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The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Developer: InXile
Release Date: Sept. 18, 2018

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PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep' (ALL) v2.0 Update Becomes Director's Cut, Coming In June

by Rainier on Feb. 19, 2019 @ 1:51 a.m. PST

The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep is a new installment in the classic RPG series, returning players to the place where it all began, Skara Brae.

On the 30th anniversary of the original Bard's Tale, what better time than now to go on an adventure worthy of song?

The Bard's Tale IV will feature labyrinths and dungeons chock-full of dangerous traps, puzzles, and challenges, as well as the winding streets of the city of Skara Brae and its outlying environments. Exploration will take place in the first-person dungeon crawler style of the original trilogy. With full rights to everything from the original games, the story of The Bard's Tale IV will center on a new Skara Brae built upon the ruins of the old, returning familiar gameplay concepts such as No-Magic Zones and Magic Mouths.

Utilizing the Unreal 4 engine, The Bard's Tale IV will also represent a graphical leap forward in the genre, immersing you in a highly detailed and lush world you'll want to map to its farthest reaches. The Bard's Tale IV enriches the setting from the original trilogy with Scottish culture, including a soundtrack inspired by Gaelic music.

As many of you know, we were recently acquired by Microsoft, which is a great boon as we plan out future titles and has the added benefit of providing opportunities to improve our current and in-development game titles, including The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep. We are very happy to be part of this new federation of Microsoft studios. As creators and game developers, we look forward to leveraging and utilizing the many tools, features, and services that Microsoft can offer.

We are still in development on the free DLC patch, which also includes a number of other player-requested features and items off of our own post-release support list. As the scope of the patch has expanded (and continues to), we decided that it warranted a more formal title than 2.0. When released, it will turn the game into “The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep - Director’s Cut”. We are introducing several new features, most notably the previously mentioned DLC and an engine update, a larger undertaking allowing us to further improve performance and optimization. Many of those features were discussed in our last update, and include:

  • A new dungeon and story line featuring new enemy types
  • New items (master-crafted gear and Dwarven Weapons)
  • Inventory filtering
  • Expanded balancing efforts across the entire game (combat, economy, abilities, etc.) based on player feedback and our own testing
  • A new Song of Exploration allowing you to bypass puzzles if those aren't your jam 
  • Additional character portraits
  • A new intro animatic
  • Expanded work on improving localization
  • Updated game engine
  • Improved performance and stability
  • Improved level art 
  • Reworked main menu
  • Numerous bug fixes

And much more! We are also currently working with Microsoft to improve and optimize our gamepad support. The Director's Cut is scheduled to go live in June.

We are releasing the Mac and Linux versions at the same time as The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep - Director’s Cut

inXile plans to use photogrammetry to create in-game 3D objects from photos of architecture, taken right in Scotland. With such detailed assets, The Bard's Tale IV will have intricate interactions, allowing for detailed physical puzzles in the game world, or while inspecting your own items in your inventory to find hidden compartments, latches, and more.

Of course, Skara Brae is not always a friendly place. The Bard's Tale IV will update the classic gameplay of the originals, featuring a dynamic phase based combat system. Combat will utilize the complex decision-making opportunities of traditional phase based combat, but with a constantly evolving enemy strategy and a pacing that keeps you on your toes.

Key Features:

  • Return to a Land of Magic and Mystery: 100 years after The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate, Skara Brae is once more in danger from shadowy forces. Recruit a party of renegade heroes and rise in defiance of the dark powers that be to save the world from its greatest threat yet
  • Build a Team of Heroes: Assemble a party of up to six adventurers tailored to your distinct play style. Level up your companions and customize them with new skills and gear to survive
  • Multi-level Tactical Combat: Fight cultists, goblins, giants, wraiths and other mythical creatures in turn-based battles that reward strategic positioning, clever thinking and masterful combos
  • Delve Deep Into Deadly Dungeons: Journey to ancient ruins teeming with creatures, traps and mysteries. Unravel over 200 challenging puzzles and reap the rewards for your advantage
  • Solve Riddles to Upgrade Your Weapons: Hunt for legendary artifact weapons whose true powers can be unlocked by solving the many clever puzzles etched into them

The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep will launch for PC on Sept. 18, 2018, and is expected to arrive later this year on the PS4, Xbox One, Mac and Linux.


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