The Bard’s Tale Trilogy (Review) PC

The Bard’s Tale Trilogy (Review) PC
Review Score:

The grandfather of all CRPGs (Classic Role-Playing Games) has finally made its debut on Steam, and a lot of us old timers have been waiting for this day to come for a very, very long time.  I can still remember playing the original Bard’s Tale back on my Commodore Amiga 500 in the early 1980’s when D&D was only known as a pen and paper game.

The remastered Bard’s Tale Trilogy – even with its improved graphics – is just as fantastic as I remember it. The game has been revised to be modern, implementing the ability to look around the environment via holding down the mouse button and rotating the camera. The original Bard’s Tale moved like a slideshow; the environments were a series of images stitched together to create the illusion of 3D from a first-person perspective. In the original game, you couldn’t look around the environment like you can in the remastered release. 

These subtle changes revamp an already brilliant game; they don’t mask the outstanding gameplay and stunning artwork that make this gem of a game shine. Like many PC users, the Bard’s Tale introduced me to a world that was once considered unimaginable. The moment the game started, all my childhood memories came flooding back.  

The Bard’s Tale Trilogy is an immersive adventure that sends the player into the foul depths of Skara Brae, deep under the city streets to battle unknown evil powers. The massive city of Skara Brae has countless buildings to explore; plenty of loot to find;  and many secrets to uncover. Bard’s Tale isn’t a two-hour adventure; it can take many, many hours to complete. There is so much that needs to be done, it’s absolutely staggering. 

Aside from leveling your party, the player must also maintain their Bard character throughout the game. Since the Bard plays(sic) an important role in your party’s survival, it’s imperative that he doesn’t lose his voice doing battle. This is remedied by visiting taverns and buying him drinks on a timely basis. If this isn’t done, your party will end up in a real bind.

Your characters don’t level the way you may think. Unlike other RPGs, you  have to visit a Master/Trainer before each party member is capable of leveling up. Leveling can be kind of a grind, per-say, but this is the way most cRPGs were back in the day. I personally enjoy grinding levels; there is nothing more satisfying to me in an RPG.  

The turn-based combat is a lot of fun. It starts with the player manually addressing the combat demands before the fight even begins. During combat, every attack and/or skill the player selects is treated like a dice roll. The same goes for the enemy when they retaliate. The damage output for each attack/skill is based on luck (the enemy included), thus it varies each time.

The best tip I can give is to save the game often. If you find yourself dying a lot, it may be to your benefit to grind a low level area until your party is strong enough to return to that area again.

An auto-mapping system – which maps out the towns and dungeons – has been added to make exploring the game easier. This is in stark contrast to the original release of Bard’s Tale, where the player had to use graph paper to map out each location. If you didn’t create your own maps, finding a healer or the Adventurer’s Guild was difficult. 

The Bard’s Tale Trilogy is guaranteed to make you fall in love with the series all over again. I can’t believe how much I missed playing this series. I also look forward to seeing the sequel, The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight, scheduled to release this fall. But that’s not all; we also have Legacy Mode coming to the first chapter of The Bard’s Tale. Legacy mode will disable most of the newer features such as auto-mapping, and will turn the current, remastered Bard’s Tale into the original, classic game  we all remember and love. This should also include the game’s original difficulty, which makes the game even more challenging to play. Legacy mode will be an instant must-try when it’s finally implemented.

The Bard’s Tale Trilogy is a no-brainer for hardcore fans of role-playing games. Not only does it follow the rules of pen and paper D&D, but it also provides one of the most memorable RPG experiences in PC gaming history.

James ‘Daripper’ Pittaro
Platform: PC

System Requirements:
Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
OS: 64bit OS, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows 10
Processor: Intel Core2 Quad Q9300 / AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ / Intel Core i5-2500K or higher if using integrated Intel GPU
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: Graphics card with DX10 (shader model 4.0) capabilities
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 1 GB available space

Developer: Krome Studios
Publisher: inXile Entertainment
Price: $14.99

The Bard’s Tale Trilogy Steam Link: Click Here

Review Score
Simply beautiful. I don’t believe they could have done a better job.
Even better than I remembered.
The Bard's Tale Trilogy is by far the best turn-based, classic RPG you will ever play. If you have never played a true RPG based on the rules of pen & paper D&D, this is your chance to finally experience what it’s all about.
The Bard’s Tale Trilogy is the best remaster of 2018.
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