Borderlands is one of the most unique looter shooters out in the wild. Its combination of humour, mayhem, and engaging storytelling with a cast of likeable characters is a staple that has stuck with the series’ trilogy of games. It’s clear fans wanted more, enter Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.
This Tabletop RPG crossed with Borderlands style could be jarring for fans at first. Is this the Dungeons and Dragons feel fans were hoping for, or is it simply a stinky Butt Stallion? Find out as we Gallup into the overworld of Wonderland.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Details
Platform(s): PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One and PC
Reviewed on: PlayStation 5
Developer(s): Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Genre: Action role-playing, first-person shooter
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
You are the Fatemaker
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands takes place during a game of Dungeons and Dragons with friends. But in this world, it’s Bunkers and Badasses. And, instead of a friend in a cloak DMing the match at a table with friends, it’s Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2 changing the map up and constantly keeping you on your toes.
The game gets weird and rather than spoil the story, what can be said is it’s very original. It’s filled with twists and turns and due to the mechanics of Tiny Tina changing things on a whim it constantly stays fresh. When you have a good Dungeon Master in a game of DnD the game is great fun. Tiny Tina is a Chaotic one, and it serves the story well! The dialogue is funny, and if you have a child-like whimsy sense of humour, the jokes will bring smiles to your face.
Tabletop Throw down
Dragon Lord has risen and it’s up to Queen Butt Stallion and a cast of classes to defeat the evil and restore truth and wonder back to Wonderlands. You are thrust into the world of Wonderlands by choosing your class and creating a character. This is a choice that has a deep impact on your gameplay experience.
After researching the classes the easy choice for me was Spellshot as they were advertised as Wizards with Guns. Every class is interesting, from Necromancer who sacrifices health to bring about ultimate damage, to the ice wielding Brr-Zerker. The cool thing about Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands though is that as you progress you’re given multi class ability to choose one more tree to complete. So combinations are something to think about.
After using the robust character creator and having some fun, I was thrust into the game immediately. The game doesn’t waste much time putting players into the fray and I found myself fighting off enemies and encountering a whirlwind of chaotic silliness right off the bat. Borderlands players will be right at home with the looter shooter mechanic. All weapons and loot are still colour coded for worth and veering off into the side quests is always very rewarding.
Familiar gameplay for Borderlands fans
There’s a lot to learn if you haven’t played a Borderlands title before. The game does a really nice job having you read through tutorials to settle in. However, if you’re new to Borderlands games, it can feel downright overwhelming. Weapons, Ammo, Gear are all things to keep track of and the new addition of spells welcomes you by being rechargeable and not yet another thing to keep tabs upon.
Guns are introduced right away and come with alternate firing modes. Using ranged attacks and melee in a balanced fashion is fun, but the game doesn’t force players to play a certain way. It’s all tailored to how you enjoy looter shooters. Spellcasting is key and kind of feels like a special move in a game like Overwatch.
Spells range from things like fireballs, rocket missiles, water, or a gigantic meteor worthy of destroying prehistoric life. Just when you think you know the game, it takes you in a new direction. As a result, I never once felt like I was bored with the move sets provided because they kept coming and feeling fresh. Even Melee combat is in option if you picked the Brr-Zerker class or just simply favour close encounters with the wicked melee weapons players get to find.
Exploration is strongly encouraged
Exploration is strongly encouraged and the rewards are worthwhile! It’s also nice because the game does have checkpoints called Fatemarkers and they are numerous. There’s also fast travel options to keep you in the action.
It’s not all first person action though either. After creating my character I was a little sad that I didn’t get to really see my customization at play. But the Overworld gives players a chance to see a mini figure bobble version in 3rd person.
Throughout this, you can travel to Key destinations or find side quests. This really felt true to Dungeons and Dragons and again, provided a diversified experience. Random encounters can also happen sort of like your favourite Pokémon game though, so watch out!
Beautiful cell shaded graphics
The graphics in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands are top notch. Borderlands titles have always had their own identity, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands just builds incredibly on that already solid foundation. The game’s textures are smooth and playing in 4K on PlayStation 5 is a treat.
The script and the characters presented are timeless with enemies named “Badass Skeleton” and NPCs named “peasant ass peasant.” The game really doesn’t hold back in presentation and it’s hard to play it without a shameless grin on your face. Sounds are zany and crisp and the music really adds to the epic feeling of the game.
There were some minor bugs I experienced like menus not coming up and slight performance problems but nothing completely game breaking.
Cooperation and Coopetition modes
If you’ve played any of the games in the Borderlands series, you’ll be familiar with the Cooperation and Coopetition modes. You can either play with anyone online regardless of level and get loot that matches your play style. Or, compete to get the best loot together, but only one drop happens rather than for each player.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is an impressive and very worthy spin off title
Overall, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is an impressive and very worthy spin off title. I was hesitant walking into this as a person who had played Borderlands before but it truly feels like a natural fit. Assault on Dragon’s Keep was fun but I wondered if it could hold my interest for a full campaign. I’m pleased to say that it does and you shouldn’t hesitate to gallop into the sunset with Queen Butt Stallion, Tiny Tina, and your powerful chosen class Fatemaker.
+ Quick Gameplay with vast customization options
+ Hilarious story and dialogue
+ Compelling modes of play and impressive replayability to try new classes
– Occasional frame drops during full chaos
– Some of the humour may not be for everyone
– Can feel overwhelming if you keep track of everything the game offers
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF TINY TINA’S WONDERLANDS
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5