Alice: Madness Returns Review by LookinLikeMagic

17 Feb 2015 21 Feb 2015
9 0 2
Alice: Madness Returns
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Alice: Madness Returns is the sequel to the critically acclaimed American McGee's Alice. It takes place a year after original game in 1875 were Alice has been released from the asylum and now lives in an orphanage under the care of Dr Bumby. Alice is still traumatised by the fire that killed her entire family and Dr Bumby encourages her to go to Wonderland in her mind as a coping mechanism. However in her visions Wonderland has changed and is much darker and twisted than how she left it. After several hallucinations of the Jabberwock Alice once again arrives in Wonderland.

Story: 8/10
Madness Return's storyline is very strong but it does have some minor pacing issues. New players to the series will have no trouble keeping up with the storyline as it references the first game and the Lewis Carroll novels at the start of the game and through collectable memories found throughout the game. The storyline is quite engaging and you'll want to play on to continue Alice's adventure. However I found myself wanting the game to pick up pace as I progressed towards the later chapters. The characters and voice acting however are superb and actually likeable compared to most games these days. American McGee gives an interesting edge to each of Lewis Carroll's original characters such as Hatter who is a mechanical genius who is obsessed with time and clockwork.

Gameplay: 8/10
From what I have played, Madness Returns's gameplay is quite similar to the first game but it has much more emphasis on hack n slash combat aswell as platforming. Like most hack n slash games it several basic moves such as a light attack, heavy attack, ranged attack aswell as dodge and block. Alice can equip several weapons and items at a time such as the Vorpal Blade and Pepper Grinder etc. The game has a basic upgrading system were Alice can upgrade several weapons by collecting "teeth" throughout the game. Personally I am a huge fan of the combination of hack n slash, platforming and RPG elements that Madness Returns uses however it does have several problems that bring it down. The camera angles and targeting system are very flawed and can be quite frustrating, for example when in a semi-large area and facing 3 or more enemies the targeting system can irrationally target far off enemies.

Graphics: 9/10

The environment and character designs for Madness Returns are very unique when compared to other games on the market. The artistic design really brings Lewis Carroll's Wonderland to life with a unique darker edge that only McGee can achieve. There is a wide range of environments that Alice travels through ranging from classic Wonderland forests to harsh arctic wastelands making each stage very different. Every new environment brings with it new diverse enemies that look and act differently such as goblins that use cutlery as weapons, undead card soldiers and sharks that hide in ice. The designs for characters in both Wonderland and London have their own unique style. Both the environments and character designs remind me of the Fable and Medevil series but with a refreshing edge.

Extras: 7/10

Madness Returns only has a singleplayer campaign but due to the diverse levels and the long length of story this is to be expected. I also cannot imagine however a multiplayer or co-op feature would play into the story so I am happy with just the singleplayer mode. However if you buy a new copy of the game on either the PS3 or Xbox 360 you are entitled to a free download of the original American McGee's Alice. This much appreciated extra expands the average play time of about 10-15 hours to about 20-25 hours. It is a simple port of the original game without any graphical updates which is slightly disappointing but not a problem.

Enjoyment: 8/10
Personally I found Alice: Madness Returns extremely enjoyable but this is my type of game because its a little bit of everything as I mentioned earlier such as hack n slash, platforming and minor aspects of an RPG and a 3rd person shooter. The characters and environment design of this game really made the storyline very intriguing to me and I will definitely be buying my own copy of this for the PS3. As I mentioned earlier the problems with pacing and the targeting system are the only things that brought the enjoyment of this game down because at times they can be a big issue. I would recommend this to fans of the Fable series and platforming games such as Crash Bandicoot, Medevil and A Series Of Unfortunate Events.

Overall Rating: 8/10
skylinesendGood review. The only thing I disagree with is American McGee's Alice. I wish they either left it out or didn't make it part of the 1000G. The controls in that game are so bad I haven't been able to bring myself to finish it.
Posted by skylinesend on 23 Feb 15 at 20:46
LookinLikeMagicYeah it did suck that you had to complete two games to get the 1000G. On PlayStation its classed as DLC so you can get the Platinum without even playing it.
Posted by LookinLikeMagic on 23 Feb 15 at 21:40