'Borderlands' Newcomers Can Jump Right Into 'Tiny Tina's Wonderlands'
Borderlands fans first meet Tiny Tina in Borderlands 2. An NPC, Tiny Tina is a 13-year-old girl who is a bit unstable and has an uncanny passion for blowing things up. Despite her age and small frame, she's become a favorite among fans of the franchise — and she's leading her first title with Tiny Tina's Wonderlands.
But where, exactly, does this teenager's saga fit into the overarching Borderlands narrative? Is it a standalone game, or will newcomers be confused?
'Tiny Tina's Wonderlands' isn't quite a standalone game.
If you haven't already caught on, Tiny Tina's origin story is tied to the Borderlands franchise. She made her first appearance in Borderlands 2, when she was called in to stop a Hyperion supply train that was believed to be carrying a Vault key the player needs.
The teenage character got her affinity for explosives after she and her family were sold by Flesh-Stick to Hyperion, becoming test subjects for experiments he was overseeing. This, unfortunately, caused her to lose her parents.
Tiny Tina only escaped through the help of a grenade she'd hidden underneath her dress (something her mother insisted she do). Now, her goal is to avenge her parents' deaths by taking down Hyperion — and she's had a prominent role in the games since.
She was the "Bunker Master" in the "Bunkers and Badasses" game in the second DLC for Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage.
Tiny Tina also received her own DLC, Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, for that same title.
Since then, she's become a staple, recurring NPC in the Borderlands franchise — but Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is the first game with her at the helm.
The events of this game are set directly after the events that happen in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep, meaning those who played through the DLC will know where it picks up.
With all that being said, just because it ties into the overarching narrative that Borderlands created does not mean newcomers shouldn't give this game a try.
Do you have to play 'Borderlands' first before playing 'Tiny Tina's Wonderlands'?
While Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is based on an NPC present in the Borderlands franchise, even the game's developer Gearbox confirmed that you don't need to be familiar with the original franchise to enjoy what Tiny Tina's has to offer.
“If you’ve never played a Borderlands game before, you can absolutely jump right in and enjoy it just as much,” Gearbox's Senior Producer Kayla Belmore said at the studio's E3 Showcase in 2021.
Yes, this also means you don't need to have played the NPC's previous expansion for Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep.
Fans of the franchise will be able to slip into this title with familiarity, already knowing many of the characters they'll meet along the way — but even if you've never played a Borderlands title before, you can still start your Gearbox-developed experience with Tiny Tina's Wonderland (though you should still go back and try Borderlands when you're done).