Those hankering for more Borderlands thankfully won’t have to wait another seven years for a new game. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, a spin-off to the franchise, releases on March 25th for Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC and Xbox One. It’s a Dungeons and Dragons spoof but offers plenty to keep fans engaged. Let’s take a look at 15 things you should know before buying it.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a new adventure based on the fictitious Bunkers and Badasses tabletop game. It sees the player, known as the Fatemaker, rising up to fight the Dragon Lord who’s generally being a nuisance and invading everything. Where the adventure takes you depends on the Bunker Master, Tiny Tina. Those who played Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep expansion for Borderlands 2, also available in standalone form, can expect a similarly chaotic narrative.
In terms of locations, there’s a lot to look forward to in the Wonderlands. Brighthoof is the capital and serves as home to various heroes while Castle Sparklewithers serves as the seat for the queen Butt Stallion. Other areas are where the many threats of the world can be found, whether it’s the Shrooms of the Weepwild Dankness or the undead in the Fearamid. Mount Craw is where the Goblin and Trolls reside, though not all of them seem to be supportive of the current regime. Sun Tooth Oasis consists of ruins and lagoons while Crackmast Cove is where the pirates await.
Several characters like Butt Stallion and Torgue reprise their roles from Assault on Dragon Keep but there are a lot of newcomers. There’s the Dragon Lord, played by Will Arnett who seems to have his own vibe for conquering and murdering; Paladin Mike, the head of the Diamond Guard that protects the queen; the “dashing rogue” Valentine and his companion/victim, the former accounting bot Frette; and Izzy, the proprietor of the soda establishment, Izzie’s Fizzies (which is essentially Sanctuary). In true D&D fashion, all of the characters are played by Tiny Tina, whether it’s lending her voice or personality to their various actions. How far this stretches credulity is meant to be one of the more humorous aspects of the story.
The tabletop nature of Bunkers and Badasses allowed for more fantastical, D&D elements – along with fourth wall breaking – to take place in Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. Wonderlands, however, is more of a proper role-playing game. There’s now a character creator that allows for customizing body type, height, hairstyles, clothing, facial features and much more from scratch. You can even choose from four personalities for your character’s voice – Gallant, Gruff, Clever or Strange – which affects the lines they’ll speak throughout the game. There’s also Slider Overdrive which disables any typical limits to character creation, with the clipping adding to the humor. Select presets or just randomize everything for fun.
Wonderlands offers six classes to choose from right off the bat. There’s the Spellshot which casts spells to buff their guns and can use Polymorph to change enemies into livestock; the Spore Warden who uses a bow and arcane arrows along with buffing their allies and having a Mushroom Companion; the Brr-Zerker which uses a giant axe and is all about up-close melee and Frost damage; the Clawbringer which uses Dragon Aura to grant more Fire damage and wields a spectral hammer to throw at enemies; the Graveborn who sacrifices health for damage and can summon minions; and the Stabbomancer who specializes in stealth, critical hits and speed. Each has a Class Feat (which are passive effects), two Action Skills (though only one can be used at a time) and a Skill Tree to customize.
Multiclassing and How it Works
Of course, you can also mix different classes together with multiclassing. This manifests as a secondary class slot as you level up along with access to four Action Skills instead of two, though you can still only use one, and another Skill Tree to customize. One noted benefit is being able to have two summoned companions if you go with a Spore Warden and Graveborn as your multiclass set-up. While the secondary class can be changed upon finishing the campaign, your primary class is permanent so choose wisely (or just make another character).
Combat and Damage Types
For all of its fantasy trappings, the gameplay in Wonderlands is still inherently Borderlands-esque from the gun play and movement to the action skills. Aim at enemies, shoot them until they’re dead (with critical hits dealing more damage), and collect loot with SMGs, Pistols, Shotguns and so on. There are five elemental damage types – Fire, Lightning, Poison, Frost and Dark Magic – each with their own effects on armor, Wards, and health. Dark Magic is useful for lifesteal while Frost can slow and eventually freeze foes who can then take 300 percent more melee damage. Loot is once again segregated into different rarities with Common being the lowest and Legendary the highest.
Melee Weapons, Armor, Rings and Spells
In terms of new gameplay elements, there are melee weapons for the first time (which allow for leaping at distant enemies) along with armor, Rings and Amulets. Armor augments a character’s abilities; Rings offer a boost to Action Skill duration, damage for specific weapon types and so on; and Amulets provide additional class damage and special benefits (reloading your equipped gun after scoring a melee strike is one example). Wards are like Shields, absorbing damage and recharging after a period of time with different manufacturers having different benefits like quick recharge at the cost of lower overall capacity and vice versa. Then there are Spells. These replace grenades but are more involved and can do things like calling down meteors, summoning and much more. All Spells can be equipped by all classes with no restrictions.
Further enhancing the experience of playing an actual RPG is the addition of an overworld map. All locations are connected via this map and your character is represented as a small chibi figure that navigates it. Different points of interest and areas will also reward exploration. As senior producer Kayla Belmore explained to PC Gamer, “Extra exploration will take the players to side maps that act almost like whole separate modules that are within the same Wonderlands universe. They’re their own separate substories within themselves.” So you never know what the world map could be hiding.
Of course, you’ll also have random encounters to deal with on the overworld. These occur if you’re venturing through tall grass and not the main path so they’re easy to avoid. Upon encountering an enemy, you’ll be taken to a smaller area where you battle in the usual first-person combat. Partake in longer battles and you’ll get better loot. Though these arenas will be in “similar biomes” depending on the location, they’re not part of the larger maps themselves.
Aside from the Dragon Lord, players will also have to deal with Skeleton warriors and mages wreaking havoc. New enemy types include Shrooms, Goblins, Trolls, Pirates and Crabs along with the Cyclopes (who resemble the Brutes of Borderlands) and the four-legged shark creatures known as Seawargs. We also wouldn’t put it past the developer to sneak in a dragon or four as well.
Cross-Gen and Cross-Platform Multiplayer on Xbox
One of the biggest appeals of the Borderlands franchise is co-op, as you take on tougher challenges with friends and (hopefully) receive better loot. With Borderlands 3 receiving cross-platform multiplayer between all platforms, is there hope that Wonderlands will follow suit? The answer is…sort of. According to its Xbox Store listing, cross-gen and cross-platform multiplayer on Xbox is supported. But while it’s pretty much confirmed that Xbox One players can party up with Xbox Series X/S players, it’s unknown whether they can do the same with anyone on PlayStation consoles or even PC. Xbox cloud saves are supported along with PS4 to PS5 save transfer, though the latter can’t be reversed so keep that in mind.
HDR10, 4K and +60 FPS
Thankfully, much like Borderlands 3, fans can expect support for HDR10, 4K resolution and 60 FPS on Xbox Series X. In fact, the Xbox Store listing says +60 FPS so it’s possible that there will also be a 120 FPS mode. Expect all of this to apply to the PlayStation 5 version as well.
$70 for Xbox Series X/S and PS5
Those picking up Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands on Xbox Series X/S or PS5 will need to pay $70. If you’re purchasing it on Xbox One or PS4, then you can upgrade to Xbox Series X/S or PS5 for an “additional cost.” Said cost has yet to be revealed but as is the case with some other major cross-gen titles, different editions provide Dual Entitlement…for a price.
Standard, Next Level and Chaotic Great Editions
The Standard Edition is the default previous-gen version. It’s only for Xbox One, PS4 and PC platforms, costs $60 and only includes the base game (though all pre-orders receive the Golden Hero Armor Pack which includes two themes for applying to your armor). The Next-Level Edition is meant for Xbox Series X/S and PS5, costing $70. It includes the base game with all of the current-gen optimization; the Dragon Lord Pack with a Legendary spell and weapon along with an armor preset, banner set, and the Death’s Head Makeup Pack; and the previous gen console version. Finally, there’s the Chaotic Great Edition which costs $90. It includes previous and current gen console versions of the game, the Season Pass with four post-launch content packs, the Dragon Lord Pack and the Butt Stallion Pack with even more cosmetics.