Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

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Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands – Review

Its Bunkers and Badasses BAAAABYYYYYYYYYYY! Grab your character sheets, your d20, and let’s start lootin’ an’ shootin’! Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is FINALLY here, roughly 2.5 years after the release of Borderlands 3. Developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games, this next insane adventure, thought up by one equally insane mind of Tiny Tina, is available on all platforms on the 25th of March. On PC however, the game will be available on the Epic storefront on day one, but Steam is supposed to have its release later in the year.

Step into the adventurous boots of the Fatemaker in this all-new Dungeons and Dragons-inspired tale from the wonderful and chaotic minds from the Borderlands. The Fatemaker, the hero of Tiny Tina’s strange concoction of a campaign, is joined by Frette, a robot who plays by the rules, and Captain Valentine, a washed-up low-rent space cowboy whos quick on his feet but doesn’t think of the long-term consequences.

While these NPC’s don’t specifically aid you in your battles, they assist in the narration of the story and make decisions on the journey. The Dragonlord, an undead badass with a skeleton army, has risen and plans on death and destruction in the campaign. It’s up to our team of unlikely heroes, led by the Fatemaker, to battle their way through the challenges Tiny Tina throws at them, seek out the hidden powers within the world, and put an end to the tyrannical actions of the Dragonlord.

Just like a D&D campaign, players design their Fatemaker from class, attributes, and looks. In a first for the Borderlands series, you now have full control over character customization instead of just picking a preset character like in previous games. Now you can choose different faces, hairstyles, tattoos, makeup, and much more from a selection of presets.

The game offers you a selection of 6 different classes, these include the BRR-ZERKER, a brutal melee combatant who infuses the power of ice into their assaults. The CLAWBRINGER is a faithful warrior who casts down fire and thunder with mighty blows from their spectral hammer alongside their wyvern companion. The GRAVEBORN, a death-touched acolyte of darkness using their own health to cast deadly dark magic spells alongside their Demi-Lich companion. The SPELLSHOT is a gun-crazed wizard who can unleash a constant barrage of spells and even turn enemies into harmless livestock. The SPOREWARDEN, a master of nature who, with the aid of their toxic spewing mushroom companion, can summon tornadoes and cast a volley of spectral arrows, and finally, the STABBOMANCER, a stealthy crit-focused assassin who summons magic blades to the battlefield and can vanish in an instant.

As per usual, every class has its own skill tree and unlike other entries in the Borderlands titles where you can venture down different paths, classes only have one skill tree, however, just like a D&D character, your Fatemaker can acquire a second class. These multi classes can be any of the other classes from the game resulting in some truly crazy and powerful builds if used correctly. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands isn’t just a board game however, it still implements that insane looter shooter formula from Borderlands with some spicy new mechanics added in.

Between each area, you can venture around the Overworld. The Overworld is, well, the game table that everyone is playing on. It may or may not be littered with old Cheetos and bottlecaps, but this makes it feel authentic. In the Overworld, you can travel between areas, clear dungeons, fulfill side quests, and even get jumped by surprise encounters. You never know what the amazing Dungeon Master Tina is going to throw at you next. The named areas you travel to are the typical Borderlands formula – massive landscapes filled with crazy creatures, lots of pop culture references, chaotic quests and gunfights, and metric butt-tonnes of LOOOOOOOT. I mean that’s pretty much the only reason we love Borderlands right? Well, apart from the fantastic characters and super fun quests, but the loot.

If you didn’t think they could think up any new guns, you were wrong. The team at Gearbox Studios have concocted some insane new weapon designs and reload animations, all-new armor, and accessories, and they have ditched the idea of grenades for SPELLS! Spells are a new addition and add more chaos to the already chaotic nature of Borderlands. That’s like, 3 times the chaos. Spells can differ from AOE status effect spells, summoning spells, and chaotic damage spells where you can conjure a destructive earthquake, dark-magic missiles, and even FREAKING LASERBEAMS. Scattered throughout the map are tonnes of collectibles, from scrolls of lore, magic marbles that grant you cosmetic items, and lucky D20 that grant you a small loot-splosion and increase your loot luck. Loot is dependent on the roll; the higher the better, so you better be praying for those NAT 20’s.

Would the game be a Borderlands spinoff without crazy boss battles? Well in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, boss battles seem to have been cranked up to 11. Main quest bosses incorporate all new mechanics, rivaled only to Destiny raid mechanics. While trying to deal as much DPS as possible, the bosses would go into phases where you would have to tackle hurdles to survive. This was a fresh take on the old boss battles we have had where you could simply shoot them in the head until they died. The boss battles felt challenging and really got the old mind-brain ticking. Other than the boss battles, there are a butt-tonne of quests and side quests scattered throughout the world, and not a single quest I did felt flat and worthless. Every quest was fun and interesting, whether it be helping a heavy metal band be more metal than their rivals, or helping Claptrap obtain the extra-caliber sword, the sheer volume and entertainment factor of the quests had me hooked for hours.

We got a chance to try out co-op and it was flawless. My player 2 was running an older gen i7 with a GTX 1070 and at 1080p on recommended settings held a solid 60FPS with no drops. He then bumped it to Badass settings and still held a solid 60FPS with some chaotic battles showing a slight dip to just over 50FPS. While I ran an AMD 5800x, RTX 3080, and 32GB of RAM, I held over 150FPS on badass at 1080p and averaged 100FPS on badass at 1440p. On some of the most hectic battles with pure insanity surrounding me, the frames would dip between 80-90, but it didn’t feel like a massive drop.

In true Borderlands style, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands features the same graphical flair we all love, with its heavy outlines and amazing cel-shaded models. It has amazing vibrant and contrasting colors and the visuals are equally rivaled by the audio. The audio is as epic as always and smoothly transitions between the high-action insanity to the calm adventure tunes when exploring the lands. The only thing that trumps the soundtrack is the insanely good audio casting! Andy Samberg (Brooklyn 99, The Lonely Island) joins us as Captain Valentine, Wanda Sykes (Over The Hedge, Bad Moms) joins as Frette, Will Arnett (Bojack Horseman, Parks, and Recreation) is the menacing Dragonlord, and Ashley Burch reprises their role as the ever-insane Tiny Tina. There are also a few other roles that have been reprised and returning characters but you’ll have to experience the game and find out for yourself.

All in all, I had a crazy amount of fun exploring, shooting, looting, and experiencing the chaotic neutral story and quests within Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. I firmly believe with all the quality of life changes, the depth of the story, and the amount of insanity Gearbox have crammed into this D&D-styled adventure, that it is the best Borderlands entry yet! This game is a must for anyone into chaotic looter shooter games, and for any fans of the series, the 25th can’t come soon enough!

The Good

  • Epic storytelling
  • All-new mechanics to our favorite looter shooter
  • Insane voice acting cast
  • The little mushroom men have little butts!
  • Soooooooooo many pop culture references
  • Seemless co-op
  • Character Customization
  • Intense Technical Boss fights
  • Huge amount of areas and enemies to encounter

The Bad

  • Slightly limited skill sets
10
___
10

Written by: Bigfoot

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