Linux gamers have had to wait a while but, with the launch of the new director’s cut, The Bard’s Tale IV now has a native port. The new enhanced version also has a lot of new improvements over the original game.
The Bard’s Tale IV is a revival of a classic RPG franchise and sees players putting together a group of adventurers to explore dungeons and fight all sorts of monsters at Barrow’s Deep. It boasts quite a bit of customization options when it comes to building characters and promises different ways of approaching battle. Add to that quite a lot of dialog and puzzles and you’ve got plenty to sink your teeth into. It’s one of those single-player adventures that may draw you in for dozens of hours.
The newly-released director’s cut is a free upgrade to existing owners of the game and brings with it a lot of spit and polish. There's the usual slew of bug fixes and a few quality of life changes that includes a revised UI. There’s also extra content in the form of a new dungeon, enemies, items and all of those lovely kinds of things. All in all, it sounds like there have been improvements across the board.
I’ve yet to spend much time with the game beyond the tutorial. I did notice a rather annoying issue, however, with how textures are swapped on objects depending on how close you are to them. In short, flashes of green and purple appear on some objects for a split second. I’m not sure if this is an issue particular to Mesa and my AMD card or the port in general but I have reported it to the developers. Aside from that, I’ve also experienced quite a bit of shader compilation stutter at times. But that’s usually a one-time pain. Finally, there’s a list of a few issues across platforms known to the developers that have yet to be addressed.
On the plus side, I found the setting instantly charming with its Gaelic/Scottish vibe. What little I played of the combat also seemed like it was different and dynamic enough to keep me engaged for the duration of the game. Even with the caveats I mentioned, I'm tempted to dive in and play more. Hopefully it won't take very long for the developers to address the lingering issues.