Here is our review of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, a reimagining of the critically acclaimed Borderlands series by one of the most beloved characters in the series.
Gearbox Software’s Borderlands series has been a rollercoaster of a ride. The debut title, Borderlands, received excellent reviews for its concept but was criticized for its story. Borderlands 2 was released a few years later and blew everything out of the water. It fixed the story issues, implemented better classes, and introduced some iconic characters and guns.
But ever since, it seems like every Borderlands title they release has been trying to escape the shadow of Borderlands 2. And now it appears that they’ve opted to reinvent the series altogether.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands takes players through the whimsical mind of Tiny Tina. Vault Hunters are replaced by Fate Makers, while the Dragon Lord replaces tyrannical business people and influencers.
It’s an interesting tale, but is it enough to dethrone Borderlands 2 finally?
- Game: Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
- Price: $59.99
- Platforms: PS5/PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
- Disclaimer: A Review Code Was Provided – Find Our Review Policy Here.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Full Review
Not Quite a Vault Hunter Yet
The journey Vault Hunters must undergo to find the vaults and their secrets is a tale that we’ve grown used to when it comes to Borderlands. But Wonderlands isn’t Borderlands exactly.
Despite having the same mechanics as Borderlands 3, Wonderlands is its own game with its own rules and dynamics. But unfortunately, I can’t help but draw a comparison from time to time.
Fate Makers are the new class system in Wonderlands. Players can choose from six different classes with a single skill tree each. You begin the game with a single class, but as you progress the story, you’ll unlock the ability to use two classes which Wonderlands refers to as Multi-Class.
Even though you can use two classes, you will only be able to use one action skill. But both Class Feats will be activated, which are passive skills that are immensely powerful.
This all sounds great besides the fact that the skill tree’s in Wonderlands aren’t too different from the other Borderlands titles. The fact that every class only has one skill tree makes every class seem a lot more one-dimensional when compared to Borderlands 2 & 3.
But it is nice to experiment with the multi-class system to dive deeper into the characters. But the action skills do almost seem like an afterthought.
Thankfully, everything else functions excellently. The Class Feat instantly changes your character dynamics, and there are some exciting kill skills.
And it’s also worth noting that Wonderlands is the first game in the series to include a create your character option. The character creator is surprisingly deep, and it was fun customizing the Fate Maker to fit your style.
200 Bow Guns Later
Guns are one of the most significant parts of the Borderlands franchise, and Wonderlands is no different. Guns play a massive part in the gameplay, and you are constantly obtaining new ones.
You’ll need new guns to fit your build better as you level up. But unfortunately, it seems like you’re just getting multiple reskins of the same weapon.
During my playthrough, I had at least two guns that looked like a bow at all times in my inventory. Even the legendary weapons seem to have similar designs to regular guns.
I was hoping to see some pretty unique designs with a fantasy setting. Maybe a staff or two. It’s what I’ve come to expect from Borderlands since the design is one of its crowning qualities.
But thankfully, the gun abilities are as fun as ever. It’s interesting to see what every weapon or spell you pick up will do. Sometimes you don’t know what to expect even after reading the flavor text.
A Worthy Journey
Wonderlands is a return to proper form in storytelling. Despite being a Borderlands spin-off, the story felt more in tune with the heart and spirit of Borderlands than Borderlands 3 did.
Tiny Tina, Valentine, and Frette have an interesting bond that only grows as you laugh your way through their frequent exchanges. It was beautiful to see all the callbacks that Gearbox stored in Wonderlands for longtime fans of the series.
Familiar faces frequent the Wonderlands, and it’s nice to see some characters out of their element.
The story itself is an excellent example of what Borderlands storytelling is. Every moment is chaotic, and when you think you have an idea of what’s going on, the game takes a complete left turn and throws you for a spin.
It’s what makes Wonderlands such an exciting tale. The side missions all tell their own story and allow you to learn more about the lore that surrounds you.
Unfortunately, sometimes the side missions can feel like they drag on a bit. It’s a lot of “go here,” “find this,” and “kill them” sort of thing.
Although the story is excellent, the characters do seem a bit lacking. Besides Valentine and Frette, none of the other characters left a lasting impression.
Gunplay is King
Wonderlands’ gunplay is some of the best the Borderlands series has ever seen. The series has learned and grown, and it truly shows with these latest iterations.
The guns feel great, and it’s interesting to see how some mesh with the different classes in Wonderlands.
The newly added Spells make for a very dynamic experience where the weapons you equip will carry a lot more weight than they did in Borderlands 3, which is one of the best improvements I could have asked for.
Kill Skills are back and provide nice boosts to your characters, and it always feels great when you manage to gain stacks of a specific ability and trigger it at the perfect moment for maximum damage.
Once players reach level 40, they will also unlock Myth Ranks which add a new dimension to your characters and their growth.
Roll the Dice, Endlessly
The Overworld and Chaos Chamber are the two most significant additions to Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands and what separates this spin-off from the mainline series.
The Overworld allows players to explore a board game-style area with its own quests, challenges, and dangers. Players will venture through the board and see miniature-sized versions of their character and the areas.
Some enemies trigger small encounters where players will be tied to a single location and fight off waves. There are plenty of dungeons for players to clear and shrines to complete. Once completed, these shrines will reward players with permanent buffs for the remainder of the game.
Honestly, this was one of my favorite parts of Wonderlands when I was exploring the Overworld and doing an encounter here and there.
The Chaos Chamber is a new endgame form that Wonderlands introduces into the series. It functions much like the encounters in the Overworld.
Players will choose their Chaos level, which will select random modifiers and then be thrown into a series of arenas, enemies, and bosses. After each area you complete, you will choose between two portals.
Each portal represents a new buff, debuff, or better rewards. Depending on what you choose, it will completely change your playthrough.
This allows for almost endless replayability and is even more fun when you bring some friends along for the wild ride.
There are over 60 different dungeons, weekly challenges that players will need to complete, and even unique Chaos Gear to help you get the most out of your build.
It’s a fantastic new addition and one that you can frankly lose yourself in for hours.
Despite Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands doing a lot right, it still doesn’t deliver the same sense of exploration and satisfaction that Borderlands 2 did.
The class system isn’t quite there yet, weapons could use a little more variety, and besides Valentine and Frette, there aren’t many characters that leave a lasting impression on you.
But its endgame is exceptionally well done and the best we’ve seen from the series thus far.
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