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Game News The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep Released

Infinitron

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96,930
Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Tags: inXile Entertainment; The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

Welcome to September Madness, our chronicle of this month's crazy volume of anticipated or otherwise noteworthy RPG releases. We start the week off with The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep, inXile's sequel to the classic series of dungeon crawlers that put Interplay on the map back in the 1980s. Originally revealed way back in January 2015 and crowdfunded on Kickstarter that June, for most of its development The Bard's Tale IV was overshadowed by inXile's previous crowdfunded RPG, Torment: Tides of Numenera. The game's $1.5M haul on Kickstarter was widely viewed as a weak performance at the time, and as a cost-cutting measure its development was soon spun off to a new inXile studio opened in New Orleans.

The Bard's Tale IV has probably been ignored by most Codexers, who have never been huge fans of the blobber genre even in the best of circumstances (except perhaps when they're created by madmen from Australia). Yet in the aftermath of Torment's failure, there have been some contrarians among us who looked at Bard's Tale IV and bet that it would end up becoming inXile's most accomplished project, an unpretentious mechanics-first title produced far away from the allegedly negative influences of the California game development scene. Now that the game has been released, is that the case? We're not sure yet, to be honest! Have a look at today's reviews:

MMORPG.com 8.8/10
GameGrin 8.5/10
DarkStation 4/5
Game Informer 7.75/10
That's right, there are barely any of them, and none from the major PC gaming sites. There's also an unusually large number of in-progress reviews, all of which leads me to believe that inXile distributed review keys to the media very late, perhaps only a few days ago. As you might expect, the reviews we do have are rather shallow, with their complaints mainly reserved for the game's graphics and performance, the latter of which seems to be a major issue still. The most useful review right now seems to be this video from well-known gaming YouTuber ACG rather than anything from the traditional media. But ultimately, or at least for the next few days, we Codexers will have to figure this one out for ourselves. The Bard's Tale IV is available now on Steam and GOG for the price of $35. If you're a Kickstarter backer, be sure to check out this update as well.
 
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Durandal

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My team has the sexiest and deadliest waifus you can recruit.
Surely this can't be the first release they had which got botched on Steam because of awful performance. It's such a common every day occurrence on Steam that a hyped up indie/AAA game forever sits on Mixed or Mostly Negative because of shit performance at launch regardless of future patches and fixes, that it's equally as baffling that developers still don't take their time for QC despite all these examples. What were they expecting that would happen anyways?
 

Deleted Member 22431

Guest
When they finally work out the kinks of isometric games (compare the graphics and performance of W2 and ToN) they decide to throw away their hard-earned experience to invest on a wanna be awesum graphics game. Seriously, who do they think they are fooling? This is not a BT's sequel, it's another attempt to dump the oldschool crowd for a broader audience. This is Brian Fargo with his delusions of grandeur doing a fuck up. Again. Not surprisingly, it's failing.
 

Deleted Member 22431

Guest
Could be they turned their backs on the hardcore fans of the original series, and dungeon crawlers in general, in order to cater to mainstream casuals who won't appreciate or buy the game anyway.
And in the attempt to please both they are not pleasing anyone. It is a mystery.
 

Infinitron

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Messages
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Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Could be they turned their backs on the hardcore fans of the original series, and dungeon crawlers in general, in order to cater to mainstream casuals who won't appreciate or buy the game anyway.

Prepare to reap the whirlwind.

Play the game, Dorateen!
 

Dorateen

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Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
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Location
The Crystal Mist Mountains
Could be they turned their backs on the hardcore fans of the original series, and dungeon crawlers in general, in order to cater to mainstream casuals who won't appreciate or buy the game anyway.

Prepare to reap the whirlwind.

Play the game, Dorateen!

Too busy writing Grimoire review. When it's finished, do I send you a PM, or go through the Codex content page?
 

Infinitron

I post news
Staff Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
96,930
Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Could be they turned their backs on the hardcore fans of the original series, and dungeon crawlers in general, in order to cater to mainstream casuals who won't appreciate or buy the game anyway.

Prepare to reap the whirlwind.

Play the game, Dorateen!

Too busy writing Grimoire review. When it's finished, do I send you a PM, or go through the Codex content page?

Ooh. A PM will do.
 

Morkar Left

Guest
When they finally work out the kinks of isometric games (compare the graphics and performance of W2 and ToN) they decide to throw away their hard-earned experience to invest on a wanna be awesum graphics game. Seriously, who do they think they are fooling? This is not a BT's sequel, it's another attempt to dump the oldschool crowd for a broader audience. This is Brian Fargo with his delusions of grandeur doing a fuck up. Again. Not surprisingly, it's failing.

Not sure what people were expecting... The Trilogy Remaster is basically what you take for the real oldschool experience. Or Devil Whiskey. That this will be a modern version was pretty clear from the start. Having actual 3D environmetal puzzles in it seems to be a logical step to make up for all the spinners and stuff from the old games which wouldn't work anymore.
Personally I haven't played the game (still downloading and I have to work) but I can see that having only fixed encounters (and obviously have the game designed around it) might not be the smartest idea for a former blobber series...

And I don't mind that they build a bridge in world design between the old series and the action rpg. The later one actually had some charming world as well and they carried that over. What annoys me is that Skara Brae has a completely different land location than it seemed to have in the original game (together with abandoning more of the old world) and that some races were falling off completely or were changed too much. At least the new dwarves could have been just the old half-orcs and dwarves should be dwarves god damn. Especially when all this is seen in the original artwork *sigh*

Otherwise I look really forward to play it and finally get a Legend of Grimrock in turnbased.
 

Deleted Member 22431

Guest
Morkar, I don't want to be rude, and I understand that people need to eat, but there are no shortcuts. To anything. You can't make compromises if you expect quality. If you make a sequel to an oldschool game, and attract players by name droping, you better do your home work and deliver what you promised because people are entitled to expectations. In the case of InXile, people are expecting them to get their shit together for a long time now, especially in regard to BT. if you can't do another BT game, or don't want to, don't pretend that you do and avoid the backlash. It's simple as that. If you want a immersive game with triple-A graphics, but you don't have the resources to do that, do something else. Otherwise you will come across as an amateur. It seems that Fargo is in the path to ensure the erosion of oldschool player's goodwill for years to come. Talking about having a legacy. How about destroying your own legacy in a series of awful decisions?
 
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Suicidal

Arcane
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
2,171
Meh, from what I've noticed almost every somewhat major game that comes out nowadays gets mixed or negative steam reviews on release. The only games immune to this treatment are weeb visual novels and indie pixelshit.
 

Darkzone

Arcane
Joined
Sep 4, 2013
Messages
2,323
The reviews concur with my observation of the BTIV Beta that it is a solid 80. Wasteland 2 was around 67 and T:ToN below 50 in my opinion. Nevertheless i have to download it first and play it before i can definitely give my opinion about the whole game. The video review from ACG is quite good and i have seen it before Infinitron posted about it and the best thing to take away from it is that he wasn't bored at any time in the game. The faces in BTIV are naturally from below the axe, but fuck this form on incest is on nearly every painted portraits in the renaissance.
 
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Messages
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PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
Could be they turned their backs on the hardcore fans of the original series, and dungeon crawlers in general, in order to cater to mainstream casuals who won't appreciate or buy the game anyway.

Prepare to reap the whirlwind.

All 300 of them.

Bard's Tale was a riff off more popular series in its own time. Like an homage watch, it has not appreciated with age.
 

newtmonkey

Arcane
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
1,725
Location
Goblin Lair
I don't think I could stand the weeb visuals, personally haha. I thought I could get through them with Mary Skelter, but it was impossible for me.

I have plenty of games to play, but I hope that BT4 doesn't bomb totally, because I would like to see BT2 and BT3 remasters finished.
 

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