Have to know
What’s it? Greater than an growth, smaller than a standalone Borderlands sport, however nonetheless very a lot a Gearbox banter-looter.
Launch date March 25
Anticipate to pay $60/£60
Developer Gearbox Software program
Writer 2K Video games
Reviewed on Home windows 10, Ryzen 9 5900X, 32GB RAM, RTX 3080
Multiplayer? 4-player co-op
Hyperlink Official site
Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Preserve, the Borderlands 2 growth that doubled as a loving parody of Dungeons & Dragons, got here out in 2013. That was a 12 months earlier than D&D’s fifth version revitalized curiosity within the sport, two years earlier than Important Position premiered. On the time, jokes about D&D appeared fairly area of interest. It was a shocking transfer for a shooter growth, one which paid off. It hit an untapped vein, and shortly grew to become everybody’s favourite DLC. In 2022, although? D&D is as standard because it’s ever been, approaching cultural oversaturation, and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands returns to a nicely that is nearer to operating dry.
Whereas Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands appears to be like like a bouncy fantasy-comedy, it performs like a Borderlands sport. Particularly, Borderlands 3. Among the weapons shoot crossbow bolts and the grenades have been changed by spells, however within the moment-to-moment it is a typical Borderlands sport—you shoot hordes of unhealthy guys who repeat pithy one-liners, then evaluate loot to see if the brand new weapons and shields are higher than the previous ones, then do it once more.
Being a assessment of a Borderlands sport, I am obliged by legislation to let you know about the perfect weapons its randomized loot pool spat out for me. A sniper rifle that fired sawblades, every of which did greater harm the extra sawblades have been already in a goal, was a spotlight. The Tediore weapons that do not must be reloaded—as an alternative remodeling into throwable explosives then teleporting a fully-loaded alternative into your empty fingers—have returned, and I acquired one that did not turn into an explosive however as an alternative grew to become a laser pixie that harassed unhealthy guys. One other summoned hydra heads that vomited poison. Which was good.
One vital change is character creation. Fairly than every class being tied to a person character, you play as a anonymous “beginner”, constructing a face and coloration scheme and selecting a voice (you possibly can even alter the pitch, an possibility I have never seen since Saints Row 4), after which select any class you are feeling like.
I spent most of my time as a spore warden, a sort of fungal ranger with a strolling mushroom pet I upgraded so he farted poison. A number of of the lessons get NPC allies; my co-op buddy performed a grave warden who unlocked a floating cranium. My mushroom companion actually got here into his personal after I performed solo, reviving me after I dropped within the absence of a co-op companion. Whereas co-op is a chaotic good time like all the time, having an NPC ally makes taking part in alone an much more viable possibility, and it was already a very satisfying technique to play.
I did need to revive the pleasant fungus typically too, which acquired me into hassle greater than as soon as. Although really the worst factor about him was how distracting he was. He’d hop round within the background when quest givers have been speaking, his floating title MUSHROOM COMPANION showing in large white letters seen over the NPC’s face. His unusually detailed buttocks have been distracting too.
The spellshot’s class skill, with the ability to slot in two spells quite than one, appeared underwhelming, though once you get spells that drop ice meteors on skeletons—who take bonus frost harm as a result of they do not have pores and skin to maintain them heat—it is virtually price it. However the stabbomancer with the ability to throw a spinning melee weapon that turns into a blade twister you possibly can reposition across the battlefield? That is my present fave.
Melee weapons are a brand new addition, however not a game-changing one. Your common melee assault, nonetheless mapped to V for some motive, turns into a whack with no matter sword, axe, or stick you’ve got picked up. They have randomized stats, although nothing as wild because the weapons. Identical with armor, which principally boosts your class skills like relics do within the mainline Borderlands video games, quite than offering any precise safety.
Ability your darlings
Whereas every class within the earlier video games had a number of ability bushes, right here they’ve solely acquired one (although they do unlock a second lively particular, just like the stabbomancer getting an possibility to show invisible as an alternative of throw a knife twister). As an alternative, construct range comes from multiclassing as soon as you’ve got hit greater ranges, choosing a second class to bolt on. My spore warden multiclassed into spellshot, turning into a sporcerer. I principally simply caught to dependable fungus powers, although. After taking part in a variety of Pathfinder, the considered having to galaxy-brain my method into overpowered class interactions ever once more makes me really feel ailing.
On my RTX 3080, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands ran at over 100 fps on the best settings, although cutscenes are locked to 30 fps. The one time it stuttered was after I’d get error messages saying my connection to Shift, the community it is advisable signal as much as for multiplayer, was down. One other message saying the connection was lively would instantly comply with, accompanied by a lurch. Oddly, it did not occur in multiplayer, however was a semi-regular prevalence after I performed solo.
Like earlier Borderlands video games you will wish to push the FoV up and the look sensitivity down. Weirdly, the hotspot for the left arrow on each menu slider is barely off. You possibly can click on on the precise arrows positive, however need to click on form of close to however not really on the left arrows.
One final change price noting is the overworld map. Fairly than zooming throughout empty areas in automobiles, between-lands are stuffed by a tilt-shifted top-down tabletop coated in cube, big-headed collectible figurines, and spilled junk meals. It is tremendous cute, and stuffed with facet quests in addition to random encounters that set off fight arenas once you stroll via the lengthy grass.
That is a Pokémon reference in fact, however a variety of the trademark Borderlands reference-heavy humor in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands goes for targets that are not RPGs. There are prolonged storylines that riff on the Smurfs, Don Quixote, and Monkey Island, amongst others. The final one’s particularly baffling, since Monkey Island was fairly humorous to start with and redoing it with Guybrush Threepwood as a skeleton named Bones Three-Wooden is considerably much less humorous.
From time to time a bit lands with startling precision, although, normally when your advisors—two fellow gamers voiced by Andy Samberg and Wanda Sykes—riff on roleplaying stereotypes. They’re going to be acquainted to anybody who has performed D&D or video games prefer it. She’s the one who is aware of all the foundations and the best way to most effectively kill every part; he is the one who cares about backstory and desires to resolve each drawback through seduction.
Typically it is painfully correct to the expertise of tabletop RPGs, like when the gamers fixate on minor NPCs they’ve determined to mistrust for arbitrary causes whereas Tina fails to persuade them to maneuver on. That made me wince, however I used to be smiling via the ache. To its credit score, and my shock, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands really does discover contemporary angles to come back at a comedy about roleplaying.
It is funnier than Borderlands 3, that is for certain. It helps that Will Arnett, because the Dragon Lord, makes an amusing villain. Due to course he does: He is Will Arnett. Smug monologuing is his total factor, and if he by no means fairly equals Good-looking Jack from Borderlands 2 that is solely as a result of no one will.
I went again to the Borderlands 2 DLC that impressed Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands to see how I felt about it at the moment, and whereas I missed a number of the quality-of-life options added by Borderlands 3 that made it into Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands—like mantling, not having to carry down E to select up ammo, with the ability to fast-travel from wherever, and solely having to do facet quests to be appropriately leveled for the principle questline often quite than all of the bloody time—it was a riot.
If something, I prefer it much more now. That DLC wasn’t only a bundle of jokes concerning the man who throws his cube too onerous or what it is wish to fumble a ability examine to do one thing so fundamental you most likely should not have rolled for it within the first place. It was additionally a fantasy retelling of Borderlands 2, the solid reimagined as knights and sorcerers prefer it was The Wizard of Oz. The factor it most successfully parodied was itself.
In the meantime, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is basically disconnected from the Borderlands video games it slots between, with solely a handful of cameos (together with Claptrap, sorry haters). That appears like a missed alternative, on condition that Borderlands 3 was sort of a catastrophe, and a follow-up that took the piss out of it will have had a variety of materials to work with.
It nonetheless succeeds extra usually than it fails, although. That is partly simply due to how the Borderlands system has been honed over time. Whereas different looter-shooters bolt on crafting programs or attempt to make you care about gear ranges and repeatable actions and gathering 15 totally different sorts of shards (why is it all the time shards?), Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is just one other sport of capturing unhealthy guys with ridiculous weapons so you possibly can take much more ridiculous weapons off their corpses. And typically, in-between that, it delivers a gag about what a large number the common sport of D&D is that hits me like a knife within the coronary heart.