Alice: Madness Returns Review


Ten years ago, American McGee made a re-telling of the classic novel “Alice in Wonderland” wherein the heroine was immersed in a dark wonderland due to an unfortunate accident. Later, a sequel is made and Alice must re-visit old nightmares she thought she has defeated. This is the premise of the sequel “Alice: Madness Returns”.

The new game immediately takes place a year or two after the first game. Alice has defeated the Red Queen, left the mental asylum she was held in and seemingly regained her sanity back. Alice now resides in an orphanage where she continues to get psychiatric help. Just when Alice thought she could finally forget her past and move on with her life, her family’s death haunts her more than ever and she is sucked back into a deteriorating wonderland with new monsters she hasn’t seen before. Now Alice must battle through unknown enemies and finally solve the puzzle of her past.

It is expected that Alice 2 would have breathtaking graphics and it does deliver that. You can feel yourself engrossed to that twisted wonderland and it is evident that the creative team worked hard on that. The little design quirks were pleasant as well. With every level Alice progresses, her outfit also changes to match the theme of the background. There are also available downloadable costumes from the developer’s website that have special cheat abilities on them. The weapon designs were also a nice touch using seemingly ordinary items warped into tools of destruction. Who knew a pepper grinder would be a handy machine gun? Attention to detail like this certainly put a smile on the player’s face.

It is quite obvious that most effort was put on the game’s aesthetics. This time around, Wonderland’s scenic views and landscapes, whether surreal or majestic, would always be a visual treat at every turn. The rest of the game play however, was left quite mediocre that it doesn’t stand out from your usual platform genre. Though the combat system is pretty smooth and the difficulty level has good standards, most of the game is pretty much a sequence of jumps. It can be quite a challenge to navigate through this rendition of Wonderland. This can be so much of a challenge that death by falling off ledges or cliffs can prove to be a major peeve among gamers. If you aren’t a seasoned gamer, you will surely die by falling more than getting killed by combat. A lack of boss fights is also pretty unnerving. In the first game, the major characters are usually the ones Alice needs to defeat but in this sequel they left little presence in the game. It is quite disappointing that the characters who gave a lot of impression during the first game ended up quite forgettable in this. Another feature I’m personally quite sad the developers removed from the first game is the ability to summon Cheshire Cat anytime at the game to give “sound advice”. I loved that cat.

So in conclusion is the game worth getting? If you are a long time fan of the game like me yes it is. It is pretty enough to get plus the conclusion isn’t something to be missed. The twist is somewhat comforting to know after quite a dragging game. It wouldn’t win any awards like its predecessor, but the game is still seems to be a fitting sequel for a ten-year long wait.

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