The Bard's Tale IV

The Bard's Tale IV

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Prepare to be disappointed...
Speaking as a die-hard Bard's Tale fan back in the day, and an avid CRPG fan, I can sum up this game in two sentences:

1) There is nothing other than some lore tidbits that make it even remotely like a Bard's Tale game.
2) It's not a very fun CRPG.

Getting away from the whole "Is it Bard's Tale or not" quagmire of a discussion (spoiler alert: it's not), I tend to focus more on whether a game is fun, and I find so many things about this game that are more frustrating than fun.

If I level a character and gain a cool new ability or spell, I'm suddenly limited by some arbitrary game mechanic called "mastery slots" (picture being limited to 5 active abilities in Diablo 3, except here we have even less, and this includes our caster's spells!). Pure Frustration. Any RPG that keeps us from enjoying our character growth through some arbitrary game mechanic is destined for trouble. And starting combat with no spell points? Aaaagh, how frustrating. What's the point of all those high level spells (check that, all FOUR of them, $%!&*!), if I have to wait forever to use them? All I see ahead of me are frustratingly slow battles. And for those who don't know, your character stats don't increase at ALL on level-ups. The ONLY character stat increases come through item bonuses. Which means that unless you find good random loot, you need to buy equipment to have decent stats and be halfway effective against the increasingly-tough monsters. And running around to all the merchants (some of which are in dungeons) to find gear just so my characters can have decent stats? Frustrating. Oh, and to top it off I only have enough gold to buy one good item, because there are no random encounters and thus no farming. More frustration. And let's not even talk about how they made strength represent damage for all classes, which means your high-strength mage does more melee damage than your high-con fighter, and it's more effective to have your mage use melee attacks instead of standing around waiting for mana to charge up. Argh, just kill me now...

If Brian Fargo were smart, he'd delay the release date by 6-9 months, and bring in new project leads who are actually old enough to remember playing the originals to revamp the combat and character development systems. There are many examples of fun turn-based party combat mechanics that could fit well into this game. Instead we're stuck with this weird avant-garde card-game mish-mash of a disaster.

I stopped playing the beta shortly after I gathered all the pre-made characters and could make my own, and I have no desire to continue. The developers of this game have no idea what makes a Bard's Tale game enjoyable, and I'm not sure they even know what CRPG fans like and crave. For me, this definitely ain't it. What a damn waste of this classic and iconic IP...
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Showing 1-15 of 187 comments
Eisberg Aug 10, 2018 @ 7:33pm 
I am also a long time fan of this series, and I got to say, I feel the exact opposite of everything you just said. While you consider that stuff as weaknesses, I consider that stuff as actually being a strength for the games, it is that kind of stuff that I feel makes it more fun.

I find the combat to be more unique, in a good way, than other turn based games. I find it to be very immersive and highly flexible. The idea of having a shared action point pool is a great idea and allows me to setup multi-hit combos or even better prepare for some danger that is coming my way. The combat is massively fun.

I like having gear be the way to increase stats, it makes gear feel more epic and even more fun to obtain. Obtaining gear hasn't been an issue at all.
SpectralShade Aug 11, 2018 @ 5:58am 
as has been pointed out so many times: Why create a sequel to a series when you don't use anything from that series?

"Barrows deep" is as much "bards tale" as "hearthstone" is "magic the gathering". The only reason I can think of to call this fiasco of a game for "bards tale" is to cash in on nostalgia by using an existing IP because they were insecure that the game would be able to hold on its own.

As for the game itself, I find combat massively boring in this game. It's literally the same actions you do all the time with the same few characters while you have characters that just 'sit' there in your party not doing anything except act as a meatbag to take hits. What's the 'fun' of having a character you never use for anything and that is only there so the enemies have an extra target to hit? The whole combat system is a clusterf..k made by someone thinking they were too clever and wanted to reinvent the deep plate.

I completed the beta and haven't found anything enticing me to go back and do it again. In the old bards tale games I would often just load up my party and go off doing random dungeons or stuff, in this game everything is scripted and linear. It's practically a corridor shooter of "rpg" design. Even mass effect had more replay value, in spite of being linear as well, than this game does, because combats always play out the same and decisions (what decisions?) play out the same too.
Lord Azlan Aug 11, 2018 @ 3:15pm 
Agree a lot with the OP. Huge old time BT player that mainly invested for the remastered version.

I might get a BT IV out of it as well but had low expectations.

They did the Skara Brae setting quite well. But I am expecting 99 Barbarians or random encounters somewhere.

It feels too much like Legend of Grimrock.

The interface is diabolical although it is still a Beta version.

Not bad though. I look forward to the better versions later. It does feel new/ unique in the revitalised genre.
killerchef Aug 12, 2018 @ 6:06am 
I agree 100% percent with you Virtual.

We have been served up a game which looks like its been streamlined for simplicity (12 spells is all you have got if you are a mage? Rest is Armour Unlocks\Stat bump and Potion crafting???????) and the Xbox Controller in its most basic form and I most certainly will be seeking a refund on this one.

Extremely disappointed for myself and other fans out there. Its difficult for me to fathom exactly how anyone with any pride or passion for the orginal 3 bards tale games could hold their heads up high when talking about this game, honestly.
Slayer Aug 12, 2018 @ 1:22pm 
I agree.This isn't a Bard's Tale game to me. I loved all three originals and played them back when they were new when I was a kid/teen.I was skeptical as to how it would be made these many years later.But I didn't think they would do a complete overhaul. I took a chance for the love of the franchise and the remastered trilogy.

OP is right.It needs delayed and have people brought in that played the originals.Because I find it hard to believe a fan of this series had any actual input into this game.The combat and party system sucks.No random encounters.Can't count how many times one if not all my party was one random encounter from death,desperately trying to make it back to town and making it to the guild ,temple.Dying, losing hours of progress.

And the massive fights.99x,54x,24x,32x.Will your party run or fight? Having three wizards in the back casting dragon's breath ,gotterdamrung etc. Or when you're outmatched/numbered or both.Failing to run and forced to fight knowing it will be your death but some how pull it off.

Alas,my hopes have expired.
Last edited by Slayer; Aug 12, 2018 @ 1:23pm
HexStadium Aug 12, 2018 @ 5:30pm 
Kind of makes me wonder if they started work on some kind of totally seperate game and pulled a Starfox Adventure and just decided to change some assets/story to an unrelated game so it'll sell
oddeyedl Aug 13, 2018 @ 1:42am 
I played the game very briefly and I see some of the things the OP has mentioned being an issue, its like they built a goregous game but it has zero depth. I would say calling the game a corridor shooter/rpg in the linear scope it has is too generous, i would call it a rail shooter as the choices you have in exploration are only an illusion, and that means no choice at all. Take for example two aspects the maps arent really big enough to warrant true exploration and combat being scripted the way that it is. Then throw in the limited skills you can use in combat and really it seems more like a tech demo.

They tried something new and its like an rpg flavoured for people who dont like rpgs. The true draw and appeal of rpgs is character building and depth. Someone conviced the devs to make the game more shooter like and faster paced but failed to consider the other games people who would have potientally loved this game play also? People who lay rpgs love to build awesome characters with lots of flexibilty and depth. A group of well meaning talented devs got together and made really poor choices period. Time will tell.
killerchef Aug 13, 2018 @ 6:00am 
Each time i try and write out how many flaws there are with this game all I feel is outrage and major disappointment. No way anyone with any love for the series had anything to do with this title being developed.
killerchef Aug 13, 2018 @ 6:03am 
The fact that this game is Backed by FANS of the original series who all of which have been looking forward to this game and then for this to happen.....It goes against everything a crowd funded game stands for, i mean its a joke right? Somwhere along the way someone will showup and go HAHA we got you guys and then produce the real game that has been under development which we have been promised.
killerchef Aug 13, 2018 @ 6:04am 
HOW DOES THIS GAME GET DEVELOPED THIS FAR DOWN THE LINE WITHOUT SOMEONE WITH CARE AND PASSION RAISING A RED FLAG AND SAYING "GUYS I THINK WE HAVE MESSED UP HERE!"
Last edited by killerchef; Aug 13, 2018 @ 6:06am
Eisberg Aug 13, 2018 @ 9:22am 
Originally posted by killerchef:
Each time i try and write out how many flaws there are with this game all I feel is outrage and major disappointment. No way anyone with any love for the series had anything to do with this title being developed.


Originally posted by killerchef:
The fact that this game is Backed by FANS of the original series who all of which have been looking forward to this game and then for this to happen.....It goes against everything a crowd funded game stands for, i mean its a joke right? Somwhere along the way someone will showup and go HAHA we got you guys and then produce the real game that has been under development which we have been promised.


Originally posted by killerchef:
HOW DOES THIS GAME GET DEVELOPED THIS FAR DOWN THE LINE WITHOUT SOMEONE WITH CARE AND PASSION RAISING A RED FLAG AND SAYING "GUYS I THINK WE HAVE MESSED UP HERE!"


You do know there are fans of the series who are loving this game and feel it is a great sequel to the series? And yes, original developers from bards tale 1-3 helped make this game as well.

You guys opinions do not reflect the opinions of all the fans of the series. Generally seems to be received well by the fans of the series.
Last edited by Eisberg; Aug 13, 2018 @ 9:24am
gatt001 Aug 13, 2018 @ 9:39am 
well after reading all the above all i can say is im excited.


excited that BT 1-3 got its remake so i can play them to death until someone comes and makes a proper sequal.
SpectralShade Aug 13, 2018 @ 10:35am 
Originally posted by HexStadium:
Kind of makes me wonder if they started work on some kind of totally seperate game and pulled a Starfox Adventure and just decided to change some assets/story to an unrelated game so it'll sell

you're not the only one that had that thought. Especially the retcons of lore and skara brae being a town with a seaport all of a sudden instead of being surrounded by plains on all sides as in previous lore smells wrong.
SpectralShade Aug 13, 2018 @ 10:44am 
Originally posted by Eisberg:
Originally posted by killerchef:
Each time i try and write out how many flaws there are with this game all I feel is outrage and major disappointment. No way anyone with any love for the series had anything to do with this title being developed.


Originally posted by killerchef:
The fact that this game is Backed by FANS of the original series who all of which have been looking forward to this game and then for this to happen.....It goes against everything a crowd funded game stands for, i mean its a joke right? Somwhere along the way someone will showup and go HAHA we got you guys and then produce the real game that has been under development which we have been promised.


Originally posted by killerchef:
HOW DOES THIS GAME GET DEVELOPED THIS FAR DOWN THE LINE WITHOUT SOMEONE WITH CARE AND PASSION RAISING A RED FLAG AND SAYING "GUYS I THINK WE HAVE MESSED UP HERE!"


You do know there are fans of the series who are loving this game and feel it is a great sequel to the series? And yes, original developers from bards tale 1-3 helped make this game as well.

You guys opinions do not reflect the opinions of all the fans of the series. Generally seems to be received well by the fans of the series.

feel free to tell which game mechanics from the previous games that are in this game that you like?

You can't. Because there are none. It's a totally different game with no connection at all.

It's not a bards tale game because there are zero game mechanics related to bards tale in it. End of.

I like puzzle quest. Doesn't mean I would go all "oh this is a great sequel!" if they released bards tale 5 as a puzzle quest game style. It would have as much to with bards tale series as barrows deep does, so it sounds like you might call such a joke of a game for "a great sequel".

People gave inXile money on the faith that they would create a bards tale game. Instead they created something entirely different. Lots of people paid way over what they would normally pay for a random game purely because they hoped they could get a new bards tale game. Instead they are now getting something that literally has zero to do with bards tale in game mechanics.

Is it so hard to understand why people are♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥when they paid around $100 or more in good faith on receiving a specific type of product and instead are getting something totally different that they didn't ask for?
havent played the beta. so aside from the name this game has zero connection or similarity with the originals?? that's certainly disappointing.
Last edited by Handsome_WombatX6969; Aug 13, 2018 @ 12:32pm
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Date Posted: Aug 10, 2018 @ 3:21pm
Posts: 187