Further adventures through the mirror crack'd
Regular PC gamers may remember American McGee's Alice. Released more than a decade ago, it presented a warped vision of Lewis Caroll's Wonderland and its inhabitants, seen through the deeply disturbed eyes of a mentally fragile adolescent Alice.
Madness Returns is a direct sequel, reuniting us with Alice some time after the events of the first game. Now living in a run-down Victorian orphanage, Alice flits between the ‘real' world and Wonderland which, once again, finds itself in a state of collapse that mirrors Alice's own emotional breakdown.
It's an ambitious premise that is backed up by some astonishingly inventive environments and characters, many of which are demented versions of places and people from Caroll's books.
Unfortunately, the high level of originality doesn't extend to the way in which the game actually plays out.
Essentially a third-person action game, Madness Returns trots out a lot of samey platforming and combat sections over the course of its campaign.
There are some puzzles too, though these were rarely taxing. Finding secret areas and hidden items was enjoyable and some of the weapons were fun to use, such as a pepper grinder that doubles up as a machine gun (pictured). But there is no multiplayer element and not much in the way of replay value.
It's a shame the underlying gameplay is so straightforward and repetitive but there is a surprising amount of enjoyment to be had from experiencing the world of Alice Madness Returns.
Colourful, curious and thoroughly twisted, the game looks different to everything else available.
PEGI age rating: 15+
Read more reviews
It's a shame the gameplay is so repetitive because there's a surprising amount of enjoyment to be had from experiencing the world of Alice Madness Returns
Highly imaginative environments, enemies and weapons; great-looking art style
Gameplay feels a bit repetitive after a while; puzzles are a bit basic
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