Gearbox unveiled Tiny Tina's Wonderlands ahead of E3 2021, and it looks to bring as much carnage and mayhem as you'd expect from a Borderlands game. With an expected release of March 25, 2022, we'll compile everything you need to know about it in the lead-up to its launch, from what you can look forward to in terms of gameplay to what the story will be like. Everyone's favorite teenage demolitions expert is back to tell an exciting tale, and though it'll surely stay true to the Borderlands formula, Wonderlands definitely adds its own flavor to make it stand out.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands: What is it?
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is a spin-off from the Borderlands series, but very much its own full-fledged game. Think Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, the excellent DLC from Borderlands 2, dialed up to 11. Tiny Tina is returning as the Bunkermaster for a new game of Bunkers & Badasses (which you can actually buy a real tabletop version of), a riff on Dungeons & Dragons.
This is a fantasy looter-shooter that takes everything you love about the mainline franchise and combines it with unique mechanics, like spellcasting. It wouldn't be a fantasy world without magic, after all. It doesn't appear that we'll be visiting any previous locations either as Wonderlands was described as a "brand new fantasy environment" that was inspired by the Assault on Dragon Keep DLC. If you've never played a Borderlands game before, you can jump right into this one and have just as much fun.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands: Character creator
For the first time in series history, players won't be able to choose between predetermined Vault Hunters. You'll now be able to customize your own character at the beginning called a Fatemaker. It's unclear what customization choices will be available or how this will affect gameplay. A large part of the Borderlands series was the special abilities that each character had that set them apart from one another. Combined with a skill tree, you could have two people playing vastly different versions of the same character.
This opens up ways for players to multiclass instead of being tied down to a singular playstyle, much like D&D in real life. Until we learn more, we can only speculate on how this will work in the game. It would be neat if players also had alignments (Chaotic Good or True Neutral, for instance), but Gearbox hasn't said one way or another whether this will be included.
Creative director Matt Cox said, "We wanted to make sure that those options were plentiful enough and had the ring of what it feels like to create your own character, with the allocation of Hero Points and the multiclassing later on in the campaign."
Gearbox has revealed four classes, the Stabbomancer, Brr-Zerker, Clawbringer, and Spellshot. The Stabbomancer, like the name implies, is the stealth-oriented assassin class, able to sneak up and stab unaware enemies. Described as a "jack of all trades, master of none" the Stabbomancer keeps enemies on their toes. The Brr-Zerker, in contrast, is a much more in-your-face brawler. Described as "hardy warriors who hail from the frozen mountains," Brr-Zerkers specialize in dealing out Cryo damage. Clawbringers specialize in dealing massive elemental damage, specifically fire and lightning, wielding a giant hammer. With a wyvern companion that flies at their side, they're a force to be reckoned with. Lastly, the Spellshot is more of a wizard class, combining guns and magic to turn the tide of battle. And they can polymorph enemies, so that's pretty cool.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands: Cooperative mayhem
As can be expected, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands supports drop-in/drop-out co-op with up to three other players. It's unclear whether it will include the same co-op features as in Borderlands 3 where players can turn loot sharing on and off.
Borderlands 3 also introduced co-op level scaling, and we'd like to see this make a return. Co-op level scaling meant that enemies were scaled appropriately to each player's level, regardless of who was hosting the game. If you're level 10 while your friend is level 30, you'll see enemies around level 10 and your friend will see enemies around level 30, even though you'll still be fighting those same enemies at the same time. Like loot sharing, this could be turned on and off whenever players wanted.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands: Gameplay
Gearbox revealed a first look at its gameplay during Sony's PlayStation Showcase on Sept. 9, 2021, and it looks about as can be expected. Gameplay will be similar to that of the main Borderlands entries. Fast-paced action, hectic combat, and a lot of wacky guns to lead you through the carnage. This time around magical elements are also being incorporated, like spellcasting. Cox also hinted that it would feature "repeatable endgame content." Some enemies that you'll be facing include goblins, trolls, and wyverns, and players can explore classic fantasy environment likes castles.
While there will be a ton of guns that players can use, a notable omission are grenades. These don't exactly fit the fantasy setting. Instead, Cox hopes that spellcasting will take their place. For the first time in the series, Wonderlands will also include armor, amulets, and proper melee weapons. Modifiers can be equipped that work in tandem with a player's loadout to maximize their effectiveness in combat. For instance, some melee gear modifiers can reduce spellcasting cooldowns.
Because Wonderlands is inspired my tabletops games, it wouldn't be complete without an Overworld. Players can travel the Overworld in third-person, seeing their Fatemakers run around like little D&D miniatures. While exploring the Overworld, lovingly crafted like a true tabletop map — complete with spilled soda and dice — players may come across dungeons and other hidden areas that are worth checking out. Tangledrift and the Sunfang Oasis are two such areas that Gearbox describes as expansive environments with their own questlines.
That's not all the Overworld has to offer, either. Collectibles are strewn about, including Lucky Dice that buff your drop stats for better weapons. First-person combat sequences can even be triggered if a player is wandering through tall grass and an enemy pops out, not unlike Pokémon.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands: Story and characters
Gearbox spared no expense in bringing on high-profile talent to voice the cast. Andy Samberg, Wanda Sykes, and Will Arnett are all voicing characters alongside Ashly Burch, returning as Tiny Tina. Samberg's character Valentine is described as a "headstrong captain," while Sykes voices the "rule-obsessed robot Frette." The Dragon Lord that players are sent out to defeat is played by Will Arnett. And for a nice little surprise, Butt Stallion is making her return as well.
We don't know much about the story other than that, but we do know it takes place shortly after the Assault on Dragon Keep and is set in an "unpredictable fantasy world." At one point during its story trailer — which admittedly reveals very little about the story — a character is heard saying "you'll never get the Sword of Souls," implying this could be an artifact of great power that we need to retrieve.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands: Release date and platforms
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is set to launch on March 25, 2022, for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and PC through Steam and the Epic Games Store. Gearbox hasn't detailed any current-gen enhancements for the title, but it will likely feature higher resolutions and frame rates on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5.
Those who preorder Tiny Tina's Wonderlands will receive the Golden Hero Armor Pack. The game will be available in three separate editions: Standard, Next-level, and Chaotic Great. There's also a special Treasure Trove collectible box filled with physical goodies, but it does not include the game.
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