The madness is back
A far cry from its inspiration in tone and content, Madness Returns is the fascinating and visually impressive sequel to the original American McGee's Alice
and if you like your games a bit out there (shades of Weird Dreams
, perhaps), then this will be right up your alley. This one does kick off where the first game left off, so you might want to go back to that one before trying this, but if you do, you're in for a bizarre but highly enjoyable adventure. Alice is now trapped in a home for children with psychological problems (no surprise really) and is haunted by strange visions of her family dying in a fire and other such disturbances, but when a new threat appears, in the form of a giant train which threatens to destroy Wonderland, you must step forth to save the land. This sequel differs a little in its gameplay, ditching most of the puzzling in favor of a mix of platforming and action-based combat, with a main focus on melee-based fighting. There's no denying that this is a very dark and somewhat twisted game so it's definitely not for younger audiences. There is a lot of blood and gore but fortunately it's a little deeper than this might suggest, both in terms of gameplay and narrative. The story is a compellingly surreal affair, as you might expect from the source material, and manages to feel both true to its inspiration and refreshingly original. The combat here is meaty and satisfying while also packing a great challenge and the visuals are spectacular in their bizareness, making this a feast for the eyes. It's perhaps not for everyone, but delve in and you might find your own wonderland.