Alice: Madness Returns: Review

Alice: Madness Returns is the follow up to American McGee’s Alice from 2001. The theme is much darker than the original classic book/Disney movie. The games are essentially a sequel. In both games, an adolescent Alice is essentially doing battle with her own mind after her family is wiped out in a house fire. I can’t remember if I just spoiled the first game or not.

The Good

  • The environments in Wonderland as well as in London are just gorgeous. I was getting yelled at by my wife who started playing it shortly after me because I was standing around and staring the environment instead of playing.
  • The story was pretty compelling for a video game. I’m a fan of anything Alice really (Note my nick and the domain name) so really, I just ate it up.
  • The game comes with a free download code for the original game which I’m sure most console gamers haven’t played since it was a PC game.
  • Very hard to put down. My wife and I both raced through this fairly long game in record time. We haven’t done that since Red Dead Redemption last winter.
  • The DLC pack is only $1.99. You get a bunch of outfits and weapons in it. No big additions to the story or anything. Please please play through the game once before you get the DLC. The weapons and outfits give you abilities that are pretty much the same as cheat codes.

The Bad

  • It wasn’t very challenging but then again it’s a console game. Even in nightmare, all that changes is the enemies do a lot more damage as far as I could tell. The original was pretty freaking difficult by comparison.
  • Much of the environment begs to be explored but many invisible walls prevent it.
  • The free download of the original Alice wasn’t designed to be played on console so it’s very very difficult. I stopped playing but I will dig out my PC version one of these days.

All in all, the game was pure nerdy goodness for the Alice in Wonderland fan in me. It deviates from the story just enough to keep it fresh.

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