Top Critic Average
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep delivers on the faith its Kickstarter backers put into the project. It weaves combat, exploration, music, and puzzles into a game that stands out in a crowded market. It's unlike any other RPG, and with other old-school RPGs finding success these days — Pillars of Eternity, Octopath Traveler, and Dragon Quest XI — I hope InXile is able to come back to this fantastical world, just like it's doing with Wasteland.
It’s not a game that I can easily recommend to the average gamer as you really do have to put up with a lot of issues and a lack of polish, and so I’d probably say this is only worth a by for dedicated RPG fans or if you spot it on sale. However, if the developers do manage to get the game properly patched this could be a solid RPG with some neat ideas.
Despite taking place in a marvellously detailed, humorous, and lively world, the story of The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep is rather by-the-numbers, and a lot of the game’s design harkens back to the old games in the series in the worst, most rigid ways possible. Further to this, even after a few updates, the game is still fraught with technical issues, but it is slowly being patched, and inXile has a good track record for working on their games to improve them. And the good things that are still present in this game are excellent, like the fantastic writing, refreshing approach to puzzle designs, and beautiful music present throughout. The design could also be tweaked to remove the sting of a lot of the older design tropes that cause the most grief. As it stands, the game in its current state is rough as guts, but there’s a lot of room for improvement, and I’ve faith that it will improve. It will just take time.
Overall, The Bard's Tale IV, after a few updates, is a solid game. A well-done story backed by amazing voice acting and soundtrack makes this game a must for The Bard's Tale fans. Newcomers to the series should enjoy their time as well. Finding it on sale should help seal the deal.
The Bard's Tale IV revisits the classic dungeon-crawling formula from years past, simultaneously showing reverence for its history whilst not being afraid to change it up mechanically. Visually stunning with a wonderful Gaelic folk soundtrack to go with it.
The Bard's Tale IV is a game that puts "fantasy" in fantastic. With its rich atmosphere, charming visuals and medieval aesthetic, it affords a deep gaming experience.
The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep is a wonderful RPG that is immersive and grandiose. inXile Entertainment has done this incredibly well to update the series with modern conveniences while maintaining that classic PC RPG feel. It’s great to see a series return after three decades and be such an entertaining, beautiful, tactical, and strategic RPG that will have players of any skill thinking on their feet. Without having played the prior games to compare it to, its depth and length in every aspect is on par with what you’d expect. The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep will make new fans out of it, and old fans will rejoice in this fourth installment that hearkens back to the original games as if they never left.
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep is a surprisingly deep and rich role-playing game steeped in some old lore. It has some big shoes to fill given the history of the series, and while I'm not familiar with it, I enjoyed what I played. Aside from the stuttering and short learning curve, I was impressed by the game and its overall gameplay. Although, even the learning curve is softened immensely by the excellent tutorial. I'm itching to try more and more of the game and see just what Skara Brae has to offer, and I suggest others do the same.
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep is certainly a game awaited by many of those who loved the original trilogy, and truly wants to keep the identity of the series in its core while making it modern and welcoming to all the people who have never heard of the saga, or even the genre. Whether or not they have succeeded at keeping the core of The Bard's Tale in this title is still up to debate for veterans, but it cannot be denied that at is price, it's an enjoyable experience that will bring you 40+ hours of entertainment.
Overall The Bard’s Tale IV is a great title. Well drawn environments, dialog and an awesome accompaniment of bardic music make it worth playing for long stints at a time. Adding in elements such as a customizable leveling up system in order to style your characters just right, and the rest of the adventure is simply waiting for you to explore it the way you want to.
With The Bard's Tale 4: Barrows Deep, developer inXile does a great job of taking all the elements of a 30-year-old series and mixing it up with some modern era mechanics.
At its roughest edges, The Bard's Tale IV shows its retro revival roots in some not so positive ways. It may not be special enough for me to easily overlook these technical shortcomings entirely, but it's an RPG that's brimming with enjoyable, challenging fights, elaborate and entertaining puzzles, and plenty of visual and musical flair. And that was more than enough to keep me humming along contentedly to its tune more often than not.
The Bard's Tale IV isn't a game for everyone. Brian Fargo's new production is very old-school, but not archaic or outdated. It respects its heritage and the genre's rules. Still, the fans of modern RPGs could be unimpressed if they don't keep their expectations in check.
Review in Polish | Read full review
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep is definitely for a specific crowd of hardcore RPG and series fans, and for those, it caters wonderfully. It features a fascinating world and one of my favorite turn-based combat systems in recent memory. That being said, it may not be as appealing to a mass audience due to its complicated nature and glitches. For a franchise that hasn't been seen in 30 years, that may not have been the wisest decision. However, I do hope The Bard's Tale series sticks around because the core experience is great, making the game one of the most interesting RPGs I've played in 2018.
Overall, The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep gets a 7/10, it is an enjoyable adventure with engaging turn-based combat and puzzle solving but fails too harshly in other areas. Combat can become repetitive at certain points where you fight the same setup of enemies 5 times in a row when it doesn’t glitch out. Some puzzles are overly easy, while others are overtly vague without reason. The difficulty is great throughout, aside from some areas that take a drastic leap. The long list of glitches and bugs ruin an otherwise amazing experience as they plague every corner.
The Bard's Tale IV is a little retro pleasure that is hard 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.
Review in French | Read full review
The Bard's Tale IV is a mixed potion that can offer a very fun gameplay experience as well as seriously damaging your nerves! It offers more than 30 hours of gameplay for just 35 dollars, and when all elements are working, it can be fun and enjoyable. But then technical issues kick in and along with a very strange save mechanism, ruin your day! The Bard' Tale IV is surely a charismatic title and if you can cope with its flaws, you can have great fun; but it still has a lot of issues to address in order to be considered one of the elite titles of the genre.
Review in Persian | Read full review
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep is not a perfect game by any respect. It's the first mainline sequel to a franchise that is over thirty years old, and this iteration certainly stumbles. However, what is here is a solid game with clever writing, strong characters, and a wonderful world of misfits and misadventures. The game needs patches, and an overall layer of polish, making it feel rushed and shoddy. If you're on the fence, give it some time to get its ducks in a row before you commit to a purchase.
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep couldn't escape the shadow of its predecessors and it also has some unnecessary technical flaws. Ultimately not just younger players that are used to modern games, but also the older players, won't be completely satisfied.
Review in Czech | Read full review
Barrows Deep is a shaky throwback that, despite occasional success in its stripped-down, straightforward approach, suggests that maybe simplicity and escapism has limitations of its own.
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep is a frustrating mix of brilliance and bad design. Future updates may elevate it to something more but right now it, sadly, suffers from some broken strings.
I've been underwhelmed by inXile's previous nod to nostalgia, Wasteland 2, and everyone else in the universe seemed to adore it, so maybe it's me. Your mileage, as always, may vary. But if you're looking for a rock-solid, incredibly challenging nuts-and-bolts RPG with all of the quirky flair of the original trilogy, this isn't quite it.
The Bard's Tale 4 has some positives and a whole lot of potential but it's also dragged down by a number of design and technical issues. Hopefully, a revamp and optimization helps it realize the full extent of its charm.
Despite the negatives I found with the game, The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep has incredible promise. The developers are actively responding to all of the customer issues and appear to take these concerns seriously with promptly made patches and ongoing support. I wholeheartedly believe that between constructive feedback from players and well thought out solutions from the developers that The Bard’s Tale IV can become the game it has every right to be.
The Bard's Tale IV could be a fun — but seriously flawed — game if it weren't hamstrung by technical problems. Its frequent framerate drops, bugged combat abilities, and crashes are compounded by an archaic save system that makes it far too easy to lose progress. Though it features some great combat and challenging puzzles, they're not without their own flaws, and become extremely repetitive over the game's 30–40-hour playtime.
Listen, if you're reading this in the future, go and check the recent Steam reviews. My guess is that they will be rather positive on the game. A lot of the issues are tech-related: crashes, geometry bugs, load times, and framerate can all be fixed with patches. As of now? The interesting puzzles and fantastic music are not worth suffering through the bugs, lackluster models, and mediocre combat and skills. If your interest is piqued here, wishlist it and come back at a later time; I have no doubt that this game will reach its potential, but it's just not even close right now.
Without the problems that stem from the, evidently, rushed production, The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep is a mediocre-to-good dungeon crawling RPG that's reminiscent of the genre's humble beginnings. With those problems added, however, this is downright annoying, and even unplayable.
The poor save system and technical issues combine to create something more frustrating than the sum of its parts. Combat is decent and the music is fantastic, but overall not worth the time spent in the rest of the game. You can instead just listen to the OST.