Alice Madness Returns

Alice Madness Returns

America McGee’s version of Lewis Carol’s universe is brilliant. If you didn’t play the surprisingly good Alice, do yourself a favour and go back and play it.

The follow up to Alice, is looking brilliant, brutal and fun. We got the chance to play on two different levels; one from earlier on in the game which was set in the Mad Hatter’s world and the other from later on, set in the Red Queen’s palace garden.

Alice and the Pepper Grinder

The games’ twisted take on Carol’s universe really shines through on this engine; it looks fantastic and grimy, just as America McGee intended it to. In Madness returns, Alice journeys back to Wonderland to regain some her lost memories. Ten years have passed since the first game, and Wonderland is looking dilapidated; a mysterious force has taken over, which the games producers promise will have a big impact on the story. Alice is then tasked with bringing order back to Wonderland; apparently having to battle her way through the now corrupt creatures of the world.

The game mixes puzzles, platforming and combat; and from what we got to see, it looks like its finding the right balance between the three. What surprised me from the word go is how fun the combat is, playing out just like any decent action game. The movements are smooth, the button layouts are simple (taken from every other action combat game), and the enemies are satisfying to take down. Alice has plenty of weapons to choose from, including the vorpal blade for speed attacks, a wooden horse that is used as a heavy attack; swinging it like a hammer, and a time bomb attack; in which Alice drops a top hat on the floor which expands in to an explosive rabbit. Alice also has an umbrella she can use to deflect projectiles, the game mechanics demand that certain bosses can only be beaten this way.

Alice Vs a Teapot... the usual

As well as the melee combat, you have an arsenal of projectile weaponry; a machine gun type weapon shaped as a pepper grinder and a teapot that shoots charged grenades (depending on how long you hold the button down for). Switching between shooting and melee combat is almost seamless, the only issue I had was with camera angles during melee combat. Locking on to enemies using left trigger would cause the camera to sometimes swerve unnecessarily, especially considering the regular use of the right bumper dash to escape from enemy’s attacks.

Sinister looking Cheshire Cat

Alice is shaping up to be a great third person platform adventure; the developers assured me that the exploration mode is fleshed out in the game, the ability to shrink Alice in size at any point adds a different dimension to the nook and crannies you can explore.

Female First Edward Lewis


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