Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Review: Loot Galore

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is an excellent spin-off that adds its own twists to what makes Borderlands great.

Gearbox Software is already known for its stellar looter-shooter franchise, Borderlands. With Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, the studio aims to add elements of D&D, alongside some even quirkier quirkiness, to its winning formula to create a unique experience.

And for the most part, it succeeds. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is only held back by its story, which sees the return of some iconic characters and picks up where Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep ended back in 2013.  

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Review: Loot Galore

The most important aspect of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is, of course, the loot, and it doesn't disappoint in that respect. Loot is plentiful, and you’ll be rewarded with new gear and weapons constantly.

The rate at which you receive drops helps keep the combat fresh and encourages you to try out new weapons and tactics, even if you just want to stick with a weapon that feels good regardless of level and stats.

Finding new armor and weapons to make your character more powerful is as addicting as ever, and you’ll find yourself constantly swapping between items to optimize your build. The loot in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is, as it is in Borderlands, RNG-based, so you’ll need a bit of luck to get a weapon with the perks and abilities you want. This element of randomness makes it even more satisfying to discover items with the exact perks and passive abilities perfect for your build.

Of course, customization is a massive part of the game, and thankfully, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands excels here, too. Starting out, you’ll be greeted with an in-depth character creation screen that lets you change everything from your character’s physical appearance to your armor patterns and colors. You will also have the chance to change your character’s appearance at any point as you unlock unique cosmetic items throughout your journey.

In terms of changes from Borderlands games, grenades have been removed and replaced with spells, which makes combat even more chaotic than before. Wonderlands is filled will all types of wacky incantations, letting you do everything from summoning hydra heads to raining down fiery meteors from above.

As always, the gunplay is incredibly polished and the weapons do have some weight to them, which gives Wonderlands some realism to offset its wackiness. On top of that, melee attacks are surprisingly effective this time around, especially when finishing off enemies at low health. Not to mention how satisfying it is to send enemies flying with a strike from your hammer.

The combat and gameplay are as intense as ever with hordes of enemies swarming you from all directions, made more chaotic by the small-sized arenas as opposed to an open world. To come out victorious, you must learn to make use of every tool at your disposal. This means constantly switching between weapons and casting spells shortly after their cooldown.

The stakes are also quite high as dying will deduct a significant portion of the gold you’ve collected. Thankfully, the “Save Your Soul” mechanic returns in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, giving you a second chance at staying in battle after your health bar is depleted.

Welcome to The Wonderlands

The events of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands take place on a Bunkers and Badasses (D&D) board, with Tiny Tina taking the role of Dungeon Master. She can essentially control the narrative by bending the rules of the game and altering the world to her liking. This doesn’t happen too often as not to break immersion, but the game makes sure to sprinkle in hilarious moments throughout the main story.

The vibrant colors, wacky landscapes, and occasionally ridiculous story all help remind that everything has originated from Tina’s wild imagination. You’ve also got Valentine and Frette, who have great chemistry with Tiny Tina and do well to throw some humor into the mix whenever things get stale.

Where Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands falters is the main story. The narrative follows a fairly standard format with little in terms of innovation or creativity. Just like most every other game, you take on the role of an aspiring warrior who must save the world from the large, powerful villain. Wonderland's writing and witty dialogue help make things slightly more bearable, but don't expect a rich story that makes you care about its characters.

While these types of games don't need a strong story to be great, it would have been nice to at least have an intriguing antagonist similar to Handsome Jack.

When you’re not busy completing quests and fighting enemies, you’ll be running around in the Overworld, which represents the board you’re playing on. In the Overworld, you guide your character across a map filled with treasure, side quests, and portals. It's a nice change of pace from the high-octane action if only for a few minutes. Exploring the Overworld, though, is worth your while. It is filled with ridiculous side missions, secret areas to uncover, and fun little encounters to complete.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Fun and intense gameplay.
  • Abundance of loot with unique perks and abilities.
  • Plenty of content in the form of side quests and encounters.

Cons

  • Mediocre story with forgettable characters.
  • Could have been released as a DLC instead of a full-priced game.

 

The game's similarities to Borderlands 3 make it an easy sell for longtime fans of the series who already know what to expect from these looter shooters. Still, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands puts its own D&D twist on things, which makes it a unique experience that can draw in new players thanks to its quirks and wacky gameplay.

With an excellent loot system and stellar gunplay, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is easily one of the most addictive and satisfying FPS games in recent memory.

[Note: 2K Games provided the copy of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands used for this review.]

Our Rating
9
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is an excellent spin-off that adds its own twists to what makes Borderlands great.
Reviewed On: PC

Contributor

Michael is a lifelong gamer who plays just about anything from RPGs to sports games. When he's not writing about games and tech, you can find him struggling to rank up in Rocket League or messing around in Destiny raids.

Published Apr. 6th 2022

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