Skip to main content

The Bard's Tale 4 returns to Skara Brae next week

The Bard’s Tale 4: Barrows Deep is only a few days away, drawing us back to the constantly endangered Skara Brae after a long hiatus. Slap your eyes on the launch trailer above for an overview of inXile’s dungeon crawler. 

The series itself kicked off 33 years ago, which isn’t really that long ago. I mean, I’m 33 and I’m a spring chicken and definitely not covered in grey hairs and full of aching bones. Definitely. The last proper game was 2004’s spoofy action-RPG, simply titled The Bard’s Tale. All of them are in the process of being remastered, starting with Tales of the Unknown; it launched last month. 

As for the new game, it’s going back to the series’ roots, dropping the action-RPG stuff for first-person dungeon crawling with a party of adventurers. Wes took the first few hours for a spin back in July and was particularly smitten with Bard’s Tale 4’s combat

“So far I love this combat system, which will probably be the most controversial element of The Bard's Tale 4's design. It's a far cry from the standard RPG menu of attack/defend/magic/item, with each character proceeding in turn. But even in just a few hours, there's a promising richness to this combat. I quickly found a strategy I liked: throwing down traps that stunned enemies when they were stepped on, then using my fighter's taunt to pull a unit forward onto that space.”

You’ll be able to return to Skara Brae on September 18. 

Fraser Brown
Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.