Borderlands Fans Angry Over Brief Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands DLC
Watching the information cycle round Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands for the previous month has been like watching the information cycle of a recreation on fast-forward. You know the way it goes: Sport comes out. Will get constructive evaluations, followers reward it. DLC hits, is then slammed by followers. By now, it’s principally a framework. Solely this time, all the cycle occurred to play out over the course of barely greater than a month.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, a spin-off of Gearbox’s long-running Borderlands collection of loot-shooters, got here out final month for consoles and PC. Simply final week, the sport obtained its first DLC, a dungeon run referred to as Coiled Captors. It’s the primary a part of 4 to be included in a lengthier marketing campaign referred to as Mirrors of Thriller, which contains the $30 season cross for Wonderlands. (You should buy particular person elements for $10.) The season cross additionally provides a yet-to-be-revealed seventh class to Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.
Coiled Captors, which you’ll entry on the new Dreamveil Outlook space by Wonderlands’ hub metropolis, sees you preventing via a lot of progressively difficult battles, culminating in a boss combat. Finishing the challenges provides further variable chambers and a brand new raid boss to Chaos Chamber, the repeatable roguelite-ish endgame mode of Wonderlands. And within the Coiled Captors mode, the boss itself ranges up every week—although you need to full every model earlier than you’ll be able to unlock the subsequent model. It’s a novel concept that compels a lengthier play time via reruns. However innovation isn’t stuff you’ll be able to truly chew on, and for all intents and functions, this new growth is a collection of chambers that you could battle via repeatedly.
“One of many key issues is that it introduces that idea [of replayable dungeons] approach sooner than the Chaos Chamber,” Matt Cox, inventive director on Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, instructed me in an interview earlier this month.
Roughly 2.7 seconds after Coiled Captors went dwell, Borderlands followers recoiled. It’s not that the DLC isn’t enjoyable, they are saying. It’s that it’s disappointingly temporary—particularly while you examine it to equally priced expansions from earlier Borderlands video games. The favored Borderlands streamer Ki11erSix succinctly summed up suggestions on Twitter, noting that the Coiled Captors run itself is brief, the boss is a pushover, the gear you’ll be able to earn from it’s “underwhelming,” and the expectation isn’t consistent with what Borderlands followers have for expansions.
“Complain right here. The entire subreddit is flooded with the identical posts,” one participant wrote in a semi-viral Reddit publish on the Wonderlands subreddit shortly after the discharge of Coiled Captors. “This thread is already longer than the DLC,” one other participant quipped the identical day. Lots of the practically 1,000 responses are equally unfavourable, saying that Coiled Captors doesn’t supply practically the identical bang for its buck as equally priced expansions.
To a sure diploma, the blowback is comprehensible. Borderlands video games, as Ki11erSix identified, are certainly identified for providing meaty post-release expansions. The primary recreation, launched in 2009, featured three prolonged narrative DLCs that added further missions and areas to the sport, every out there for $10. (A fourth growth, Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot, was extra of an area mode than a story marketing campaign. That went up for grabs for $10 as nicely.)
In 2012, Borderlands 2 adopted swimsuit, seeing 4 prolonged expansions within the wake of its launch, every up for grabs for $10 piecemeal or bundled collectively in a $30 season cross. A kind of expansions, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Maintain, serves as a precursor to Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. Final yr, Gearbox made it out there as a standalone entry for $10. It was additionally free for every week on Epic Video games Retailer.
Borderlands 3, which got here out in 2019, additionally featured 4 post-release campaigns. These have been a bit pricier than these of the primary two video games: $15 for the piecemeal expansions, $50 for the season cross. Hiya, inflation. Borderlands 3 ended up having a second season cross; reasonably than full-fledged expansions, although, the 2 add-ons—Designer’s Lower and Director’s Lower—merely added new modes, missions, and enemies to the bottom recreation. That cross price $30.
So there’s some historic precedent for meatier DLCs right here, for certain. However then again, it’s not like Gearbox willfully obfuscated any of what’s included within the season cross. In all of the promotional supplies, from the press releases to the trailers, the studio was clear about what Coiled Captors—and the following Mirrors of Thriller chapters—would entail. And in case you take into account that Chaos Chamber is the primary draw of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, then the primary draw of Coiled Captors isn’t what you get along with your first run via its skinny marketing campaign; the primary draw is what it provides to Chaos Chamber. (On the threat of stepping into the weeds of, ugh, ascribing financial worth to artwork, $10 so as to add a bunch of recent rooms and potential fights to a roguelike isn’t that a lot pricier than equally scoped expansions for different roguelikes, like Useless Cells.)
However again to the primary hand—sorry, sorry, bear with me—there’s additionally the college of thought that Gearbox ought to’ve gone above and past to make clear the size of Coiled Captors and its ilk. In any case, once more, there’s a decade-plus of historical past reinforcing the concept “Borderlands DLC” equals “enormous marketing campaign.” It’s not exhausting to think about that some longtime Borderlands followers sprang for the season cross with out even glancing at its contents.
Gearbox didn’t reply to a request for remark for this story.