Initial release date: March 25, 2022
Developer: Gearbox Software
Mode: Multiplayer video game
Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
Genres: Action game, First-person shooter, Adventure game, Action role-playing game, Adventure
Series: Tiny Tina's, Borderlands
"Review Copy Provided By 2K"
Given how far the Borderlands franchise has come, you would expect there to be more spin-offs than the Tell-Tale Games and 2013’s Pre-Sequel, and yet there hasn’t been more. One of the best spin-offs was 2021’s Tiny Tina’s One-Shot Adventure which ties into this title as well as both are an evolution of DLC from Borderlands 2 from almost a decade ago which is wild.
If you love the humor of Borderlands, then you will absolutely love Wonderland’s characters that go on to bring the DND adventure to life as it is hilarious top to bottom. Tina’s commentary truly carries this adventure with her narration and never gets old. There’s a point where you have to do a mandatory quest where you have to help an NPC by saving “her peasant ass” and after you save her, she’s then referred to as “peasant-ass peasant” and thanking you for “saving my peasant ass”; moments like this is where that classic Borderlands humor is at its best and just hilarious.
When it comes to the gameplay, it’s very similar to what we experienced in One-Shot Adventure and (obviously) the main Borderlands series. I played as the Clawbringer class where I had access to not only heavy hitting melee weapons like axes and swords along with magic and gunplay but above all there is my companion drake which helps out with the various enemies that are thrown my way. I thought that by selecting one of the games classes that the game would be substantially different from a typical Borderlands game but it really isn’t once you get access to your rifles and other guns as its basically just a Borderlands game with a taste of high fantasy and some DND thrown in with Tina’s zaniness.
While you still have the series staple looter-shooter elements and RPG mechanics, one of the things that separates this from other Borderlands games is the fact that the game has an overworld aspect to it. Since it’s not an openworld game, Wonderlands utilizes an overworld where you have your character run across the map with a large head and miniature body as you traverse from level to levels. What changes up the formula is not only being able to attack certain items in the environment to open up new pathways such as bottle caps and the like. While in the overworld you will have random battle encounters occur which will draw you into a small battle arena where you will need to defeat all the enemies during the skirmish. You can also avoid a lot of these battles by using the same hitting mechanic that you would use for hitting items in the environment by hitting enemies before they get close to you.
Each level that you travel to from the overworld is a lot different from one another with some being in dungeons or castle towns and the like. Each area is a bite sized arena that doesn’t outstay its welcome all the while showering you with various types of enemies that either rush you or fire from a distance.
When it comes to character customization, Borderlands games are usually some of the best there are with the various zany options that you get; yet in Wonderlands I would say that the level of customization is even higher than your typical Borderlands title with a very strong TTRPG like feel to it.
Graphically, Wonderlands doesn’t look much different than the recent Borderlands 3 title from a few years back. The exception being that because it is a multi-generational title being on both the last gen consoles and the current generation of consoles which means you shouldn't expect it to blow you away the way a game would that was made from the ground up for this current generation. This is by no means a bad thing or that the game looks bad, its just more of a reality check to taper your expectations of what to expect when going into this game.
So, is Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands worth it in the end? Yes and No. It’s definitely worth it for the fact that it changes up the formula of Borderlands and has a lot of cool new features and gameplay, however, the game about halfway through does go on to show you everything it has to offer and will start to feel repetitive which brings down the whole experience. For me, I just grew tired of the game and was ready for it to end even though I did love Tina’s commentary, it isn’t able to carry the game to the homestretch. All that being said, the game is still a great experience, just maybe not at the full asking price so I recommend waiting for a sale and then diving in unless you are a diehard vault hunter Borderlands fan.