Alice Madness Returns

We all need a bit of crazy in our lives so as to, well, stop us from losing our marbles. With Alice… let’s just say it provides you with an abundant amount of crazy.

A brilliant blend of insanity and confusion that puts you on edge, makes you want to shut your eyes and call dad to chase the monsters out of your closet, while throwing you down a rabbit hole of mayhem.

Picture a crazy, teenage girl with a very big knife that doesn’t give a flying pig snout. No, not your ex, although I’m sure you’ll find some resemblance to her, but the crazy Alice of old, the one we had nightmares about and in some cases “good” dreams about.

Brilliant story line, but everything else… hmmm. Alice, after saving Wonderland for a first time, is called back by the White Rabbit to save it once more. As soon as she enters wonderland she realises that everything is not as it should be. Thus the adventure begins.

A seemingly perfect world that is a completely mental, nut-house of deranged lunatics and unlikely allies waits. One of which is the Cheshire Cat. It freaks me out, but hands down the best character EVER in a game. The sadistic nature in which he’s portrayed can’t be duplicated by any other four legged feline.

As I see it, American McGee and Spicy Horse haven’t changed a lot, if anything, since the last game apart from maybe picking up the graphics, and not much at that.

The game makes use of basic RPG (role-playing game) styled gameplay with levels containing puzzles, monsters and such, as with the original. A couple characters from the old game give you a semblance of continuation, as though the previous instalment of the game just kept going exactly as before, even after over 10 years of vacation.

Although I can’t help but wonder whether the design team decided to focus all their time and effort into telling you a story, instead of letting you play it out. It seems to me that all the time that should have been spent on upgrading the graphics and gameplay was spent visiting the psychiatrist instead. Something I find very understandable, but not beneficial to the game as a whole.

This said, the world was masterfully thought out, challenging levels and bonkers creatures that, as in the original Alice in Wonderland book, take the piss out of a lot of real life objects and people. But once again, a game with the potential to give the player an amazing visual experience was let down by a lack of effort with regards to the graphics.

Yes it was fun to play, and yes I think you should give it a try, but I still don’t see it as revolutionary and head turning as the original. Not one of the classics you’ll remember come five years. A little more time and effort spent on the flaws mentioned above and it might have pushed the boundary of great gaming and memorable experiences.

Unfortunately I don’t consider it anything more than average.

Alice Madness Returns Rating: 6/10

Xavier Bezuidenhoudt – Our resident Frenchman; we discovered Xavier in the back streets of Paris selling bootleg Mighty Mouse action figures. His Parisian occupation paired with his checkered past as a mime in the Moulin Rouge gave him the necessary skill required to become an excelent PC games reviewer. We immediately offered him a job. Take away from the fast paced world of action figure bootlegging, Xavier settled in Johannesburg, living on a diet of Merlot, Foie Gras and your tears when he owns you at Starcraft