InXile Entertainment has announced that The Bard’s Tale IV is currently scheduled for a Q3 2018 release. The team will also launch an alpha testing really soon, as well as a beta phase for all backers later this year.
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.
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.
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.