The wonders of Tiny Tina takes Gearbox’s loot shooter series for a Dungeons & Dragons-turn inspired. Does it work? Critics are divided. The consensus seems to be that, for better or for worse, it is more Borderlands. Shocking, I know! But it looks like there are also enough new tricks to do Wonderland fun co-op in a world where there are surprisingly few left.
Released March 25 on PS4, PS5, Xbox and PC, The wonders of Tiny Tina is a spin-off born from the Dragon Dungeon Assault DLC that has been added to Borderlands 2 almost a decade ago. Like this expansion, Wonderland features the same titular bomb-obsessed teen starring as J&Dstyle dungeon master guiding players through surreal gunfights filled with glowing guns, big swords, and wacky and sometimes off-putting banter.
Thankfully, it seems the infusion of new magic-based classes is giving it a leg up on its somewhat disappointing predecessor, Borderlands 3. The writing is also apparently less creaky. We’ll see. The wonders of Tiny Tina is also the first game in the series to feature a character creator and full cross-play between platforms.
Reviews increased yesterday (our impressions will be of the console version which was unavailable until today) and so far the game has an 80 on Metacriticsignificantly lower than the high water mark of the series Borderlands 2 but still decent for such a well-honed formula. Diablo was a clear inspiration for the looter series in its early days. Does this overt homage to fantasy role-playing games do that inspiration justice? Here’s what critics are saying so far.
I don’t want to sell too much The wonders of Tiny Tina revitalizes the Borderlands formula because it is not transformative. But I found that to be more than enough for me to really enjoy it. In fact, I enjoyed it a lot more than I enjoyed Borderlands 3and I really liked Borderlands 3.
My general feeling is that Wonderland will be appreciated by existing fans who have grinded so much Borderlands 3 because they can digest at this stage and are looking for something, something new. But if you’re not already into this series, I don’t think switching to a fantasy setting will change much for you.
The wonders of Tiny Tina is a fantastic fantasy take on Borderlands‘ Proven loot shooter formula. As the spinoffs go, it stays dangerously close to its past successes that sometimes felt a little unoriginal and some of the new things it tries, like procedurally generated combat encounters, didn’t go over too well. . Luckily, the excellent writing, hilarious performances from an all-star cast, and ridiculous fights continue to shine brightly and make this tabletop-inspired explosion fest absolutely worth your time.
As a spin-off, The wonders of Tiny Tina don’t reinvent the Borderlands wheel with its gliding toward fantasy that carries a chaotic-neutral alignment. Instead, it explores familiar territory that repeats the best and worst of Borderlands formula and he doesn’t venture out of his comfort zone. This makes for a game that’s packed with solid first-person shooter action and a competent multiclass system to create an interesting Fatemaker. The wonders of Tiny Tina retreads the same mechanical and narrative ground as Borderlands 3ultimately creating a fun but forgettable chapter of the franchise.
While The wonders of Tiny Tina looks like a high spirited comedy fantasy, it plays like a Borderlands Game. Specifically, Borderlands 3. Some weapons fire crossbow bolts and grenades have been replaced with spells, but moment to moment is typical Borderlands game – you shoot hordes of bad guys repeating concise one-liners, then compare loot to see if the new guns and shields are better than the old ones, then start over.
Gameplay-wise, spell additions and a revamped melee system work very well with the six available classes. It felt like looking at a character sheet next to the J&D “Player’s Handbook”, I was wondering what kind of builds I could do. The Brr-Zerker – a class focused on freezing damage and spinning like a Canadian Beyblade into enemies – was a default build that I always liked. Trying out the Graveborn class and getting a familiar Demi-Lich in-game that helped me attack and heal in battle was super helpful in boss fights.
The wonders of Tiny Tina is the best game from Gearbox Software. Built on the success of the studio Borderlands formula, this experience adds a whimsical element to the familiar looter-shooter thrills and puts so much firepower at your fingertips you’d think you were wearing the Infinity Gauntlet. Hiding in stupidity and always trying to make you laugh, Wonderland strikes with a distinct charm and handles its characters and world with care, engaging you and the two on a journey I didn’t want to end.
There’s a cool moment early on that puts you in the game type Wonderland will be. I came across a shipyard full of skeletons, with Tina describing a scene of calamity, with later flourishes happening onscreen after her preview. It’s a fun vibe than the original Tiny Tina DLC nailed, and it’s still pretty unique to this day. The writing is just dumb enough to work, and its lows never approach the lows of Borderlands‘ grimace.
The wonders of Tiny Tina East a Borderlands game. It’s not a spin-off, it’s not inspired, and it’s not a mix of Borderlands and J&D – it’s just Borderlands. It’s a waste of a great concept, and comes with the typical Borderlands downsides of potentially scathing humor, far too many guns, far too little storage, and a lot of always-on characters who don’t have enough room to breathe. It’s fun, but it’s nothing special. The worst part is that it could have been.
The main problem is the structure. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands takes place on a number of local maps, which are found in larger regional maps, which are found in a large world map which also has another map depicting this. The overworld seems totally unnecessary, an extra layer that just seems to be there to make room for more, often soft meta jokes about Tina dialing her on the fly, plus some very basic environmental puzzles and lots of generic dungeon hordes . met. Combine that with the main story and longer side quests, and the sheer number of times you’ll have to follow a waypoint through multiple encounters in explosive barrel-strewn glades to larger glades with more encounters, and things can get really swampy.
This is very fun. Elsewhere in the Borderlands series, if an enemy came in melee or close range, I felt like I had failed in my ambition to be a sniper or assault trooper. In Wonderlandthey encounter the Broadsword, Kama, or Morning Star that I looted two levels ago. The wonders of Tiny Tina speeds up rushing mob attacks to encourage melee combat, which prevents encounters from breaking down into the kind of improvised cover-shooter standoffs I saw in the first three games.