After a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter nearly two years ago, InXile have been working on The Bard’s Tale IV. The latest Kickstarter update presents a full video showing off the first-person dungeon-crawler. There’s a bit of exploration and dungeon-delving, but the focus is on the grid-based combat.

“Combat is the core of a dungeon crawler and our goal has always been to make sure that it is tactical, deep and pays off visually,” writes Brian Fargo, InXile Founder. He notes in the update and again on the YouTube video that everything seen in the video is a work in progress – particularly the way the 2D character portraits pop during conversations.

This is the first time we’ve seen the first-person grid combat for The Bard’s Tale IV. Journeying around the fantasy world is done in real-time, but combat is a tactical, turn-based affair. Both monsters and your party line up on a grid four rows wide and two rows deep. Different abilities and attacks (based on cooldowns and shared action points) affect different areas of the grid, allowing you to set up attacks that hit multiple foes or evade incoming attacks.

As a backer I was most impressed with how alive and reactive the world felt during the video. The classic party banter. The goblin-creatures arguing with each other. The way they yelled and chattered during combat. Not to mention the large creature that’s teased in the background before making a grand entrance. The Bard’s Tale IV is still a long ways off but I’m pleased with the progress so far.

InXile’s first crowdfunded RPG was Wasteland 2, which funded in 2012 and released in 2014. Since then InXile have returned to crowdfunding for their next three games: Torment: Tides of Numenera, The Bard’s Tale IV, and Wasteland 3 (the latter via Fig). Torment: Tides of Numenera is scheduled to launch later this month, Feb. 28.

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Eric has been writing for over nine years with bylines at Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer, Tabletop Gaming magazine, and more covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games, and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on his YouTube channel. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.