Postal is a long running franchise that despite its age and infamy remains a “cult classic”, the mad men and women at Hyperstrange have seen this as somewhat of a challenge and decided to produce a spin off for the series in the style of a throwback shooter, any good? Let’s find out and while you’re there, sign my petition.
The Postal Dude is having a bit of a day, he’s sat down to watch T.V and another version of him has run off with it, now the whole neighbourhood is a bit odd, everything is trying to kill him and citizens have lost their faces.
Yeah Postal Dude has finally snapped and is having some mental breakdown which gives him excuses for his adventure, stolen T.V, lack of Toilet Paper, all fine excuses for mass murder.
While the story isn’t exactly steeped in lore, you’ll never quite know where it’s going and this is perfectly reflected in the level choices which still don’t seem real when I type them out, starting off in Suburbia and ending up in Mexico climbing “The Wall” or being in a Insane Asylum and ending up at Area “69”, the level choices are as bizarre as the concept and it works so freaking well.
Since we are on about the levels and the trip the Postal Dude takes, the level design harkens back to the days of Build Engine in the best way, the interactivity and the sheer exploration just screams Blood, Duke 3D and even Ion Fury yet in a totally different graphical style.
That isn’t to say it’s all explore and no gore, Postal: Brain Damaged holds no qualms about locking you in an arena and letting you take it to the bizarre foes that await you, just rather than alot of modern FPS games, encounters happen everywhere rather than just dedicated arenas and the level design just begs for you to explore it and find secrets.
Enemies range from cranky old men with shotguns to nerds dressed as Godzilla and bondage bound “things” that sensually moan and crawl through ventilation shafts at you, fortunately as crazy as the enemies are you have an equally crazy inventory and weapon selection to deal with them.
Starting with the “No So Smart Pistol” and the ChainShovel and ending up with a Hoover that fires cats called the PussyBlower and the ability to piss all over enemies with either Fire, Ice or Mind Altering Moonshine should give you a glimpse at what to expect, what did impress me is that at no point during the Story did any weapon become redundant.
Controls are smooth as lube and you’ll be slide hopping in seconds with how easy it is to control, because it’s slightly modern. The Shotgun has a hook and you’ll be grappling around arenas with ease and performing the odd platforming section.
The main story took me around 8 hours and that wasn’t finding every poster or secret in the game on medium difficulty so there is plenty of scope for another playthrough, fortunately the game plays so well, headshots are satisfying and there genuinely isn’t a bad level so that replay is already feeling mighty tempting.
In regards to bugs, it’s the most stable a Postal game has been since 1 and Redux but don’t think it’s smooth sailing, I had an irritating bug happen towards the end of a level where the rest of the stage wouldn’t render meaning I had to restart. I also had another more frequent bug where I couldn’t interact with enemies, items or switches though again that was solved with a reboot, these are possibly early access teething issues that might have been ironed out at launch.
I can’t remember the last time I had such a grin while I played a FPS, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Postal: Brain Damaged and even after it I don’t think I was quite ready for what is possibly the best FPS game I’ll play this year.
To put in into context I rank it amongst the likes of Dusk, Quake, Duke 3D, Doom, it’s just that much fun to play and takes inspiration from others but in a tongue in cheek way you’d expect from a series that let you set Gary Coleman on fire and had “Piss on your Dad’s Grave” as an objective.
I didn’t expect to have Postal in my GOTY running and I’m unashamedly a fan of the series but Hyperstrange have created an absolutely outstanding throwback shooter which celebrates everything about Postal, about 90s shooters and manages to be better than many FPS games that has come out over the years.
I know you shouldn’t wish it on anyone but I’m already itching for the Postal Dude to get another dose of Brain Damage.
Hyperstrange and the Postal Dude has put FPS games on notice with this perfect slice of throwback pie.
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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.