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New trailer reveals how Tiny Tina's Wonderlands embraces table-top RPG weirdness

2K Games releases new gameplay for its Borderlands spin-off, showcasing the new classes and locales in this parody of Dungeons & Dragons.

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You and other players can band together to form a party in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.

Gearbox Software / 2K Games

2K Games has just released a new trailer showing off fresh gameplay of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, the new spin-off of the Borderlands series. Stepping away from the franchise's post-apocalyptic and science-fiction aesthetic, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands leans more into the tone of swords and sorcery epic, but with mountains of guns to collect and the series' popular character Tiny Tina serving as the game's dungeon master.

In this latest trailer, we get our first look at the new classes of characters you can play as, along with the setting you get to explore in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. What sets this game apart from other mainline entries in the series is that it's a standalone game set entirely in a game of Bunkers & Badasses, the Borderlands' take on the popular table-top role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.

This conceit opens the doors for players to have a bit more freedom when it comes to building up characters and how you can explore the fantasy overworld. In a first for the series, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands offers full customizable characters to play, allowing you to make your hero and outfit them with different abilities to suit your preferences and style. There's also a greater focus on letting you choose your own adventure instead of the mission-to-mission structure of other games in the series. In contrast, you make choices in where you and your party can go next -- with Tiny Tina herself offering her signature fourth-wall-breaking commentary along the way.

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The two-character classes we got to see in the new video are the Stabbomancer and the Brr-zerker, which pays tribute to stealth and melee archetypes, but in a very Borderlands type of way. The Stabbomancer allows you to turn invisible and...well... stab enemies without them noticing, while the Brr-zerker blends ice magic with brute force to pummel foes. These are the first two classes that we've firm details on so far, and we should expect to hear more as we approach the game's release.

I'm a big admirer of the Borderlands series, and Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is setting up some interesting changes to the formula. This spin-off is actually something of a follow-up to the Borderlands 2 DLC called Assault on Dragon Keep, which itself was a parody of Dungeons and Dragons. What's enjoyable about playing a table-top RPG is that there's an element of unpredictability and weirdness, especially when dealing with a dungeon master -- one who guides the game -- that acts like a wild card, and I certainly a sense of that from what we've seen so far with Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.

While I enjoyed my time with the recent Borderlands 3, I couldn't help but feel that its structure and style felt a bit stale in some regards, especially in light of other games moving into the looter-shooter territory. As much as I liked the solid post-launch updates, which included a battle-royale parody mode, I couldn't help but feel that there could have been more to the game. But the next game is going for something a bit different, yet still keeping feet planted in the fourth-wall-breaking humor and storytelling.

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The infamous Butt-Stallion from Borderlands 2 makes their long-awaited return in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.

Gearbox Software / 2K Games

The Borderlands franchise has made a name for itself as a weird yet still fun spectacle involving oddball characters and a near-endless arsenal of firearms. While Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is the next game in the series, the Borderlands franchise will also see its first live-action film next year, featuring a stacked cast with Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Hart and Cate Blanchett in major roles.

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands releases on March 25, 2022, for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.