For all the twisted and controversial escapades that the Postal series has brought to gamers everywhere, it remains as one of the few series that doesn’t really care about moral boundaries and gross-out humor. Bandit Brawler doesn’t hide its inspiration but puts a medieval spin that is bound to please undemanding fans of rough adventures who just want to have some fun.
Half Postal, half Goat Simulator, this is the kind of game where the “bug or feature” dilemma doesn’t apply. Bandit Brawler is frankly silly adventure, almost a spoof of other better games but without the polish that it eventually deserves. Despite your constant chatting with a rooster or the tendency to steal everything in your sight while fending off guards and peasants, there’s a clunkiness to it that pushes the game into less favorable territory.
After escaping the prison, your first tasks are simple: rob, mug, steal, pickpocket, earn coins. It’s a hard life being a bandit in this somewhat small but open-world medieval town, trying to go by unnoticed but occasionally being surrounded by three or more guards, even some peasants who are too inclined to get into a fight.
If only the combat system was any good, it would be interesting, but it turned out to be weightless, repetitive, and frustratingly inaccurate. What could be a fun first-person brawler turns into a game of running away and trying to time your punch, something that becomes chaotic when the odds are against you. Combos don’t quite connect, and the inclusion of exploding cats, dogs or pigs feel more like Postal box ticking than proper additions to gameplay. Melee and ranged weapons don’t change the overall feeling that much, with exaggerated ragdoll action that is far from exciting.
Speaking of Postal – and that must be the predominant word here – there are other interactions that are either lifted straight from the second chapter or inspired by it. Urinating, showing the middle finger, or slapping someone are actions that quickly wear out their welcome, more of a gimmick to start one more fight than something funny or useful, unless you’re someone who thinks fart jokes are the pinnacle of humor.
Any attempts to add variety to the gameplay fall flat, either by being shallow or just too complicated to feel invested in. Take the dice game as an example, one where you must succeed if you want to continue progressing, but this is a far cry from the addictive dice and card activities found in other games such as The Witcher. The drinking game is another activity that is well-intended, but it merely asks you to click on bottles at increasingly cursor speeds.
Contrary to the possibilities offered both by Postal 2 and Goat Simulator, Bandit Brawler doesn’t have much of that buggy and ragdoll charm to keep you entertained. Enemies flying up on the air aren’t that much fun, and NPCs walking with part of the feet buried in solid ground only shows that there wasn’t much care put in place.
Drunken Elder Scrolls
Despite the visible low ambitions and aiming for crazy gameplay that would be best served with a dose of alcohol among friends, Bandit Brawler isn’t very charming. The bland combat gets tiresome quickly, and the medieval city isn’t very fun to explore, not to mention that you’re constantly being chased by someone wanting to start a brawl.
Only try Bandit Brawler if you enjoy your low-budget, silly, and crass games – this is more of a parody that doesn’t really work than a proper, enjoyable adventure. You’re best skipping this one and diving into one of the series that inspired it, as those at least have a wealth of content and some actual fun to offer you.
- Inspired by Postal and Goat Simulator
- Some okay humor here and there
- Bland combat with bad sensations
- Crass without being funny
- Bugs and glitches