Tiny Tina's Wonderlands

released on Mar 25, 2022

Embark on an epic adventure full of whimsy, wonder, and high-powered weaponry! Bullets, magic, and broadswords collide across this chaotic fantasy world brought to life by the unpredictable Tiny Tina.

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Despite how much I love this game's gameplay I think overall it's a weaker package compared to previous titles. Especially with the abysmal DLC model that had easily the worst DLC drops in the series. I am kind of a big sucker for the borderland's spin on the fantasy genre and I love the character building so much in this game. I think the building your own character out in this game allows you to feel more connected to your character and especially with the mixing of classes it's just such a joy. I do think to a certain degree big story pieces kinda slow this game down which doesn't help my overall lower opinion of this game. I think if gearbox didn't drop this game after one fucking year it could've easily been the best game in the series but we don't live in that timeline. I feel like this game suffered from poor managing of resources and It'll be one of my biggest what ifs of any game in recent times. I really do hope they expand on what this game started.

I wasn't gonna review this game. I had literally started this just to have something mindless to play while I listen to podcasts and whatnot. But the "Mule Character" trophy is so bad, I had to talk about it.
It won't take more than 30 hours to get through this game. It's a decent enough time. I'm indifferent to the writing at this point (I love 2 and think it peaked there). It's honestly hard to take the story seriously when you know it's a game within a game. At that point you can't be asked to be gripped in any meaningful way.
The gameplay itself is good enough to waste time with. I like the Medieval style and all the changes they made to gear and loot to fit said style. Combining two classes was a nice idea in concept, but in the end I just felt like one class with some extra skills stapled on. At least there was a decent end game grind. It beats having to farm the same enemies non-stop in two.
Oh yeah! Almost forgot the main reason I'm writing. You'll have just about every trophy by the time you finish the game with the exception of the Chaos Chamber related ones. However, the grind for the Mule Character is so absurd that it would take you hundreds of hours to get the money for it. Even when optimizing for money, it would still take forever regardless of your efforts. Sure, you get more money the higher up in Chaos Level you go, but you have to grind in order to keep your gear up to snuff as you get higher. That said, you're being asked to grind within a grind just for the chance at good money. The name "Mule Character" has to be a cruel joke by whoever made the trophy, because the glitch that most people use involving a mule character seems like the only feasible way to earn it. It's one thing to have that kind of trophy in a game that already demands you play for a long time and has other trophies that take a while. It's another thing when the rest of the trophy list is cake in comparison to just one outlier. I'm just annoyed.
Game is fine, but I hope whoever made that trophy has wet socks for life.

There are an exemplery amount of cases where the gameplay will be so much stronger than the narrative tied to it, that even if the writing is bad and the plot is full of holes, it doesn't affect the end product because the game is just that fun. Tons of games depend more on the player getting lost in its gameplay loop rather than the lore, despite the latter usually having an insane amount of work and detail put into it.
And then there's the rare opposite. Where the story itself disrupts the gameplay to such an egregious manner. Where it becomes so hard to ignore. Where the devs want it to be the primary focus rather than the video game itself. And when the writing itself just isn't good enough to make up for all of it.
Gearbox chose to lean heavily into their writing with the release of 2 and that never changed over a decade later, and while yeah there are glimpses of good setpieces in the franchise that became of this like Handsome Jack, fact of the matter is it slows down gameplay. Roadblocks where you're forced to hear characters talk, quests where you're forced into town for a 5 minute unskippable dialogue interactions, and an exhaustive amount of dialogue where, up until post game where you're exclusively farming bosse or running dungeons, there will ALWAYS be a character talking, and with each new release they've tripled down on this problem. I've had people tell me they either download mods that force skip talking interactions or simply play the game on mute, and that really isn't good given how much effort Gearbox has put into the writing and voice talent for these titles. So when the latest release once again doubling down on this issue despite it being the largest detractor from the last game, it reaches a point of being simply intolerable.
Which leads me to believe that I might not be the target audience, despite the gameplay being quite literally right up my alley. The game does a mix of nonstop jokes and occasional virtue signaling in a universe that consistently paints everyone as a garbage terrible person, and I probably smirked twice total in my 60 hours of sitting through paragraph long "jokes" that just weren't funny, despite being aware enough of the context of both Borderlands itself and the setting they were aping off of.
And despite there being a TON of class variety and reasons to replay, I can't stomach running through the story again, even if by means of speedrunning. The game quite literally dies by its own tongue, where even a game like YiiK isn't nearly as verbacious.
Watch a video of the first quest, and if it looks like something you can tolerate for 40 hours, then you'll probably enjoy it.

There's a 2 hour long Smurf quest

A super fun DND homage. Will Arnett did a great job voicing the villain. Good story. Fun Borderlands gameplay.
I loved the gender-inclusive character creation.
My only complaint is the endgame roguelike thing got stale really fast.
There also wasn't much replayability for me.