Borderlands spin-off Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is out Friday, March 25th, and reviews are starting to hit the airwaves. This one has been in the works since 2019's Borderlands 3, and the subsequent Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, although it's a fair bit meatier than that spin-off.
This one is a full length game then, all based on Tiny Tina herself. But, how does it stack up to the main series? Here's what the critics are saying about Tiny Tina's Wonderlands so far.
Game Informer (9.5/10)
Wonderlands is upbeat and fun from start to finish, offering a rewarding adventure filled with goofy characters, imaginative bosses, and a great sense of ownership over your character through it all. Even with one of Borderlands' most loved characters leading the charge, this experience feels like the start of something new: a rare spinout from an existing series that deserves just as much of the spotlight.
I’m a big fan of Borderlands’ style cel-shaded art. It’s an absolutely perfect match for the high-fantasy tone of Wonderlands. While some of the dungeons and caves are appropriately dark and drab, they’re offset by the colorful, storybook look of areas like the home base town of Brighthoof. Likewise, the various monsters, animals and human characters look great. Each major area of the game has its own roster of enemies. These include goblins, trolls, skeletons and human pirates, plus a whole bunch of weird creatures.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a fantastic fantasy take on Borderlands’ tried-and-true looter shooter formula. As spin-offs go, it sticks dangerously close to its past successes which at times felt a bit unoriginal and some of the new stuff it tries, like procedurally generated combat encounters, didn’t pan out terribly well. Luckily, the excellent writing, hilarious performances from an all-star cast, and ridiculous combat continue to shine brightly and make this tabletop-inspired explosion-fest absolutely worth your time.
The shooting does feel good though, and half the fun comes from finding and trying out different guns; settling in with a favorite you'll think is irreplaceable, only to throw it away without thought the second you find a new fave. I had a range of beloved gun children over the course of my playthrough. Things like a crossbow that fired clusters of explosive bolts that only exploded when the clip was emptied, or some sort of vampire rifle thing that turned the damage it inflicted into health to heal me.
Screen Rant (4/5)
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is an excellent example of how the looter shooter genre can innovate. Even when only played solo, the gameplay was fun and the story quite engaging. While the game may not be a perfect experience thanks to some frustrating design choices and overlooked technical issues, it’s definitely worth it to take a trip to the Wonderlands all the same.
As with the original DLC, Tiny Tina’s also prone to major revisions mid-session. The entire environment can change before your eyes in technically impressive and enthralling fashion, depending on what fancies her imagination takes her in. That makes the experience feel totally distinct from the mainline games, and the quasi-Skyrim style questing does the same. Thematically, it all hits the mark brilliantly.
While Tiny Tina's Wonderlands looks like a bouncy fantasy-comedy, it plays like a Borderlands game. Specifically, Borderlands 3. Some of the guns shoot crossbow bolts and the grenades have been replaced by spells, but in the moment-to-moment it's a typical Borderlands game—you shoot hordes of bad guys who repeat pithy one-liners, then compare loot to see if the new guns and shields are better than the old ones, then do it again.
Wonderlands picks up a few bad habits from Borderlands 3 in its story and how it tells its tale. There's tonal whiplash that you'll have to deal with regularly, as the game repeatedly shifts from light-hearted fantasy fun to bickering party members dealing with personal issues that threaten to derail the entire tabletop session. When Wonderlands focuses on the absurd imagination of Tina--wonderfully brought to life once again by the energetic voice performance of Ashly Burch--it can be hilarious fun to sit through.
That's a fairly solid turnout then! Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is currently sitting at 81 on Metacritic (at the time of writing) and it looks like anyone who enjoyed Borderlands, particularly 3, is in for a treat.
Are you picking up Wonderlands? Or still tackling February's releases? Let us know in the comments.