The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep Image
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71

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 95 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Bard's Tale IV returns to the classic fantasy RPGs of years past. Featuring dynamic turn-based combat, a full party of characters to build and customize, and first-person exploration of maze-like dungeons with devious puzzles and riddles, The Bard's Tale IV is a true successor to theThe Bard's Tale IV returns to the classic fantasy RPGs of years past. Featuring dynamic turn-based combat, a full party of characters to build and customize, and first-person exploration of maze-like dungeons with devious puzzles and riddles, The Bard's Tale IV is a true successor to the original Bard's Tale trilogy, and is crowdfunded by thousands of fans. Help us bring back the dungeon crawl and return to Skara Brae - the city that started it all.

    * A single-player, party-based role-playing game, rich in exploration, combat and challenging puzzles.
    * Dynamic phase-based combat, where the pace of battle is animated and fluid, but still gives you time to think and respond to your enemies.
    * A game set to beautiful Gaelic music from Julie Fowlis (multi-award winning Gaelic singer) and Mark Morgan (Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera), where the Bard's songs and melodies affect gameplay.
    * Compelling story and narrative by acclaimed novel and game writer Nathan Long (Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera).
    * Built using Unreal Engine 4, taking advantage of the latest graphics technologies to create a lush and vibrant world with great interactivity and detail.
    * Branching quests and a world that reacts to your decisions and party make-up.
    Recruitable companion NPC characters, bring personality, and maybe trouble, to your party.
    * Unlock another layer of secrets as you examine and physically manipulate your magic items and the environment.
    * Brought to you by the team behind Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera.
    Available DRM-free for Windows, Mac and Linux.
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Bard's Tale IV - Gameplay Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 42
  2. Negative: 4 out of 42
  1. Sep 18, 2018
    88
    This is your grandpappy’s old-school RPG, but it is made for the modern day. It’s made for RPG lovers of all types, ages, and experience. Bard’s Tale 4 follows squarely in the footsteps of giants without missing a beat. It has taken all those classic features and brought them into modern game play. It feels both fresh and true to its roots, at the same time. I highly recommend this to veterans and newcomers to the series alike.
  2. Sep 18, 2018
    80
    If you’re expecting The Bard’s Tale IV to be an action-RPG on par with some recent blockbusters, you may be disappointed. This is not a cinematic experience with bleeding edge graphics and breathless action and combat. However, if you approach the game as a super-enhanced, classic dungeon crawler that both fits into the legacy and moves the needle on a well-respected, beloved franchise, then you will be pleased by its story, puzzles, nuanced combat, excellent music and varied environments.
  3. CD-Action
    Feb 13, 2019
    80
    The Bard’s Tale IV is like a beautifully composed song performed on out of tunes instruments. There are moments when it borders on genius, other times it actively encouraged me to uninstall and forget it. For every strength it has a weakness. Good writing, superb puzzles, great music, outstanding voice-overs and solid mechanics are counterbalanced by quite awful visuals (how can Unreal Engine 4 look so bad?), some examples of bad design, a truckload of bugs (how about skills that don’t work or the ability to loot a chest through a ceiling?) and frequent crashes. For me the advantages were what mattered more, but I completely understand scores in the region of 4/10. [12/2018, p.58]
  4. Sep 29, 2018
    70
    The Bard's Tale IV is a little retro pleasure that is difficult to ignore. The characters are fun, its universe is rich and the game mechanics are deep. Unfortunately, the game is not up to par visually and looks like something that was released ten years ago.
  5. Dec 4, 2018
    70
    The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep has a satisfyingly deep and flexible battle system, surrounded by heavy puzzle exploration and a narrative that doesn't manage to stay interesting. There are some really neat systems at play here for those looking for intricate combat, but performance issues and a lacking storyline make it a hard sell to a larger audience.
  6. Oct 31, 2018
    65
    Equal parts fascinating and frustrating, The Bard’s Tale IV is not what I was hoping for. With patching and better documentation, it could be a stellar roleplaying experience. As it stands, this Bard needs to practice her tune.
  7. Sep 19, 2018
    40
    Without the bugs, The Bard’s Tale IV is okay at best. With them, it’s perhaps best to preserve your nostalgia and play the HD remaster of The Bard’s Tale I to III instead.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 28
  2. Negative: 9 out of 28
  1. Sep 18, 2018
    10
    Bards Tale IV has all the elements of previous games as well as introducing elements we take for granted in the 21st century. I say go aheadBards Tale IV has all the elements of previous games as well as introducing elements we take for granted in the 21st century. I say go ahead and buy Bards Tale IV Barrows Down you will not regret your purchase and remember, the Google analytics engine has scrutinised every written word available on the web about the game and subsequently rated it as the number one 'Steam Game of 2018'. Expand
  2. Oct 3, 2018
    10
    Beside of the Bugs its a great game overall. Atmosphere, Sound, Character Creation. Unfortunately the most players don't get more than 5 hoursBeside of the Bugs its a great game overall. Atmosphere, Sound, Character Creation. Unfortunately the most players don't get more than 5 hours into it and blame technical bugs for it to be a bad game. The game gets better after 10 hours. If you like dungeon crawlers like legend of grimrock 1/2 and older ones like stonekeep go play it. Expand
  3. Sep 21, 2018
    9
    This game is FAR better than the current 6.2 user score due to performance issues I'm just not seeing. Click on the people leaving 0 scores.This game is FAR better than the current 6.2 user score due to performance issues I'm just not seeing. Click on the people leaving 0 scores. They are almost all one-offs by anonymous people just to vote 0 on this game alone. The combat is great and gets more complex as you play (turn based in small grids). Otherwise it's a 1st person RPG with loot, armor, weapons, magic, collecting, recipes, equipping your gained party members with what you want depending on how you progress the characters through advancement selections, etc... I'm 15 hours in and have experience a single crash, but otherwise am having a lot of fun, which is the real test.

    It's a wonderful game that is definitely worth the $35 for this long time gamer. I played the original games but it's been so long I have no idea what they were like. People complaining that it's not the same as those games is beyond silly. On it's own, it's a very good game, good story, side quests, etc..
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  4. Sep 30, 2018
    8
    I am enjoying the game despite the tech issues. It is a unique game and is entertaining in two fronts, the dialog and the puzzles. I have anI am enjoying the game despite the tech issues. It is a unique game and is entertaining in two fronts, the dialog and the puzzles. I have an older pc and it is kind of difficult to control the first person view. I get a lot of satisfaction out of solving the puzzles and finding loot in different locations. Expand
  5. Jan 2, 2019
    6
    To start out: I recommend this game, with hesitation. It's definitely recommended if you are a fan of "classic" CRPGs, including theTo start out: I recommend this game, with hesitation. It's definitely recommended if you are a fan of "classic" CRPGs, including the original Bard's Tale Series.

    The game definitely is presented as a sequel to the original game, and in that vain, it succeeds well, transitioning between a combat focused CRPG and a puzzle adventure game. To hit some highlights:

    * There's a decent amount of content; I'm about 20 hours in and I'm guessing only 25-30% "done".
    * The game is configured for progressive revelation. Early maps don't unlock all of their content (making navigation of the early maps tedious) until certain skills are unlocked that open up other map areas.
    * Character classes from the original series are present in name only. Progression is basically via skills gained during level ups. A set of skills is selected for each character to use during combat. The need to have an effective mix of skills in the party is very important due to this gameplay element.
    * Excellent use of music and audio in the game. Probably the game's highest point, reaching AAA quality.
    * The gameplay switches between combat and puzzle solving. It tends to focus on one or the other, and the puzzle content is quite high--if you're interested in a combat focused RPG, you'll be disappointed by the large amount of puzzle content.
    * The game is fairly linear in terms of the plots and quests. There are side quests, but they seem to be given and persist for quite some time until they can be completed. As such the game plays in a very linear fashion: fight, solve puzzles, finish quest, optinoally finish side quest, repeat.
    * Open world. I really wanted an experience similar to Dragon Age Inquisition, with an open world feel and exploration being key. This game is not that, it (to me) was somewhat disappointing.

    The previous points elaborate the gameplay elements I feel are key to enjoying the game.

    Finally: I've ignored one of the major downsides for the game--the game engine. As of early Jan. 2019 it can best be described as a mess. It looks "ok", but the performance for the "ok" is atrocious. Load times are somewhere between long and painfully long. Combat can be fun, but the timing and animations make the entire experience seem prolonged--and unlike the original trilogy there's no "speed up combat" option. If you have to replay combat after a loss, it becomes even more tedious. To that end: if you aren't willing to accept (up front) the issues with the engine, you'd be better off playing another game.
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  6. Sep 21, 2018
    3
    I had written an in-depth review listing why the game was bad. But when I reached the character limit of 5000 characters in an interview, theI had written an in-depth review listing why the game was bad. But when I reached the character limit of 5000 characters in an interview, the browser decided that instead of merely closing the box telling me my review was too long, it would turn a page back, thus deleting everything I had written.
    I can't be arsed writing it all again, especially not for a crap game like this.

    To put it short: Game is dumbed down checklist of ideas from different games that got mashed together with little thought of the interaction. Playing it consists of 'solving' monotonous puzzles, being spoonfed a gated/railed tour thorugh the areas while getting your party filled with pregenerated characters one at a time.

    And those that actually loved the trilogy: don't bother. The only heritage is the name. They could have called it barrows deep, without the bards tale name attached, and no-one would have guessed it had anything to do with bards tale.

    Avoid.
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  7. Sep 18, 2018
    0
    We were promised an open world rpg faithful to the original, instead, Inxile siphoned the money we donated away from the project and rushedWe were promised an open world rpg faithful to the original, instead, Inxile siphoned the money we donated away from the project and rushed out some buggy, turn based Trainwreck of a dungeon crawler with a shallow story and poor visuals so we couldn't file a lawsuit for not delivering our game. Expand

See all 28 User Reviews