Borderlands has always been a pretty great shooter, whether it was the sheer amount of weapons you could obtain to individualize your playstyle, the classes you could customize, or the vast number of scenarios in which to put your abilities and bullets to the test. Many of our staff agreed that Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands took that working pedigree and cranked it to 11 in several ways.
First off, the fantasy setting of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands isn’t just a backdrop. It plays into the game in fantastic fashion. Set in a Dungeons & Dragons-style narrative, Tina makes for an incredibly sporadic (and strangely effective) dungeon master, throwing gauntlets, side quests, and spins at you to make things exciting at every turn. Whether you’re wreaking havoc on goblins, purging pirates, or having a flame war with a dragon, Wonderlands offers one of the most chaotic menageries of enemies and scenarios in a series defined by chaotic menageries of enemies and scenarios.
Then there’s the new class system, which is just a freaking delight. Being able to evolve your abilities as you level up and even mix classes to create a unique playstyle is a big part of what pushed Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands over the top in terms of sheer fun gameplay.
You could start out as a stealthy Stabbomancer built on sneaky abilities and critical hits, and then augment that with the melee-centric Brr-Zerker’s class to make your stealthy smacks hit all the harder. You could also play a Clawbringer, utilizing lightning, fire, and a dragon companion to lay into foes with a flurry of elements, and then augment that with the nature and companion powers of the Spore Warden to make your dragon pal an even fiercer familiar. Of course, joining up with friends and their mix of classes to really boost your capabilities as a roving RPG party was also a delightful, if not expected, part of Wonderlands’ overall fun
Of all the shooters this year, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands was a perfect blend of fun gameplay and mechanics, a good array of enemies and situations to fling your abilities and bullets at, and the Borderlands series’ refined co-op multiplayer systems to create an FPS that stood above all the rest. That’s why it’s the Shacknews Best FPS Game of 2022.
Check out our Year of the Games: 2022 article to see all of the other Shacknews Awards that have been announced so far.