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Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 465 Ratings

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  • Summary: American McGee's Alice returns, with his own brand of creepy supernatural Victoriana.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Jun 14, 2011
    92
    Alice: Madness Returns reminds me a lot of classic N64 platformers like Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie in the best of ways. By mixing a dark reimagining of a literary classic with stylish combat and rock-solid platforming, EA and Spicy Horse have created a gaming experience quite unlike any other. At any rate, its miles better than the lacklustre Tim Burton movie released last year. This is one rabbit hole worth tumbling down.
  2. Jul 21, 2011
    85
    It's not perfect, but it's as close to the definition of masterpiece as it could be. A thrilling and exciting adventure to the dark corners of Wonderland. [August 2011, p.83]
  3. Aug 8, 2011
    80
    Combat is flawed, but does little to detract from the game's breathtaking depiction of lunacy. [Sept 2011, p.61]
  4. Jul 26, 2011
    75
    As the title might suggest, Alice is maddening. Somewhere wrapped in a straightjacket and thrown in the dark recesses of Madness Returns is one of the best games of the generation. But it's floating amidst a sea of inadequacies that prevent it from reaching its true potential.
  5. Jun 17, 2011
    71
    The creativity put into this game is more than enough for three games, but behind the art there's not much diversity. But we still wanted to know how the story ends.
  6. 70
    Beautiful and rich fairy world is full of imaginative tasks and minigames. Excellent sound and visuals are spoiled by camera positioning and a weird checkpoint system but it should not discourage you from this interesting game. [July 2011]
  7. Aug 8, 2011
    64
    Despite its fantastic visualisation of Wonderland, repetitive gameplay means it fails to muster a chortle. [Sept 2011, p.100]

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 133
  1. Jul 2, 2011
    10
    Great game, consisting of a mixture of prince of Persia warrior within and devil may cry. Games of this kind are rare, but on the PC andGreat game, consisting of a mixture of prince of Persia warrior within and devil may cry. Games of this kind are rare, but on the PC and completely exclusive. Fans of slasher genre and "unusual" action games need to educate. Expand
  2. Jun 30, 2011
    10
    Great game. Crazy design, outstanding locations and characters, nice music.
    The only downside is lack off boss fights, but this doesn't make
    Great game. Crazy design, outstanding locations and characters, nice music.
    The only downside is lack off boss fights, but this doesn't make game looks bad.
    Expand
  3. Jun 15, 2011
    10
    If there's one thing I expected with the second game, it was not to be disappointed.
    And it delivered.
    It delivered oh so well. Where do I
    If there's one thing I expected with the second game, it was not to be disappointed.
    And it delivered.
    It delivered oh so well.
    Where do I even begin?

    This new iteration of Alice appears to be bigger and better in every way.
    There is a plethora of collectibles, bonus objectives, the so-called "memories", etc., but none of them are boring or tedious to get.There is a huge variety of clothing for Alice as well.
    The intro cinematic is macabre, moody, dark, pulls you in the moment it starts and sets the mood perfectly.

    The music..Let's just say that while I was disappointed at first that Chris Vrenna is only doing one track for the new game, the new composer nails it perfectly and does a fantastic job. Most of the pieces are outstanding in their own, like the main theme, some of the battle music.They do a flawless job of enhancing the atmosphere without being intrusive.
    They're errie yet beautiful.They juggle your mood from sadness to hope.The style of music itself is somewhat different from the original game, but the QUALITY is in no way worse.

    The controls are fluid and require little getting used to, they just seem natural and aren't that hard to master.The camera is great, rotation is very helpful and the ability to go intro first person is a great touch.Alice's movements are great, her motion capture is very well done, her facial expressions are great.

    Mostly every NPc you encounter actually has something to say - not random gibberish, mind you.And Alice often responds.

    Which brings us to the next major strong point of the game - the vocie acting and dialogue.
    I'd lie through my teeth if I said I didn't expect both to be top-notch, but I was still very, very pleased with what they did.
    The dialogue is witty, doesn't feel forced, lines are often cryptic and metaphoric, they perfectly fit with the dark tone the game sets by shrouding a lot of what is said in mystery. The vocie acting..It's just perfect, I can't say much about that.There are fcew NPCs that aren't on par, but the ones who stand out the most are Alice and Dr. Bumby (for me, at least.)

    The game has a great variety of characters, all unique, all interesting, all with their separate personalities and you're often left wondering what are their real intentions.

    Combat has been flawless so far. I loved how McGee and his team preserved the core original style, but brought much innovation into the sequel's.Weapons are over-the-top, extremely fun to use and original.
    What I love even more is that fighting requires tactic - you can't win by just sitting and spamming one attack in one place. The game knows the player wants a challenge and rightfully delivers.
    Every weapon, naturally, has its own tactics, much like in the original game.

    The graphics, while not being exactly groundbreaking (but who said they have to be?) are quite something - Alice herself, the locations, enemies all look gorgeous and there is extreme attention to detail in a lot of departments. Of course, there are the occasional blurry textures absolutely every game has, but that is is no way adetriment to the enjoyment of how good the twisted, yet beautiful Wonderland and its inhabitants look.Alice in particular is quite detailed, her hair flows around very naturally while jumping/running and her movements are believable and more or less realistic. The game utilizes the Unreal engine and does a very good job at using its potential.

    The gameplay is everything I expected and much, much more.
    A platforming game in a gorgeous setting with detailed environments and interesting puzzles that seem to find the perfect balance - as in, they're not that hard to figure out, but the game won't spoonfeed you what to do, either. And I love that. And finally, the storyline.
    It's just fantastic.Deep, immersive, gritty, macabre, enchanting, depressing.
    It's flawlessly paced, flawlessly told and perfectly presented.
    Helping Alice overcome her sorrow, guilt and escape from the depths of her madness is something you truly take to heart if you let the world of the game suck you in (which it has no trouble doing.)
    In the spirit of keeping this spoiler-free, let's just say that the game offers everything the original did and much more, and does an even better job at doing it.

    Overall, this game is more or less a shining gem that every fan of platforming adventure, mingled with tactical combat needs to try out.
    It's beautiful, dark, thrilling, and a stunning journey to the depths of insanity.
    Perfect score for being a perfect game.
    Expand
  4. Jun 22, 2011
    9
    This is one of the best action games I have played so far. It is a mix of such classic games as Conkerâ
  5. Jun 21, 2011
    8
    This game isn't without it's flaws but none were game-breaking or enough to take much away from the sheer fun I had playing this title.

    The
    This game isn't without it's flaws but none were game-breaking or enough to take much away from the sheer fun I had playing this title.

    The story takes place in London and Wonderland as Alice, now out of the asylum she was in the original game, is in therapy trying to make sense of her life events. Her main goal is to collect the pieces of her shattered memory and rebuild the events of her past and get to the truth of the matter at hand.

    With one or two exceptions the graphics are gorgeous. Environments are richly detailed with bright colorful areas and dark sinister areas. Alice and her various dresses are works of art and most of the other characters are well done and well animated though I wish some characters/enemies would have been done a little bit better. The visual style breaks from the 3d game-play rendering with artistic 2d paper diorama style cut-scenes which add a nice break from poor quality 3d cut-scenes found in other games.

    Game control is smooth and flowing with jumping, gliding, and combat both responsive and fluid. Combat is straight forward hack-and-slash fare with timing of both attack and defense the key to surviving the tougher opponents. What really lacks here is the camera control. The camera doesn't auto-center itself behind you and positioning it while in combat can be problematic at times, especially when you're focused on a target where you can't move the camera at all leaving your opponent off screen sometimes.

    Music in the game suits the levels well featuring a heavy dose of bells throughout most of the pieces. Slow somber pieces and fast harsh pieces follow Alice's mindset as she traverses London and Wonderland. Sound effects are top notch for the most part as are the character voice overs.

    Weapons are varied plentiful from the familiar Vorpal Blade to the Clockwork Rabbit Bomb with the Hobby Horse and Pepper Grinder in between. The Umbrella and the ability to dodge (you can dodge while you jump!) round out your defenses. Alice also has a special shrink power which let's her access special hideaways and see otherwise invisible objects.

    The games story flows nicely though there are places you can see where elements are missing (due to some areas being cut out of the game). It will take a keen eye to grasp all of the connection in this game that ties the story together as metaphor and imagery play a prevalent part of the story telling. Thankfully the major plot points are left vague and you aren't left with a "what the" at the end.

    Level design is decidedly linear with very little opportunity to deviate from the main path. Levels are long and somewhat repetitive but for the most part I found myself enjoying traveling through them collecting memories and bottles and peppering snouts. Save for the London areas no two levels are the same, each having its own theme and style.

    Outside the game in the menu there are character bios, artwork, and other things to unlock/look at to enhance the experience. These are worthwhile extras which add to the overall enjoyment I had with this game.

    The game offers various difficulty levels and you can switch difficulty at any time if things get to hard for you. Once you complete the game you can start a new game with all the weapons you collected and access to the various dresses you collected and pick the look and/or dress ability you want if you so choose. You can even replay a specific section of any of the levels as much as you want until you collect every last item out there.

    All in all Alice: Madness Returns is just short of a masterpiece. It's flaws are easy enough to deal with because they are overshadowed by rich environments, a haunting soundtrack, smooth gameplay and a story you won't soon forget.
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  6. Aug 17, 2011
    8
    Alice: Madness Returns is a platforming game for platformer fans.

    The bulk of the criticism this game seems to receive is due to how "dated"
    Alice: Madness Returns is a platforming game for platformer fans.

    The bulk of the criticism this game seems to receive is due to how "dated" the gameplay feels, and how similar it is to platformer games of the previous years, but is that really a bad thing?

    Fans of the first game, and of other platformers to have been released over the past several years (Psychonauts for example) will enjoy the gameplay, as it's relatively the same gameplay we've seen. You traverse through a variety of levels, killing enemies that you come across.

    The main selling point of this game is the graphics and art style, which feature a dark, twisted, almost Burten-esque view of the tradition Wonderland from the original source material (not like the CGI movie of his). Each world has a drastically different theme, ranging from steampunk styled castles, to a twisted doll/toybox level.

    If there's a downside to this game, it would have to be the minigames that occur in almost each level. Just about each level has their own unique minigames which you'll play several times throughout, raning from a sidescrolling arcade type shooter, to a sidecrolling platformer (akin to the old Mario games), and even a marble blast type minigame in which you control a doll's head. At first these games are quirky and interesting, providing a decent break from the main gameplay, but they become redundant and boring after a while.
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  7. Aug 15, 2011
    0
    Way too long and repetitive. People who rate this game a ten have to be out of their minds..how can you sit through such boring gameplay. YouWay too long and repetitive. People who rate this game a ten have to be out of their minds..how can you sit through such boring gameplay. You have seen everything after the first few hours. It never gets refreshing after that..Sure, some of the stages have been designed nicely but it's always the same "jump", "push a switch", "kill enemies" -> repeat ad nauseum. Expand

See all 133 User Reviews