If you read our review of Borderlands 3, then you've basically read our review of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, only this game isn't as good. We're just doing it again in different words, and we're a little more weary this time around. Nothing of much consequence has changed between the two games. The budget is lower, clearly, and the level design is worse, pretty much objectively. Oh, and it's wearing a wizard's hat this time. Other than that, it's just another Borderlands game, and this is just another Borderlands review.
Borderlands is Borderlands is Borderlands. You're gonna wander around shooting things in the face and you'll collect mountains of mostly pointless loot. The combat is going to be fun but not too fun, and it's going to be more fun still if you play it with friends. Everything that applied before applies again, only there's some significant issues with the game that hold it back from being a worthy follow-up to the previous game.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is a spin-off framed as a Dungeons and Dragons-esque tabletop role playing game, with returning character Tiny Tina as dungeon master and the action that unfolds taking place in the imagination of the players. This should be an opportunity to get creative and to take the series into exciting new territory, but it basically boils down to Borderlands with some jokes about dice in it.
For the uninitiated, the titular Tiny Tina is a deranged child in the Borderlands universe who speaks in exaggerated teen colloquialisms and loves blowing things up; a one-note joke that ran out of steam during her small role in Borderlands 2, and has only grown more tiresome with age. She's like a walking, talking, shrieking metaphor for the series as a whole, and her promotion from annoying side character to annoying main character is of dubious merit.
Each new game in the series has proved more divisive than the last, thanks in large part to the patented Borderlands Humour™. This series desperately wants to make you laugh. It needs to. It has an unstoppable urge that it can't sate. Wonderlands doesn't so much have jokes with set-ups and punchlines, and instead opts to have characters just shout weird things while the game grins maniacally at you to let you know you're supposed to be laughing, hoping that you'll capitulate out of sheer embarrassment if nothing else.
Humour is an incredibly subjective thing; while we were sat like Will Smith at a Chris Rock gig as Tiny Tina proudly announces the Queen in the game is a magical horse named "Butt Stallion", we're sure there's someone out there who thinks the Arse Horse is comedy gold. How much you enjoy Tiny Tina's Wonderlands will hinge partly on whether you cringe at the gags or if you chuckle at them, and if you're in the latter camp then you can basically just add a point onto the score at the bottom of this review.
For as much as we'd like to see Tiny Tina strapped to a rocket and fired into the Sun, it's the writing that's the problem rather than the performance. Credit where it's due to Ashley Burch, who grabs the role by the scruff of the neck and gives it her all, and any redeemable qualities that Tina has are surely down to her rather than the script. The rest of the voice cast is similarly strong and far too good for this game, quite honestly, with talent including Will Arnett hamming it up as the villainous Dragon Lord and a fellow adventurer voiced by Wanda Sykes — perhaps most well known for her stint as one of Larry David's many foils in Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Wonderlands works in much the same way as any traditional Borderlands game only with a few key differences. Gameplay is basically identical to Borderlands 3, only classes have been given more fantasy-themed names like Brr-zerker and Graveborn. You've got magic spells mapped to L1 now, but they're essentially just super-moves that you can collect and equip like any other loot, and there's a bigger focus on melee combat, which is a welcome idea but a largely unsatisfying experiment. Other than that, it's your standard Borderlands fare, for better and worse.
For what it's worth, we think that the core gameplay here is a lot of fun, and finding a fantastic new spell or weapon gives us that little dopamine rush that makes it all worth it. Boss fights, in particular, are exciting and suitably grandiose. What's not fun is the mission design, which suffers from a lot of repetition and a lot of filler, and if we were feeling cynical, we'd perhaps suggest that Tiny Tina's Wonderlands started life as a much smaller game and has been padded out to sell it at a premium. Perhaps that's true, perhaps it's not, but the result remains the same.
Rather than taking place in a series of large open world interconnected areas a la previous Borderlands adventures, Wonderlands is broken up into smaller levels that are accessible via a wholly superfluous overworld. When exploring the overworld, you just walk in a top down view from one mission marker to the next, occasionally solving trite puzzles, and frequently finding out that you're too low level for your next story mission and need to grind in a nearby dungeon. This just happens over and over again.
Once in these dungeons you shoot a wave of enemies in a small arena, then do it again, and then do it again. Once you've done this, if you're at the right level for your next story mission you can move on, and if not you can just grind some more. If they'd streamlined the whole thing and just presented the story missions linearly, we'd have an easier time recommending Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, but this is six or seven hours' worth of content dragged out for fifteen hours or so, and it shows.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands retains the inherently entertaining shootin' and lootin' gameplay that the Borderlands series is known for, but you're frequently held back from enjoying it because of repetitive missions, tedious busywork, oodles of padding, and the game's relentless need to be funny. Its characters won't shut up, frequently stopping you playing so it can perform another inane comedy routine that limply, embarrassingly fizzles out like a deflating corpse, farting decomposition gases to the tune of "Ta-dah!"
This by far and large better than bl3. This game is great. The over world is great and doesn't even feel tacked on. I'm stricken with confusion with this review. But it's just an opinion.
I skipped 3 because in a trial of it the sensitivity of the controls made me and my co op partner nauseous. I also could tell it was more Borderlands. This, however, at least has me intrigued as the magic was something I would hope mixed up the formula a bit. I also think I've aged out of BL humor, so that might be a no go for me too.
I can't agree at all with this review. While I'm tired of BL humor, I think that Tina is great and she was by, no means, annoying in BL2.
The game is great, not amazing, but above most shooters.
Maybe the tedium of the game got to them, but I haven't read a more depressing tone in a review. Please take some PTO if you need it John lol.
A couple of points lower than other sites
This reads like someone who had no intention of liking it before they even started.
Worth noting that a 6/10 is not bad.
I didn't laugh at the butt stallion joke, but laughed at the follow-up sentence of the review.
Great review, but it would've never been helpful. If you like BL you will like this, if not then this won't change your mind.
Started it over the Weekend and got bored very quickly. Easily the worst game in the entire series and the voice acting drove me to distraction too. Back to Borderlands 3 for me I guess.
Just playing this now, definitely overstays its welcome pretty quickly.
As for the overworld, this really should've hit the cutting room floor.
Feels like a last-generation game too.
@Gatatog No it reads like someone who has a different opinion to you and you don't agree with it.
@get2sammyb It says it right next to the number!
@Gatatog FWIW, I have liked every other Borderlands game. I even like the Telltale one.
Oh so suddenly jokes from Reddit from 2 years ago are stale and unfunny?
I had high hopes but the more the trailers started showing of the actual gameplay, the more parts of it reminded me a bit of Orc Slayer, that easy platinum game where you just bow-and-arrow a ton of generic orcs to death until the platinum pops. That was not an attractive game, and not one you’d want a modern AAA game to be compared to.
“It's just more Borderlands” as in Borderlands 3? Well that sucks. Guess I’ll hold off on this one for some time.
Im going to get it for sure it got a 8 at my other site and i agree more with their view.
This is the lowest scored review I've read about this game, its odd and none of the other reviews complain or are displeased with the things wrote here.
By any chance your not a big borderlands fan or ?
Possibly moving from elden ring and horizon spoiled you ?
@Gatatog To me it reads of someone who loves the series but is waiting for that series to do the next big thing. You can only play so many of the same thing just with a different coat of paint.
Borderlands is a relic of the PS3 era & the series peaked with part 2. This review seems very fair to me.
@johncalmc Then I apologise. It's just the general vibe I got while reading it and I meant nothing against you as a reviewer.
@Tasuki The magic system and D&D elements felt like a big change to me. 🤔
I've been loving it and Tina is hilarious.
I generally like Borderlands in the same way I like Assassin's Creed or something - I'm not totally invested and I might put a podcast on but they're fun to turn my brain off and play. I've enjoyed every other Borderlands.
I think the two big things I didn't like were the humour, obviously, which is more egregious than usual here, and the structure with the overworld. It felt less like exploring a big world and more like small isolated levels. It feels like the main content is what would be side content in a normal Borderlands.
I kinda liked the trailers for this but I also played a couple Borderlands games and hated the loot-based gameplay loop.
Might try it when it's cheap or on PS Plus Extra or whatever
Played and completed BL1, played BL2 for a couple hours and got bored, skipped BL3, played and platinumed Tiny Tinas Assault on Dragon Keep and am absolutely loving Wonderlands.
@johncalmc I always look forward to your reviews. Even if I have no interest in the game, I know it will be an entertaining read.
I love this:
“She's like a walking, talking, shrieking metaphor for the series as a whole, and her promotion from annoying side character to annoying main character is of dubious merit.”
That said, I wasn’t terribly annoyed at Tina Tina during BL2 and the Tina Tina DLC, at least not any more annoyed than at all the other characters. Because yes, let’s face it, the “humor” is as funny as sitting at the lunch table with 8 year old boys telling fart jokes. It’s the main thing that has kept me from playing more BL after 1 and 2. Every now and then I feel tempted to pick one up again and see if I can solider through the bathroom humor in order to get the reasonable enjoyment out of the pretty addictive gameplay loop. It sounds like I can just pick up a cheap copy of BL3 or play the Pre-Sequel that I already own if such a craving ever strikes again.
@johncalmc Finally somebody else bemused by where the humour is to be found in an incredibly grating character. God I wish Borderlands wasn’t so irritating, I enjoy the gameplay as well.
Basicaly what I figured: all Borderlands games are basicaly the same. They're exactly like Far Cry in that regard. I'm sure I'll get around to this at some point, but not until it's got all the inevitable DLC bundled in and is on sale to boot.
Glad to see a review that actually reads like a mature person playing the game, and not someone who's (for whatever reason) totally addicted to Tina's character or the increasingly whack humour.
yikes , a 6 is bad . anything below a 7 is just numbers synonymous with mediocre .
should’ve been borderlands 4 or a new IP instead . the character is obnoxious & they were just cashing in on her highly successful DLC half a decade ago in BL2 .
@Th3solution while I totally agree with your comment, I'd say the humour of the 'pre-sequel' is actually the lowest point: like in their attempt to be "inclusive", they've just shoehorned in loads of crappy lesbian jokes.
@Tasuki if they loved the series then what they said about butt stallion would not be there. Because they would know the back story....so yeah.
This reads a bit like a certain fc6 and sw3 review I've read. Bound to happen I guess.
@Red_Ranger From your perspective yes because you don't agree. If you like it fine but from my perspective and many others it's just the same boring formula being used yet again. I was hoping the Fantasy setting would help the game but that is simply not the case here at all. Lmao indeed.
Reviews are always based on someone's OWN personal feelings based on their own playtime with it so no idea what you're talking about tbh.
I remember playing through Borderlands 1 and completed it, the artstyle felt fresh for a first person shooter/rpg set in an apocalyptic world back then. Borderlands 2 was fun too, it improved on many aspects of the first game and felt more 'alive' then part 1. I got the third one, BL The Pre-Sequel dirtcheap in a sale at the end of the PS3's lifecycle, but never got around it due to a call of local gamestore that my preordered PS4 had arrived. Never bothered to play BL 3 because it looked so similar to the others, and there were more appealing games available to waste my time on really.. This spinoff can't grab my attention too and the score reflects that perfectly. I got kind of tempted to try BL2 VR because i love PSVR and the Aim Controller, but i already played it flat so no deal. Maybe if PSVR 2 gets a VR overhaul of BL 3 i might not be able to resist it, but for now it i abandoned the series as a whole and i'm fine with that.
More borderlands but with a fantasy spin. Sounds about right, I love it but agree with the review. It's nothing new, groundbreaking and the humor does get tiring after a bit. To each their own, as a fan of the game I think the review is more than fair. It's accurate. Enjoying something doesn't mean you shouldn't point out it's flaws. Otherwise, how can it ever improve?
This is a better game than Borderlands 3, but I agree with the review for sure. I really disliked Borderlands 3. I really wish Gearbox would stop trying to write stories to attempt to capture the lightning in a bottle of Borderlands 2, and go back to basics like Borderlands 1 in terms of story. They're never going to capture that same magic again, and the fact that the most amusing jokes are just repeats from Borderlands 2 speaks to quality of that game, and how sad of a state the writing is in BL3 and TTW, but at least TTW is not nearly as cringe as BL3.
And the loot...the loot is really boring also, and there's too much of it. It's like a buffet where everything is liver pate except for the two steaks that are sometimes brought out by the chef. It's actual garbage, with an occasional good drop, and it sucks.
I got a notification that @Red_Ranger responded to me again but I don't see anything here unless he blocked me or deleted his response?
@Cutmastavictory My god, you're right.
"Humour is an incredibly subjective thing; while we were sat like Will Smith at a Chris Rock gig as Tiny Tina proudly announces the Queen in the game is a magical horse named "Butt Stallion""
Butt Stallion is mentioned and featured in BL2 main game, and its two latter DLCs, one of which was Dragon Keep, which was recently released as a stand alone game (the game that is only £7.99, has been half price several times and has been free through PSN+), and it's revealed in that game that BS is the Queen.
So why is this written like it was a surprise and the reviewer didn't like it? This feels like the Alan Wake review all over again.
@J2theEzzo Ah man, if that’s true I might not waste my time. I’d also read about the oxygen depletion mechanic and the lackluster environmental setting. From all I’ve read it’s regarded as the weakest of the bunch, and so if the humor is worse than usual then that’s the nail in the coffin.
Maybe BL3, then, since it does have the PS5 version and can be found for $10 pretty easily. Actually, scratch that. Even that’s too much. I’m waiting to see if it’ll just be included in the PS+ Extra catalog in June. 😄
This is why we should have two or more reviewers for a game. Someone who is looking forward to the game, someone who isn't, and someone neutral. Is the person looking forward, happy? The person who isn't, feel justified? Was the neutral party swayed one way or another?
@Th3solution I went in to 3 for £10, felt like it was worth it, but it was a bit of a slog to get to the end... the villains aren't as great as 2, but the game feels snappier and more fluid?
The o2 mechanic on the pre-sequel really did become excruciating after a while... fine, at first, but eventually you just want to keep to being indoors!
Gearbox… Good lord.
Why can’t you give us Brothers in Arms 4? Conclude the series with the Battle of the Bulge. The ending of Hell’s Highway was heading in that direction.
They straight up abandoned that wonderful franchise after Hell’s Highway. We don’t count that cell shaded weird nonsense multiplayer game.
I actually don't blame the reviewer, if its just more borderlands, how many of those same games can you play? I have never played one, so it sounds like I might like this, But idk, I try'd the one they gave on ps plus, and I just couldn't get into it, the FPS gameplay just was pulling me in, and the humor was just not my thing.
However I do love the skills they have! That is why I will give the game another try, as I think I was being pretty closed minded when I played it.
I must heavily disagree with this review, most of my friends who are playing this are enjoying the game alot.
@Salt_AU Metacritic is an aggregate of 100s of different websites spanning potentially thousands of different authors, all with different values, ideas, opinions, editorial policies, and review scales.
I honestly can’t speak to what 60 on Metacritic means beyond the fact you’re throwing various different opinions all into a pot then processing them with an algorithm to attribute a definitive numerical score, which seems nonsense to me.
A 6/10 on Push Square is not bad.
looks like fortnite imo i played 3 on my ps5 and this game makes no improvements cant even holster your weapon played 2 hours it looks worse than 3 imo cant enjoy this game not next gen at all imo
@Cutmastavictory @Richnj Honestly, I didn't think anyone would call me out on mentioning Butt Stallion. I can't believe I'm having a conversation about Butt Stallion but here we go.
So in the review process - I don't know how other people do it but this is how I do it - I'm playing the game and I'm making notes of things that stand out. Then I write them all up and then I edit them. And I actually originally had notes about a different example of a dumb joke, but it involved explaining the dumb joke and how dumb it was. It was a whole thing with music, a pointless sidequest, lots of shouting, etc. It was a minor spoiler but nothing too spoilery.
Anyway, when I came to edit the review the original cut of this was over 1,900 words and we have a review word limit of 1,000 words here. This is common - I always have to spend ages trimming them down at the end. No real hardship.
The explanation of the joke was honestly too long, not only because it was two paragraphs long, but also because it meant that the vast majority of the review was talking about the dumb humour and so for balance I had already taken out some other stuff about it, but also because it was taking up too many words. And so then I tried thinking of another dumb joke but each one required some sort of explanation, so then I ultimately went with Butt Stallion because it requires no explanation. It's just a stupid name. And so instantly two paragraphs became one, and I could fit more in elsewhere.
But I did actually think about the genesis of Butt Stallion (although I couldn't remember whether it came from Borderlands 2 or DLC at the time) and how that dumb joke actually originated in a previous game. But I thought mentioning it wouldn't matter because a) the dumb joke is still a dumb joke regardless of where it came from, and it's indicative of Borderlands humour as a whole, and b) I didn't think anybody would call me out on it.
And now we're here.
@nessisonett yeah im a fan of borderlands, but some characters are just irritating, the first time you meet them all their great but certain characters like tina, stupid flapsnap, moxxi. Love Torgue tho🤣
@johncalmc that whole lengthy explanation supports my original comment than it does to justify your stance in any meaningful way. Look how many times you used the words dumb. Also, I never called you out, I responded to someone. You're entitled to your opinion, that's fine. I just think on many accounts you're wrong, that's fine too. Like someone already mentioned, this is written in a way that indicates you never had any intention of enjoying the game. Enjoy your day.
@Uromastryx Tina and Moxxi are fun characters and was one of the best parts of BL2
@johncalmc Butt Stallion isn't just a dumb joke though ( yes, it was a dumb joke to begin with). Not at this point. It's a long standing reference now.
Firstly, Butt Stallion is connected to the two most immature characters of the series. Handsome Jack (who named her) and Tiny Tina (a literal 9 year old). It would be weird (and poor writing) if both these characters spouted out mature dry British wit.
Secondly, because Butt Stallion is the creation of Handsome Jack, and he use to be considered a highlight of the series, it would be weird now, if all of a sudden, people were against this style of humour and in this form, when he introduced it.
And Thirdly, as mentioned above and in my other post, having Butt Stallion as not just connected to Tiny Tina but acting as the Queen of her fantasy world is well established. It seems highly unlikely that anyone playing Wonderlands, who is familiar, would not really be disappointed by that announcement. They wouldn't take it as some poorly landed joke, they'd take it as the continued reference that it is.
I'm sure there's plenty of actual dumb jokes here, and that any one of them would have been a better example than Butt Stallion. Using a different joke would have been equally effective for both new and old players of the series. Using BS only really persuades those that either do not have that familiarity and those that already hated it. It also just reads as a misunderstanding or lack of prior knowledge of that line.
@Nepp67 agreed but after that no just became try hard...fell hard, That's my opinion at least
Removed - unconstructive feedback; user is banned
@Resi32 That's not strictly true. According to Metacritc, on PS5 the game has one 9, one 8, one 7.5, and one 6. So it's a spread. If you go to PC where the most reviews are, of the 64 reviews, 12 are a 6 or a 7. That roughly 20%. So it's not like everyone in the world is joining hands in celebration for the game and we've just turned up shouting, "It's rubbish!"
Not that any of that matters. Even if it was getting 9s everywhere, even if every single other review on all platforms it got a 9, our review would still be a 6 because that's what I thought of it.
Was looking forward to this. But another title with mediocre score so will now skip it. I didn't expect to buy a PS5 and play £60/£70 games that are only getting 6-8 out of 10's. Especially games that should suit everyone.
I didn’t really understand the 9.5 score over at G.I. Waiting for it to go on sale or a PS+ title.
@Uromastryx Moxxi will never get old for me! Awoooga
@Uromastryx Gotta disagree, Adult Tina with the tiny amount of screen time she had was great and it was disappointing that we never got to see more of her cause of the amateur writers and even Claptrap for that matter.
@Nepp67 yeah it really felt like the writing went off after 2
@Uromastryx It really did cause they had something really interesting going on in Tales of the Borderlands
This game is way better than a 6 and the hit to miss ratio of jokes is way better than in borderlands 3. Now the game isn’t as good as borderlands 3 but it’s much closer than the review makes it sound.
@Constable_What hell no don’t go back to borderlands 1 style storytelling. I’m also tired of nostalgia blinding people to thinking borderlands 2 is even remotely good writing and that borderlands 3 is way worse. The difference between the two is people grew up and even then it’s not like there’s not laughs to be had in 3. The series has it’s style of humor and either you’re with it or not but let’s quit acting like BL 2 wasn’t just as asinine and immature as 3 hell 3 actually had some heart especially in some of the dlc’s like the sir hammerlock wedding one that 2 can’t even touch
@dark_knightmare2 Borderlands 3 is way worse than 2. I don't know what the hell you're talking about. The only thing better about Borderlands 3 compared to 2 is the gunplay and graphics. Level design, character design, story, character writing, DLC, are all worse. It isn't nostalgia at all.
You're just on copium thinking Borderlands 3 is any good at all. That game sucks lmao
I personally love the borderlands games, Played and completed all of them so far. I love exploring in these games and I've always liked the gameplay. Every borderlands game has an in your face shouting not so funny its bad character, I think they do it on purpose. Overall if you like borderlands and still play it then you should like this.
@Constable_What the level design is way better in 3 than 2 and has better variety and the dlc is about on the same level for both games. I’m not even getting into the other things you said because like I said BL 2 is about as well written as 3 which are both c tier at best. The hyperbole of the internet is so annoying like yeah sure borderlands 3 sucks and is a bad game lol get real and if you truly believe that I don’t know what to tell you because in no universe is BL 3 a bad game.
I thought it was horrible.
@Constable_What I don’t have to cope I just was calling out the hyperbole. I’m sure Gearbox is real hurt that 3 has sold tons,reviewed well and is still being played.
@dark_knightmare2 I dunno man. Sounds like a cope to me.
It's not hyperbole. It's an opinion, so you know, cope harder.
@Constable_What yeah and your opinion is hyperbole trash but yeah I’ll continue to “cope”. Have a nice day
@dark_knightmare2 You too! Pleasure talking to ya!
@Richnj #54 congrats, you are spot on mate!
There is nothing worst than reviewing a game you already know you will hate.
Skill Up has a great review on his channel about this game. Very deep and explanatory, as usual.
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