This is a stand-alone game created from a Borderlands 2 DLC. The DLC was originally based on Dungeons & Dragons taking a looter shooter into fantasy territory.
It starts out with Marcus Kincaid giving an introduction speech that sums up the events of Borderlands 2, this gives the much needed context that the story needs to work. We then get dropped straight into a copied version of the Tiny Tina Borderlands 2 DLC, it has some minor tweaks but is basically the exact same thing.
When I started the game I noticed a few things: the subtitles were on so I went into the menu to turn them off and found an easy mode toggle (improved accessibility for inexperienced players). The default controller layout was weird and unintuitive so I had to change that to ‘original’ in the menus, this might be connected to the upcoming Wonderlands game.
As DLC Tina’s campaign was late game content where a player was already levelled up with full skills and gear, it felt weird starting at level one with starting weapons as I went up against slightly tougher than normal early game enemies. The experience ranks up quickly; you gain two skill points upon levelling up instead of the usual one and the action skill is gained on the first level up rather than Borderlands 2’s level five.
Looking at challenges, the list has been downsized and slightly modified which changes how fast Badass tokens – which provide minor character enhancements – can be earned. They’ve kept the challenges that require extra players and the achievements/trophies that need someone else too, still no love for solo players without online or a second controller.
Tina’s story was an awesome love letter to fantasy worlds but the story was so great because it was a tragic tale of grief, although it sets up context at the start I don’t think it is as impactful as playing the full Borderlands 2 game first.
Overall, it’s good but not great. We get the dragons, golems, knights, skeletons, wizards and whatever else the game throws at us, but we had that nearly a decade ago. Although it’s a solid piece of gameplay it was just as good when it first came out. If they’d have given us new maps, a different story or a new character to try it would be new enough to properly enjoy. I suppose it gives us a quicker way to enjoy old characters and it’s driven me back to playing Borderlands 2 on PS4.
For new players I’d say get the Handsome Collection which should be cheap and play Borderlands 2 the way it was meant to be played. To long time players, are you just on this while you wait for Wonderlands?
I do like the idea of short games under £10, it could progress a series story and test out new gameplay features without needing a massive release that could flop. I’d like to see more like this but not just old stuff rehashed.