Alice finally returns in “Alice: Madness Returns”, 11 years it’s been since her tenure at Rutledge’s Insane Asylum. Now Alice an orphaned young adult trying to rebuild her fragmented memories one at a time, while the citizens of London still see Alice as a crazy lady, mocking and condescending her at every opportunity.
Alice: Madness Returns is a straight forward platformer which consists of puzzles and fighting. Returning to the franchise are some of the original voice cast members that did original game this includes Susie Brann “Alice”.The game is available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The pc version has to be the best to purchase, why you may ask, The added edition of fully utilizing Nvidia PhysX (see video at bottom of review).
Alice’s family have all died in a mysterious fire some time ago, and Alice has been spending the last 10 years losing her mind in Rutledge’s Insane Asylum. She’s also lost her memory along with her mental health, and so cue a return to Wonderland, both to save its destruction from a mysterious train and rescue her sanity into the bargain. . But you cannot help be infinitely captivated when Alice falls from the real world to Wonderland and transforms into the Alice we all know and love wearing that iconic blue dress & white apron.
The gameplay in Alice is made of a mix of platform puzzles and Wonderland themed weapon based combat. These puzzles, which include the usual switching of switches and jumping from platform to platform, are challenging enough to satisfy but become more repetitive the longer the game goes on as there is very little in terms of variety in what you need to do.
Alice is capable of learning a rather large amount of skills, and each new weapon that Alice picks up comes with new upgrades that you can learn by collecting teeth around wonderland. Everything in Alice is very easy to pick up and intuitive to work with, one very special effect is when you dodge an attack Alice will burst into a cloud of butterflies, reforming just out of harm’s way. At first the combat may seem quite simple `hack and slash’ , however as you encounter harder and bigger foes you find out that each has their own weaknesses and strengths which you have to find using your four primary weapons.
Alice: Madness Returns is essentially an unravelling and gathering of Alice’s mind and memory. This new dark Wonderland is nothing short of genius, Gone are the cutesy singing flowers and colourful backdrops, and instead every stage is a dark and twisted nightmare version of what you’ll be familiar with. From the steampunk world of the Mad Hatter, to the Eastern domain of Caterpillar and the zombie filled zone of the Red Queen each part of Wonderland has its own unique feel and has enough verity and wonder to never feel repetitive.
The game has a total of 6 chapters, and will take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to complete each of the chapters, depending on whether you zip through or play cautiously getting all the collectables. Although there is a lot of ground to cover and a lot to do in each chapter, it is pretty much the same thing over and over again jump, flip a switch, shoot something etc – so it can feel repetitive after a while. Alice can now shrink at will which in a way adds a great twist to how you will go through the chapters, as shrinking will show you the way to hidden areas, and also adds a nice twist to the combat, where you can shrink to dodge blows in some combat situations.It takes around 10-15 hours of gameplay to complete the game in full and even then there are many hidden objects to be found that you may of missed, including bottles which unlock extras such as Concept Art from the extra menu.
Alice: Madness Returns is a rare sequel that surpasses the original. It takes the key elements of the first game and adds a deeper and darker plot, some absolutely gorgeous graphics effects and so much more to create a piece of near art. This by fare has to be my all time greatest platformer for some time now and I cannot wait to see the next instalment of the franchise.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.