Tiny Tina has busted out of Borderlands this month to star in her very own game, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. We caught up with the game’s creative director, Matt Cox, to get up to speed.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands sees a collision of classic shooty mechanics within a fantasy environment that harks back to DLC for Borderlands 2. It wasn’t a stretch that it could become a world worth exploring further.

“When we created Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep, we knew there was a whole world there that we could explore and do something new and big with,” Cox tells STACK. “As we talked about what that next chapter might look like, we had all these ideas for a looter shooter in a wondrous fantasy setting that branched out with new features, new characters, and new stories. It quickly became clear this was its own full-fledged game. It didn’t take much convincing to get everyone at Gearbox and 2K excited and on board, so here we are!”

Even though it has its origins in the Borderlands games, Cox claims that players new to the universe will be able to drop right in.

“Wonderlands is an entirely new game, and while we expect it to appeal to fans of the Borderlands series, it will be just as accessible and enjoyable for new players.”

“With Wonderlands, we’ve created a rich, fantasy world and an engaging story for players to dive into…”

Tiny Tina oversees the game world as “Bunker Master”, and she has a great story to tell – we think, as Cox was a bit cagey about what to expect.

“The game’s story centres around an epic quest to defeat the Dragon Lord, but we don’t want to give away more than that at this point. We will say that, as Bunker Master, Tiny Tina’s unpredictability and disregard for sticking to the rules definitely have an impact on Wonderlands’ story.”

Going into Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, players choose any one of six different character classes before crafting their very own avatar.

“The six different classes players can choose from are Brr-Zerker (melee and cryo-specialists), Spellshot (who excel at using spells), Stabbomancer (who specialise in Critical Hits and Status Effects), Graveborn (masters of Death, Spells, and Dark Magic), Clawbringer (a powerful cleric-type class) and Spore Warden (ranged pet specialists). Wonderlands features a huge range of customisability options for players. From in-game appearance, to loads of equippable gear, to mixing classes and abilities, we want players to be able to create their own unique character and style of gameplay, much like they could in a tabletop RPG.”

Melee weapons are new, offering an alternative to going out there with all guns blazing.

“While guns are still the star of the show, melee weapons offer a new opportunity for players to fight enemies up close and personal,” Cox tells us. “Melee weapons use the same procedural generation system as guns and are a strong part of our loot loop. There are different types of blunts, axes, and two-handed swords, but I’m personally partial to the quick-swinging one-handed swords.”

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

Then there are the spells…

“Spells are absolutely an important part of players’ arsenals in Wonderlands,” enthuses Cox. “The elemental damage types in the game (Fire, Frost, Lightning, Poison, and Dark magic) give a sense of the types of spells players will be casting in the game. But the delivery method is where all the magical spectacle lets loose: from fireballs, magic missiles and meteors to fissures, beams, hydras and more, there are so many ways to create chaos!”

The voice cast is crazy-impressive, with the wonderful Ashly Burch returning as Tiny Tina and the likes of Will Arnett, Andy Samberg and Wanda Sykes joining in.

“We wanted to choose actors whose voices could lend themselves well to the characters of Wonderlands,” says Cox. “In addition to Ashly returning, we were delighted to bring Will, Andy, and Wanda on board to do an incredible job voicing the Dragon Lord, Valentine, and Frette, respectively.”

Cox promises that if you’re an old hand at Borderlands then you may discover the odd nod to history.

“The character Torgue shows up in Wonderlands as a half-bard after appearing in Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep. There are other familiar faces and easter eggs for fans to discover, too.”

Cox and his crew can’t wait to see what players get up to in Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.

“With Wonderlands, we’ve created a rich, fantasy world and an engaging story for players to dive into,” Cox says. “Much like a tabletop RPG, we hope players are creative and express themselves with their own unique character and style of play in the game. We’re also looking forward to players wreaking havoc and creating chaos with all of Wonderlands’ crazy weapons.”

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands releases March 25 on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4 and Xbox One. Pre-order now at JB Hi-Fi.