Gearbox Software studios are releasing an iconic license from their arsenal three years after the assault led by Borderlands 3. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is set to shake the dust off the Looter-Shooter pillar and breathe a fantastic breath of fresh air into the world in the spring of 2022. genre. Can heroic fantasy be on par with punk apocalyptic?
Tina’n style adventure
Gearbox Software envisioned Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands as a huge tabletop role-playing video game with all the twists and narrative structure it entails. The young and quirky Tina, a charismatic character highly regarded by fans, is at the helm of a fantasy adventure in which “noble” adventurers – the Hands of Destiny – stand against the Dragon Master himself. The power of a story lies in the ability of the narrator to change the rules during the game and change the story to suit their mood. Tina is known for her unpredictability and in any circumstances does as she pleases. She proves it once again.
The script, like its author Tina, is deliberately fragmented and unashamedly borrowed from the works that glorified heroic fantasy, but not only. It blows a breeze of freshness into the history of Wonderland, mainly due to the ubiquitous effect of surprise and the perceived desire to get away from it all, even if it means daring off the track. Of course, the tone so characteristic of the saga is indeed present. The opposite would be amazing. The humor is often bold, hits hard and mostly below the belt, and is desirable to be referenced.
Between hints of pop culture and “not-so-subtle” art of self-mocking, the writers caress the players in the direction of the court. The uninitiated will probably be surprised before sticking or not sticking to this pen that has contributed to the reputation of the Borderlands saga in the past. The staging, sometimes pushed back to leave enough room for gameplay to express itself, connects epic sequences before completely defusing them with a witticism or a joke that mostly hits its target… the fanboy. However, the story is sometimes (too) wordy. Note that the excellent acting by the French dubbing actors manages to capture the tone and hence the humor so characteristic of the acting.
Gearbox Software is changing its traditional punk apocalyptic framework into heroic fantasy. Artists allow themselves, and quite rightly, all fantasies, even the most improbable ones, to design a universe conducive to a change of scenery. Piracy, Ancient Egypt, Atlantis, The Lord of the Rings, etc. Little Tina openly draws on many myths and other major works – literary and cinematic – to enrich a world that emphasizes discovery. Hour-long walks in a semi-open environment to find various collectibles and start new missions are still relevant.
Gearbox Software even adds a new layer connecting these different areas, vast and generous in content. This overlay called Overworld is a playful projection of the universe, designed by Tiny Tina. Adventurers travel there in real time in a “chibi” version, making Wonderland even more concrete and interesting to explore. However, the loss of time caused by the obligatory round trips between major locations turns a nice idea on paper into a brake on the growth of the characters’ power, despite the wealth that this Overworld brings.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands has a solid technical foundation on which to build a smooth, bug-free gameplay. The passage in the adventure is smooth, without slowdowns and other inconveniences of the genre. The game developed by Gearbox Software is not at the forefront of technology and does not claim to be the best., but stands out for its always seductive Cel Shading art direction and polished visuals. The simple pleasure of wandering through this colorful universe accompanies players throughout their epic.
Ways of action
The formula developed by Gearbox Software for the Borderlands saga has certainly evolved over time, morphing one episode after the next, but in many ways remains true to its origins. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands does not revolutionize Looter-Shooter in any way and is largely based on the pillars of the genre, in particular those inherited from its elders. Once in the game, fans will surely find their habits as the gameplay is reminiscent of Borderlands 3.
Firearms, magical powers, and hand-to-hand combat clash in versatile and often epic battles against a diverse bestiary. Unfortunately, despite the fantasy setting, melee attacks consistently lag behind. Gearbox Software is missing out on a great opportunity to override the timing of the Looter-Shooter recipe spin-off. Facing hundreds of enemies is still fun, especially with the feel of firearms and skills with devastating effects. However, the game loop suffers from a certain repetitive nature inherent in the genre.
As much fun as the title published by 2K Games alone is, the adventure gets more intense when it’s shared. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands can be played by 1 to 4 players, and that’s how the game should be explored in both co-op and competition. The difference lies in the simple fact of exchanging or giving up loot after defeating enemies. As far as a shooter goes, the adventure developed by Gearbox Software leans (too heavily) on the foundations that have proven themselves in the past and never truly breaks away from them.
Call for prey
Innovations regarding this spin-off of the Borderlands saga can be found in both cosmetic and in-game avatar customization. In this regard, Gearbox Software has not done anything halfway. Against, studios are adding a few mechanics to the formula, taken from RPGs and highly anticipated by fans. Now you can completely create a character. To accomplish this, many customization options allow players to change the hero’s face, morphology, armor, and adornments beyond the predefined sets in previous episodes of the franchise.
Gearbox Software has always made it a point of honor to offer an even richer RPG dimension, and that also includes growing the power of the incarnated character. In addition to gaining experience and gaining new passive and/or active skills, there is a multi-class system that fundamentally changes the situation, offering players more and more opportunities to create a unique Hand of Doom. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands thinks big and applies its vision of RPGs with a certain panache. Production did not stand aside, if not central. As far as looting goes, you’ll get hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of equipment and other weapons.
This near-endless quest for power, however, runs into a sometimes frustrating limit. The rewards provided by the system sometimes go out of their way to match character forged over long hours. Finally, loot paths stretch as far as the eye can see here, with a completely overhauled end game. The Hall of Chaos opens after completing the main campaign. These challenges, which take the form of dungeons adorned with several new bosses, symbolize this dimension of looting that the studios champion and give the reckless a reason to continue the adventure.
- The tone and unpredictability of the story told
- Ultrareferential universe
- Art direction painted in Cel Shading
- French dub
- Fierce battles against the updated bestiary
- Playful and cosmetic avatar customization (character editor, multiclasses, loot, etc.)
- Final Game (Hall of Chaos)
- Multiplayer (up to 4 players)
- Excellent service life
- Humor not for everyone
- History, sometimes secondary and too wordy
- Unused melee attacks
- Game cycle repeatability
- Overworld Accessory
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is nothing less than a worthy heir to the Borderlands saga. Gearbox Software’s name takes the Looter-Shooter codes and makes them their own, not without adding a few new features, starting with a character editor, a multi-class system, and an End Game. This fantasy spin-off also differs from its predecessors with its epic and light story, unpredictable narrator, and super-referential universe, but retains its art direction, which is still appealing and that impression of creating your own playful destiny. Initially recommended for Borderlands fans, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands should also appeal to fans of heroic fantasy and curious gamers.
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TO Silent_Jayjeuxvideo.com journalist