Summary: Poor Alice Liddell, mentally torturing herself after her family perished in a fire that consumed her childhood home. Enough to drive a girl mad, which is exactly what led to the events of 2000's cult-classic, American McGee's Alice . McGee's tale picked up where Lewis Caroll's mind-bending children's adventure Through the Looking-Glass left off. Fans and critics alike applauded McGee's vision of a twisted Wonderland, further warped through the lens of madness.
Excerpt: For a while it seemed like American McGee was destined to be the next genius of videogame development after his morbid creation American McGee’s Alice became something of a cult classic. Sadly, a series of missteps caused McGee to fall off the radar and undo whatever good Alice had done. Over a decade later, American and Alice finally return to take one more stab at Wonderland, but the return trip down the rabbit hole isn’t exactly a triumphant one.
Conclusion: Alice : Madness Returns may not win awards for genre innovation, but it’s the most darkly fun and gloriously batty game I’ve played since Psychonauts . I can’t think of any higher praise. I’ve now come to the end, so I’ll stop.
Excerpt: I'm not sure I should like Alice: Madness Returns as much as I do. Spicy Horse's Xbox 360, PS3 and PC follow-up to 2000's original twisted tale at times feels a few months of QA Testing away from release, graphically struggling to compete with anything that's hit stores in the last two years, and rather bloated in terms of length, but it's still somehow incredibly likeable.
Conclusion: Alice: Madness Returns is a decent platformer with hack and slash elements that will no doubt entertain fans of the original for quite a long time. It's pretty repetitive, however, wears out its welcome by its halfway point and the overall presentation isn't anything to write home about, but it still delivers a fair experience that will be enjoyed by quite a few players.
Conclusion: Madness Returns is by no means a terrible game, as in fact quite the opposite is the case. But its enormous potential combined with its stubborn unwillingness to take much, if any creative risks, keep this one from truly achieving greatness.