small budget game. I just wish I could’ve appreciated them outside of the trailer and screenshots, since I had to run it in potato mode. Everything is well modeled, the visuals are intriguing, and I enjoy the use of color and particle effects. More importantly, the gore is very nice to look at – though I wish they had more dynamic blood. For instance, Postal 2 would turn necks into fountains after decapitation, and it left a pretty red trail on whatever surface it smeared.

All in all, it’s safe to say Postal 4: No Regerts is heading in the right direction. It might have painfully bad optimization and not much content as of today, but with what we’ve seen so far, it’s hard not to get excited about the final product. If you’ve never played a Postal game before, I suggest you first experience Postal 2 before trying any of the other games. If it’s for you, absolutely give No Regerts a try. If you’re a postal fan or have enjoyed Postal 2, it’s in your best interest to keep an eye out for future updates.


Platforms: PC

If you would like to see more FPS games, you may be interested in our review of Ion Fury.

Many thanks go to Running With Scissors for a PC review code for this title.

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