Fired it up for the first time last night. Played for a little more than an hour, working my way through the intro bit, creating a new Fighter character to replace the Bard you control at the start, then worked through the story to the point where I’ve had several encounters/battles and discovered a few secrets in the underground city.
My thoughts echo many of the above posts. While I had no serious technical issues, and did not experience any motion sickness, I DID change my graphics options early on to try and avoid any framerate issues before they happened. I’m using a 1050Ti 4GB, and I left the textures and details on Ultra, but set shadows to Medium and another setting I can’t recall right now to High. I left the view distance at the default. Using these settings there was still a fair bit of hesitation and “jankiness” during transitions, but nothing that was show stopping.
The audio worked perfectly for me throughout, and man,did they produce some beautiful audio for this game. In addition to a cast featuring many very nice and natural sounding Scottish brogue accents, the music and in particular the female vocals are excellent. I actually stopped a few times while walking around just to listen to NPC conversation and/or singing. A game about bards should feature a great soundtrack, and so far this has been delivering.
I am not a fan of the Save Totem system. Fuck that noise. This is 2018, and if I am spending my valuable and limited game time playing a complex RPG I want to be able to save anywhere. I’m also not in love with the combat system. It feels kind of clunky, and it lacks strategy. I’m hoping that will change as you add more members to the party. I don’t like the graphical aspect of combat, how it looks like the monsters are on a stage and your party is in the orchestra pit. I feel like I’m watching MST3K when I’m in combat.
Still, the game is beautiful, the story so far is engaging and interesting, and nothing has turned me off so much that I don’t want to continue playing. The improvements mentioned in the roadmap are very much needed, and I would argue for a few additional enhancements as well (like a save anywhere option), but overall my initial impression of Bard’s Tale IV is that it is doing justice to its ancestry while updating the series to mostly modern design (save points excepted).
Oh, and I wondered what that code wheel magic exuding thingy I found in the underground city was. Now I know I need the “digital” code wheel to interact with it. I’ll have to download that app on my Surface so I can bring it up while playing on my main PC. I also received an email with codes for backer content, including a walkthrough, a manual and some in-game items, so I guess I should activate that stuff too.