Is Borderlands’ spin-off worth a roll of the dice?
Embark on an epic adventure full of whimsy, wonder, and high-powered weaponry! Bullets, magic, and broadswords collide across this chaotic fantasy world brought to life by the unpredictable Tiny Tina, who makes the rules, changes the world on the fly, and guides players on their journey. Customize your own multiclass hero and loot, shoot, slash, and cast your way through outlandish monsters and treasure-filled dungeons on a quest to stop the tyrannical Dragon Lord. Everyone’s welcome, so join the party, throw on your adventuring boots, and be Chaotic Great!
Borderlands 2 had a DLC which now feels like a pilot to what became Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, I personally loved all the DLC that Gearbox has produced for the series and was happy to see this become a full-fledged game. It maintains the Borderlands formula while adding in new elements and even a new type of overworld that doesn’t require you to drive around, but simply to walk around a game board with a figurine of your character to the locations you need to go to.
It’s a far departure from the mass exploring of Borderlands, but there is something charming about exploring the overworld board that is littered with trash like bottle caps and even crisps (essentially Wotsits) that block your path. Quests are given to you either in towns or on the board and these can vary from simple waves of enemies to defeat to gathering items and so on.
The story itself is told round the table of the game by Tiny Tina and her friends who are playing D&D rip-off “Bunkers and Badasses”, one of which is voiced by Brooklyn 99’s very own Andy Samberg. It never takes itself seriously like you would expect and because It’s told this way, Tina can just change elements in-game as part of her script so a bridge can just form or a whole city can be on fire in an instant. It’s got plenty of gags and is funny from start to finish.
Borderlands has always been about one thing: Guns. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands still upholds this, but also gives you melee weapons and spells. It’s a decent trade-off and doesn’t feel too different to the standard Borderlands formula, so fans won’t feel too confused by the changes made here. Co-op play returns though there have been some issues at launch with online play, but it is improving gradually.
This time around, you design your own character from scratch. This includes appearance, character class and even what type of voice they have, which changes their dialogue throughout the game, and you can change it if you aren’t happy with it too. Even your figurine on the overworld map looks like your designed character so choose wisely if you want to look good.
The visuals are typical of the series but look impressive on the PS5, with plenty of highly detailed environments and animated characters to look at. The framerate never dropped for me, and the voice-acting is full of gags and witty dialogue, plus the soundtrack is great too.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands takes Borderlands in a new direction while maintaining the fundamentals of what made the series so enjoyable. A definite must for fans and even newcomers who won’t need any prior knowledge of Borderlands history to dive in…