Post Void is a frenetic first-person shooter that takes old-school gameplay and fuses it together with roguelite systems. The result is a fantastic mix of genres, creating what is probably one of my favourite indie releases of 2020.
The premise is simple: you’re dropped into what feels like an everwinding floor of corridors filled with monsters and you must make it to the end. You hold a gun in one hand and a small idol in the other, filled with an ever-draining liquid that represents your health and the amount of time you have left. Once the idol is empty, your playthrough is over, but you can keep it topped up by killing enemies. It’s a simple premise that feels reminiscent of Minute, as it encourages players to learn enemy attacks and placement in order to progress further with each playthrough.
Each of the 11 levels introduces more difficult enemies and a greater numbers of them, forcing players to really get to grips with the game’s shooting mechanics. This is where Post Void really shines. Gunplay is crisp and responsive, empowering players to make quick, reactive shots at the numerous enemies that fill the screen. There are a number of guns to find, including the starting pistol, an Uzi and satisfying shotgun. Each one plays very differently, so it’s on players to find out what works for them.
It’s hard to describe just how fun Post Void is to play, but it truly is an exceptionally polished shooter. I quickly found myself ducking and weaving to avoid gunfire and really locking into the fast pace of the game. This, mixed with the urgency of your dwindling health, genuinely makes for one of the best experiences on PC this year.
Post Void is a roguelite, so each run is different to the last. Players can pick up a number of modifiers between each round giving you active abilities that change reload time or increase the number of bullets in your gun, adding further variety to the types of runs players can experience. It’s a really well thought out system that never overly interferes with the gameplay, but at the same time changes it enough to make each run feel unique.
Much like the choice of guns, players will find what abilities work for them and their style of play. I often went for attack buffs such as explosive enemies or shorter reload speeds as I was confident enough that I could pull off headshots. Other players might choose to increase the amount of liquid in their idol or reduce the slowdown you experience when touched by enemies. It’s all about finding the right abilities that work for you and the build that gets you through its manic levels.
You’ll need all the help you can get because Post Void is very, very difficult. There are eleven levels in total, but I’ve only managed to reach level six so far, with more demands on your dexterity and reactions the further you get. There currently isn’t pad support, but I feel Post Void is a game specifically geared towards playing on a keyboard and mouse. The speed at which you travel through some of the later levels would be far too hard to handle on an analogue stick. It’s for this reason that Post Void is such a delight to play. The developers specifically designed the game’s action around old-school first-person shooters like Doom and Quake, creating what feels like an incredibly pure FPS experience.
Post Void also looks a lot like those aforementioned classic first-person shooters with an early 3D shooter style that’s then been dipped in grungy psychadelia. You move through a static 3D environment while the enemies in the game are 2D sprites. It’s a style that suits Post Void, and this simplified visual aesthetic means that Post Void will run incredibly smoothly across a wide range of machines. I would have liked to have seen a few more options in the settings for visuals, namely the ability to turn V-sync off for a higher refresh rate, but that’s a pretty small complaint in the grand scheme of things.
There’s only one song in the game at release, and while it compliments the gameplay, it quickly becomes a little repetitive. It would appear the developers were aware of this, incorporating an achievement that pings when you turn the volume down to zero, nudging you to a kind of unlicensed soundtrack with its name ‘Spotify: Post Void Playlist’. Truthfully, I’d love to hear more original music by whoever created the one in-game song, as it kept me entertained for far longer than it should have done.
I’m sure some people will take umbrage at the amount of content on offer, but the cost of admission is a meagre £2.33 for one of the best shooters of the year. For those seeking additional challenge past the game’s eleven levels, there are global leaderboards so you can continue to battle it out with other players across the world for the highest score.