Jun 14, 2011Alice: 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.
Jul 21, 2011It'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]
Jul 26, 2011As 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.
Jul 30, 2011Beautiful 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]
Jun 23, 2011Reviewers got it wrong, combat is deep and rewards strategy, platforming controls are amazing and it has great level & encounter design. Looks fantastic as well, some great aesthetic choices were clearly made during the development at Spicy Horse.
Props to them for releasing a charming 3D platformer in a sea of uninspired shooters.… Expand
Jun 15, 2011If 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
Jun 26, 2011Alice: MR doesn't bring much new to the platforming genre, but it should stop anyone from purchasing it. The graphics might be a tad dated, but the art is fantastic and I don't think I've seen such uniqueness before. The story is good if not a bit chilling. The only knock I can make on this game is the mouse acceleration is tad overpowering, enough for me to plug in an Xbox controller- but I usually prefer to play 3rd person platformers with a controller. I have no idea how the critic score can not be in the 80s+, they obviously didn't buy the game with their own money or they wouldn't have been disappointed.… Expand
Sep 21, 2011This game was very fun. The graphics and scenery are astounding and the Devs really took a lot of attention to detail in many of these themes of places that we taken for granted. Plus the array of wonderland weapons is really creative and funny. The vast amounts of enemies with there own strength and weaknesses. I really enjoyed the game. Sadly the game lacks more content and making replay ability poor. Another let down was the ending and end boss fight was a little too boring and cliche. But still enjoyed its gross gory wonderland fun puzzle thriller.… Expand
Aug 17, 2011Alice: 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.… Expand
Dec 29, 2012This is a really good game, and I played the original Alice and so it really pains me to have to give it a 6. The absolutely atrocious PC controls is one thing that sucked almost all of the enjoyment out of what is otherwise a very good game with very high production values. The controls are also bug-ridden and EA hasn't bothered to issue any patches to fix the buggy controls (as of Dec 2012). Great atmosphere and graphics, although I wish the alice model & movement animations were nicer, considering this game was released just last year. Graphics performance is fair (a bit laggy), considering the apparent complexity of the graphics. A MAJOR problem with the game is the checkpoint saving. It wouldn't be so bad if the checkpoints were set before major battles, but they're not. At one point there's a lot of platforming, followed by a major battle. If you die in the battle, which is almost 100% likely, you've got to do the platforming bit again. After 2 or 3 goes at it, i threw in the towel & turned on god mode. And turning god mode on and off is so time consuming that I'm just playing the game right through with the god mode on. The game is basically a console port ("Please don't turn off your computer while the save icon is on screen". Duh. Only console-tards do that). The story is good I think (i haven't finished the game yet), but you "unlock" parts of the story by finding collectibles. Which is stupid because if you're playing the game just for its story and don't want to bother finding hard-to-find collectibles, you're stuck with patchy fragments of a story. Which moron's idea was this again?… Expand