Reviews - Updated on June 17, 2022

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Dude plays Duke Nukem 3D

After Postal 4 did not win special laurels, the question arose: what needs to be done to please fans of the once-cult series? Go back to the very distant past and remember the first Postal, making a remake or something like that? It turned out that this is a thought in the right direction, but you need to remember … Doom, Quake and Duke Nukem 3D.

How Dude turned into Duke

Yes, Postal: Brain Damaged is an old-school shooter. And it was made not by Running With Scissors (the studio acted as a consultant and publisher), but by the Polish studios Hyperstrange (known from Elderborn and Blood Wars) and CreativeForge (Phantom Doctrine, Hard West).

The authors took the mechanics of a classic first-person shooter and placed it in the Postal universe with all the consequences. Yes, mostly stemming – odorous puddles of branded toilet and sometimes black humor, the ability to urinate on enemies, activate jet mechanisms and shoot dildos from a bow are included.

You should have heard what sounds are heard here when you pull the maximum ... arrow.

You should have heard what sounds are heard here when you pull the maximum … arrow.

But the plot, on the contrary, pulled the Dude out of his comfort zone and threw him not into another American town so that he would again mock the inhabitants, but into his own sick brain. After heavy drinking and drinking, he lay down and decided to watch TV, and eventually fell into some kind of madness.

In order to just get to his favorite TV, he doesn’t worry about anything – the Dude is attacked by old men with double-barreled shotguns, exploding Mexican kamikazes, flying fat men, aliens, skeletons, excited women in latex, and even cars. And among the bosses there are 10-meter managers of hypermarkets, the COVID virus and … the Dude himself. Yeah, he’s been running after himself the whole game.

And all this unfolds on the green lawns of his hometown, somewhere in the sultry desert, where the Dude is fired from towers, at game exhibitions, in the corridors of a mental hospital, in the sewers, and even at a secret base with aliens. The scriptwriters play with many clichés in a funny way, including forbidden experiments by scientists, cloning, and that’s all.

Throw in the dildo shooting mentioned above, copious urination, the fact that sometimes the Dude suddenly grows in size, and the environment, on the contrary, becomes like a toy, as well as constant more or less funny comments in the spirit of “The dog says “woof”, the cow says“ mu” and the gun “boom!”, and you will agree that in spirit it is most reminiscent of Duke Nukem 3D.

In the game, according to the tradition of the series, there are many references to other games and films – both visual, and sound, and text. For example, on the loading screens, the Dude recalls Quake, The Incredible Machine and Nancy Drew. And one of the bosses is a huge mech, referring to Evangelion with its name.

Mental hospital patients and, in principle, civilians, if killed, become a free source of health and armor.

Mental hospital patients and, in principle, civilians, if killed, become a free source of health and armor.

We need such a Postal!

However, during the shootings themselves, there is not much room for laughter and cross-cultural references – as they say, I would be alive. Postal: Brain Damaged is a really “meat” shooter, dynamic and even hardcore. The game only initially puts us in the corporate atmosphere of the series, and then the authors, as if saying to themselves: “So, the mandatory program has been completed, and now it’s time for business!” pose with women, dildos and the ability to stun enemies with a strong jet.

Everything is classic – we run, look for yellow / blue / red keys, ride elevators, activate something and open it somewhere, shoot at remote buttons. And the enemies are constantly attacking in crowds, accurately firing and hitting painfully. Moreover, the flow of opponents sometimes does not dry up until we do something or kill the one who calls them. There are many types of monsters, all of them are interesting, different, and everyone needs their own approach – this is one of the components of the success of Postal: Brain Damaged.

These women naturally attack with their mouths.

These women naturally attack with their mouths.

The second is a diverse, interesting and sometimes insane arsenal. About the bow that shoots the dildo, I already said. And here they are again mocking the seals: there is a cannon that shoots tailed ones, which can then be sucked back like a vacuum cleaner – it turns out an almost endless ammunition supply.

Well, plus we can drink different liquids that give special properties to the Dude’s urine so that he can set fire to, freeze enemies and even powder their brains, forcing them to attack each other. We collect all these drinks, as well as parts of armor, first-aid kits and slices of pizza that increase health, but there are also more non-trivial consumables – one, for example, allows you to temporarily fire two cannons at once, causing increased damage.

And you can drink deliciously.

And you can drink deliciously.

Other weapons include pistols, assault rifles, shotguns, grenade launchers, and futuristic cannons that fire electric charges. At the same time, many have interesting alternative fire modes – you can, for example, launch ball lightning that attacks everyone in the hit zone, or trap enemies in a temporary trap using a time bomb.

And the shotgun in alternate mode turns into a grappling hook, allowing you to quickly move through the air, changing position and attacking enemies on the fly. In general, I liked the design of the maps – there are Quake-style ski jumps, portals, the ability to do “rocketjumps”, take off and soar on jets of rising air, and use a grappling hook between islands. Sometimes you even have to run on ceilings and walls – no, not like in Titanfall, but during surreal segments where floors and ceilings change places.

Attention, contest: come up with a funny caption for this screenshot.

Attention, contest: come up with a funny caption for this screenshot.

It’s surprising, but Postal: Brain Damaged, which is indirectly related to the series in terms of gameplay and is essentially a spin-off, turned out to be the most successful game in the line after the second part. It is unlikely that the series will continue to develop in this direction, but this experiment was definitely a success.

Pros: funny plot; peppy gameplay in the best traditions of old shooters; variety of opponents and arsenal.

Cons: lacks dynamic, hard music; character movement does not always feel comfortable and smooth.

Screenshots of the game

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