Every Borderlands Tradition that Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Broke | Games Rants
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Every Borderlands Tradition that Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Broke | Games Rants


  • Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands differentiates itself from the main Borderlands series, offering a lighter and more fantastical experience while still capturing the spirit of the franchise.
  • The game is rated T for Teen, toning down the explicit content of the main series, but still delivering great jokes and an enjoyable gameplay experience.
  • Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands introduces fantasy-themed tweaks to Borderlands’ gameplay, including spells in place of grenades, a selection of melee weapons, and an overworld map for navigation.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands may be a spin-off of Borderlands, but it takes its fair share of moves to differentiate itself from the main series. The game is a memorable part of the franchise, largely because of how much it stands out compared to the rest of the Borderlands games. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands probably won’t bring all of its changes to the mainline games, if any of them. However, they managed to make the game a fresh experience despite most of Borderlands‘ formula being in place.

Based on the Borderlands series, the Dungeons and Dragons-influenced Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is a lighter take on the already-wacky series of shooters. With the humorous and high-spirited Tiny Tina acting as the game’s main narrator, the player embarks on a fantastical journey that is a far cry from vault hunting. Still, the bombastic nature of the world around them, as well as Tina’s occasional ad-libs for the sake of excitement ensure that the player never forgets that they’re still in the Borderlands universe.

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Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is Less Explicit Than Borderlands

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Izzy

While the story of the Borderlands games often has many silly and ridiculous turns, the games undoubtedly earn their M for Mature rating. Players with good aim can blast off enemy heads, leaving their headless bodies to ragdoll to the ground, or just splatter them with a vehicle. Not to mention, a lot of enemy chatter can range from bizarre and hilarious to disturbing. Borderlands is definitely no stranger to dark humor, especially when Handsome Jack is involved, and the punchlines can get messy.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is rated T for Teen, and the content is turned down accordingly. Enemies in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands mostly consist of undead hordes and other inhuman creatures, so players will often be watching skeletons crumble into bone piles, even when sniped head-on. Even the more humanoid bandits don’t bleed like Borderlands‘ baddies when shot. Even other aspects were toned down, like the bar serving juice instead of alcohol, and the smack-talk from enemies being lighter in tone.

Although it doesn’t share the main series’ rating, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands still has great jokes, and it’s perfectly enjoyable. In a way, it feels like a cartoon version of Borderlands, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands may have toned down the blood, but the spirit of the series is definitely still present in both the gameplay and presentation. If anything, it shows that a Borderlands game doesn’t need a Mature rating to be a good time.

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Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands Makes Some Fantasy-Themed Tweaks to Borderlands’ Gameplay

1st Lucky Dice Overworld Tiny Tina's Wonderlands

Along with Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands‘ fantasy setting came a few tweaks to Borderlands‘ long-standing mechanics. While the player still primarily uses guns, albeit mostly in the form of crossbows, a few mechanics saw clear changes. For one, grenades were replaced with spells. While spells played a similar role, being splash damage, they have a cooldown rather than limited ammo. In addition, spells differentiated themselves with their effects, ranging from shooting homing bolts to dropping elemental meteors, making combat a visual treat.

Another big change came with Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands‘ melee weapons. Normally in the Borderlands games, every character has a single melee option that is only modified through some weapon or perk effects. However, in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, there is a selection of melee weapons to choose from, such as kamas, claymores, and morningstars. While it gives players an extra inventory slot to juggle, it also lets players further improve their character build. Melee weapons could be one Wonderlands‘ best additions to the series.

Longtime Borderlands players may have been thrown off because Borderlands does not have an overworld, but Tiny Tina’s Wonderland does. In a move reminiscent of old school RPGs, players move between important locations on a world map, rather than the open world favored by other Borderlands titles. Players can even find random encounters in the grass similar to Pokemon, although fought in the game’s typical FPS style. As a fun bonus, the overworld avatar looks like the player’s Fatemaker turned into a game piece.

The Playable Character is Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands’ Biggest Break From Tradition


The most impactful break in the Borderlands formula may lie in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands‘ custom character. Unlike the rest of the Borderlands games that give the player a selection of Vault Hunters to play as, Wonderlands has players build their own character from scratch. Everything about them, including their design, voice, class, and starting stats, are all up to the player’s discretion. The result of this approach is the most customizable protagonist in the Borderlands franchise to date.

Along with the custom protagonist came the ability to dual-class in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. While the Vault Hunters in previous Borderlands games held their original classes for the whole game, Wonderlands lets players multi-class their character once they reach a certain point. Once the player picks up their second class, they can gain benefits from both at once. This could range from stacking offensive buffs to giving the Fatemaker two pets at once, making multi-classing a powerful tool for any player.

While the Vault Hunters of past Borderlands games are memorable characters in their own right, the Fatemaker in Tiny TIna’s Wonderlands has their own appeal. While the Fatemaker doesn’t have an iconic design or storyline, they act as a conduit for the player’s creativity and strategy. It’s an approach that hasn’t been tried before in Borderlands since the Vault Hunters have always been so important in the plot. In that sense, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is truly unique in the franchise.

Even though Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands missed some opportunities with its changes, its differences led to many of its strengths. Even though most of the general gameplay is similar, the replaced mechanics and different character dynamics ensured that Wonderlands had its own distinct feeling rather than just being another Borderlands title. Borderlands‘ traditions have a history of success, but Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands found its own success by breaking some of those rules.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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