Saturday, 25 May 2024

“Alice: Madness Returns” Review

Alice: Madness Returns

American McGee’s Alice took the gaming world by storm with its unique take on Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. Now, a decade later, the long-awaited sequel, Alice: Madness Returns, is here. While it may not live up to the expectations of die-hard fans, there are still elements worth exploring.

An Imaginative Journey

The storyline picks up ten years after the events of the first game, with Alice trying to unravel the mystery surrounding her family’s tragic fate. The majority of the game takes place in Alice’s imaginary Wonderland. However, there are brief moments where the bleak reality of England seeps in. While these moments are sparse, they provide an interesting contrast to the vibrant Wonderland.

Familiar References with a Twist

Fans of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” will delight in the early references to the whimsical tale. Interacting with the white rabbit, dormouse, and the infamous Mad Hatter adds a touch of nostalgia. The game starts strong with these entertaining stages, allowing players to leap on mushrooms and navigate treacherous machinery. However, the later areas lose some of the series’ unique art style, opting for more generic locations.

Flawed Beauty

The visual design of Alice herself is a standout, with realistic details like her flowing raven hair and stylish dresses. Unfortunately, the same level of care isn’t given to the game’s environments. Bland textures and seams in construction detract from the overall experience. However, the enemies in Wonderland pose a genuine threat, and Alice’s arsenal of weapons, from a butcher’s blade to a tea kettle, adds an element of creativity to combat.

Leap and Glide

Platforming plays a significant role in the gameplay, with Alice’s ability to jump and glide through Wonderland. Initially simple, the later stages require precise control and camera manipulation. Frustrating deaths can occur due to snags in the scenery or the inability to grab ledges. However, mastering the platforming mechanics can be rewarding.

Mini-Games and Diversions

To break up the repetitive combat and exploration, the game introduces various mini-games. While some, like puzzle-solving and rhythm-based tasks, provide a brief distraction, others, such as side-scrolling shooters and doll head-rolling games, fall flat. These diversions feel disjointed and out of place.

Conclusion

While “Alice: Madness Returns” may not be the flawless sequel fans were hoping for, it still offers an imaginative journey through a twisted Wonderland. Despite its shortcomings, there are moments of enjoyment to be found. Ultimately, whether or not the game is a worthwhile adventure depends on individual expectations.

FAQs

  1. Is “Alice: Madness Returns” suitable for fans of the original game?

    • Yes, fans of the original game will appreciate the continuation of the story and familiar references.
  2. Are there any standout features in the game?

    • The visual design of Alice herself is exceptional, and the variety of weapons adds depth to combat.
  3. Are the platforming sections challenging?

    • Yes, the platforming sections become increasingly challenging throughout the game, requiring precise control and camera manipulation.
  4. What can be expected from the mini-games?

    • The mini-games provide a brief diversion from the main gameplay but may not appeal to all players.
  5. Is “Alice: Madness Returns” worth playing?

    • While the game has its flaws, it still offers an intriguing and unique take on Wonderland, making it worth considering for fans of the series.