The Bard’s Tale IV Directors Cut Released

Peter_Brosdahl

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There are still quite a few of us who remember when RPG's were often simply referred to as adventure or fantasy games. It all started with simple text, nothing else, then progressed thru many stages over the decades, and now these days we have many choices of how these types of games are designed and categorized.

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Back in the fall of 2018 InXile released The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep to mixed reviews. I eagerly had pre-ordered it as soon as Steam had a link so I also had mixed feelings after trying to play it at release. We quickly saw what has become the new normal, patches addressing anywhere from one,two,three dozen items either weekly or monthly. Then rumors came out that Microsoft might be in talks to buy InXile so it came as little surprise when this too came to pass. Shortly after that the patches stopped and it was announced that a "Directors Cut" would be getting released. It was released on August 27th. This edition is free to those who purchased the original version on Steam and adds new content, improvements, fixes, among many other things that make this a more definitive outing. Click here for their home page and full details. Here's hoping this is a smoother release than the last and I'm looking forward playing this weekend.

Please share your experiences with this refresh and other similar games. With a new King's Bounty on the horizon, and we had a new Might and Magic a couple years back, there's been a few of these older IP's making comebacks.
 
Interesting, I stayed away from this game when it was released because it seemed to be plagued by bugs.
It might be time to give this a try!
Seems like you need to wait for a directer cut's/game of the year edition ±1 year later to play the game as intended nowadays and I've been doing this a lot more in the past 2-3 years.
 
Interesting, I stayed away from this game when it was released because it seemed to be plagued by bugs.
It might be time to give this a try!
Seems like you need to wait for a directer cut's/game of the year edition ±1 year later to play the game as intended nowadays and I've been doing this a lot more in the past 2-3 years.
Agreed. I'm still a sucker for some games at release but now I usually have a pattern of doing one play thru then, waiting 6 months to a year, and then doing another after it's been fully patched and/or all DLC has been added.
 
I'm sure we all have at least one friend who still go's back and plays this game. I'm not that guy... but a remastered Heroes quest could be pretty awesome. Problem is doing those art assets right in first person or even 3rd person would be an arduous task.
 
Wow...I may have to buy this.

Bard's Tale 1 and 2, along with the Ultima games are solely responsible for my thirst of PC RPG gaming, still today.
I should've mentioned they did an original trilogy release back in the fall as well but released them one at a time until the 3rd around February. It was kind of neat. You bought all three in a deal and around every 30-90 days the next one came. A week or so ago they released an update for all three that also included some visual improvements. I finished replaying the 1st. It was awesome and highly recommended. Haven't gone back for the 2nd and 3rd yet.

Ultima was one of my all time favorites. Ultima 3,4,5 in particular. That was my first experience with games that really felt like a whole other world. Awhile back there was a fan remake for Ultima IV in first person view. It was pretty good but I never finished that one either.
 
Got a few minutes in tonight and definitely has some performance improvements. Last time around my 1080TI, running at 1987Mhz/5589MHz couldn't hold 60fps in 1440p/G-Sync with max settings. Tonight I tested it at 4k and it was holding 50-60fps and v-sync on. Really happy with that. Now I only walked around for a bit but still gaining frames in 4k over 1440p is a leap.

They finally added controller support too. Originally the game was mouse/keyboard only but not a true grid then they added grid move but it seemed forced, like an after thought but not well planned, and really weird. Game feels much better with controller to me. Looking forward to getting more time with this, this weekend.
 
Happy to say that even though I was feeling a bit under the weather this weekend I was able to put some time in with this. Game mostly plays like it should now. It does, however, still have some performance issues with loading textures. If you should turn too fast there are noticeable stutters but next to none when walking or running. Also, when turning, you can see background characters do a sort of stop-motion effect as they catch up to the current fps. It didn't seem to matter what resolution I was playing at or which card I was testing so I'd say this is related to the engine/game.

Other than those hiccups the game plays great. I was able to play 42-60fps in 4k with a 1080TI as stock speeds and a 2080TI easily held 55-60+ fps. I re-connected the 1440p/G-Sync back to the 1080TI and it averaged 85-120 fps. The game 'feels' so much better with the game pad now. Controls still take some getting used to and navigating the menus seems somehow more complicated than they need to be but that's probably just me. Overall, though, really enjoying it. Game feels, looks, and plays like it was supposed to be. Haven't read any performance reviews for it yet but I'd say anyone playing at 1440p/1080p could have a good experience within the 1070-1080TI range level. With a nicely OC'd 1080TI you'll gain a few frames to get closer to the halo 60fps in 4k.
 
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