Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands promises a fun adventure even without innovating

What happens when you let a thirteen-year-old girl who’s just crazy in the head run an RPG game where the rules basically don’t exist and the dice roll is replaced by shooting, beating and loot? You have one of the best DLC for your main franchise. Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keepwhich recently became a standalone, was a very big hit by Gearbox in 2013. Now, in 2022, the company has decided to give the now-adult Tina another opportunity to put terror into a role-playing game, thus being born Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. We had the opportunity to play a preview of the game coming out at the end of March and here are our initial impressions.

Lots of fun, even with little news

The poet once said “don’t move in a winning team”. Borderlands 3, even with a questionable plot, has the best gameplay of the entire franchise. New animations, a wide variety of weapons, enemies that react better to your shots and several other news that greatly pleased fans of the series. Fortunately, Gearbox has understood all of this and will apparently keep it the same in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.

During my play, I was able to notice two main differences from the previous game. The first are Conjurations, special spells that apply effects to enemies, helping to eliminate them. They replace and look somewhat like the grenades, which are not present, but I particularly found them to be even more effective during battles. Even if it is necessary to charge the attack in some of them, the damage pays off a lot especially when the enemy is very strong or their number is very large.

Mighty powers will aid our journeyFonte:  Voxel

The other difference is in character customization. In this preview, it was not possible to modify the appearance, but I was able to upgrade the classes as I leveled up. Initially, I found it strange that it only had one skill tree, but the addition of attributes made up for this change a lot.

The attributes are quite similar with an RPG token, in that it is possible to distribute points in 6 different criteria, improving some stats as a percentage of critical damage or magic cooldown. Classes already start with advantages and disadvantages in some of these aspects, which can give some direction if the player is in doubt about what to do, but it is important to understand about your style to improve aspects that will impact your way of playing.

It is necessary to choose wisely where to distribute the pointsIt is necessary to choose wisely where to distribute the pointsFonte:  Voxel

The final game will have 6 classes, and I was able to test 2 of them. The first was Necronata, which can heal itself or spend health to deal dark damage. She is accompanied by a companion named Semilich, who deals magic damage to enemies. The other is called Blademancer, and it has a more melee grip, with one skill making us invisible for a few seconds and the other creating a whirlwind of swords wherever we want. I liked the two classes for proposing different approaches to the gameplay and that makes me excited to play with the other 4.

These two novelties do not reinvent the wheel, but it is not necessary. The weapons are very different from each other, maintaining the standard of rarity and manufacturer, with many fitting the fantasy medieval context that our history puts us in, shooting arrows instead of bullets, for example. Not only that, but the enemies are very different from each other, having unique attack patterns and visuals, and the writing remains wonderfully comedic, just the way the fan likes it.

Shots and blasts, just how we like itShots and blasts, just how we like itFonte:  Voxel

Laughter will not be missed

Speaking of which, the story is as sharp as ever. The main quest I played — which will be a side quest in the final version — is aimed at helping little Jar in her quest to summon her companions to FEDE (Federation of Goblin Emancipation) and end the tyranny of the Dragon God Vorcanar. In addition to it, there is one that we talked to the blacksmith Claptrap, who asks us to steal equipment and pretend he did it to impress his master and another that is simply sensational, focusing on non-violent actions. The last one made me choose to battle a boss, seduce him or even listen to his speech for 6 minutes and that made me laugh for a good few minutes.

The lines and performances are impeccable, including the always wonderful Andy Samberg as Valentine, and Tiny Tina runs the RPG table where everything is masterfully done, if you know what I mean. The objectives of the missions are simple, but everything unfolds in an extremely comical way, a trademark of the franchise.

Love it or hate it, Claptrap ain't going nowhereLove it or hate it, Claptrap ain’t going nowhereFonte:  Voxel

One thing I missed here was a sudden change in the environment or situation as seen in Assault on Dragon Keep. I believe this will appear in the final game in some main quest, as this was one of the charms that made the audience fall in love with the content back in the early 2010s.

Finally, this little taste of the game got me even more excited than I was before. Even Gearbox playing it safe, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands aims to please longtime fans and win over new players with yet another absurd, fun, bloody and loot-filled adventure. The game will be released on March 25th for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One e PC.

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