There's a lot I can't tell you about Alice: Madness Returns. As well as the traditional embargo, you'll be pleased to know that I barely managed to complete half of the review code during my 4 1/2 hour hands-on session, which should already have savvy value fans reassured about the length of the game.
What I can tell you, however, is that Spicy Horse's upcoming platformer is looking rather slick ahead of it's imminent release ... but there's a sting in the tail.
After the events of the original PC game, Alice starts out reliving her startling hallucinations in a hypnotherapist's office. She's a little older and desperately attempting to forget and suppress her memories of the original title... but after venturing out into the grimy Victorian British backstreets in search of medication, a mysterious white cat lures her into meeting an wizened asylum nurse who has a bizarre blackmail hold over our heroine. Following the crone back to her house, an unexpected series of events sends Alice back down to Wonderland to battle a new threat that represents an aspect of her shattered psyche.
Wonderland is as bonkers, dangerous and beautiful as you might remember. After arriving in a verdant paradise straight out of Lewis Carroll's book, the levels conform to coherent thematic zones linked by flash forwards to the real world. The Hatter's domain is a hellish industrial complex complete with grinding machinery, rivers of lava to negotiate and timed obstacles to dodge. The next area, Tundrafull, is a jaw dropping icy wilderness with networks of slides and slippery see-saw platforms to navigate. As well as being visually unique, each zone is a feast for the eyes thanks to an exceptionally detailed use of the Unreal Engine.Click here for our 11th hour impressions of Alice: Madness Returns
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More Alice, more madness, more lashings of American McGee's twisted imagination. We were generally pretty pleased with what we saw of Alice at the EA Showcase a few weeks back, and we're hoping to get to grips with the finished version at the end of the month, but for now have a gander at a couple of relatively new trailers we've yet to run after the jump.
American McGee, the ex id Software developer behind the surreal Alice franchise, has announced that Alice: Madness Returns will probably be his last AAA retail release. His studio will be switching its focus to the increasingly lucrative mobile and free-to-play market, though he admittedly has a few ideas for Alice 3 if EA makes it worth his while.Click here for the full quotes and info >>
Damn it, I never played the first one.
You're not alone. Plenty of gamers were eyeing up the backwards compatibility lists to work out whether or not to play the original Alice, but creator American McGee has confirmed that all versions of his upcoming platformer Alice: Madness Returns will include a code to download the original.
There’s also going to be pretty significant release, the original Alice brought over to the consoles, so that a person who’s purchased Madness Returns gets a download code and is able to play through the entire original game alongside playing Madness Returns. - American McGee to CVG
Awesome. Why not check out Matt's recent hands-on preview to whet your appetite?
Dear Alice has been away for some time. It's been eleven years since American McGee first turned Carroll's fantastical world into a dark and foreboding place filled with danger and desperation, Alice delving deep into the Wonderland of her mind to burn away the scarring memory of watching her family and their Victorian home go up in flames. It's been eleven years since Rutledge Asylum...and Alice is free, albeit under the care of a psychiatrist.
Except she's not actually doing too well. The madness is coming back, more vividly and stronger than ever since she moved back to the city. So it's back to Wonderland for the young lady, diving back into her own psyche as she once again struggles to battle against her recurring demons and, by healing Wonderland, heal herself.
At GDC, those present had been treated to a demonstration of one of the later levels that saw Alice returning to Queensland, now decrepit and derelict. The GDC demo was on display at the showcase too (more on that in a bit) but we were rather more interested in the new environment we got to see - Hatter's Debate. Set more or less halfway through the first level, we were told by the rep that Tweedledee and Tweedledum had gone a bit mental, tearing the Hatter up into a number of pieces, and it was Alice's job to go and find all of the bits of him and reassemble the nutty gentleman.Read on for tiny shrinkage, leaps of faith, and a macabre mechanical teapot...
The ESRB has issued a rating report on American McGee's Alice: Madness Returns, detailing gory combat with kitchen utensils and language that would turn a Victorian governess pale as a ghoul. There are a few mini-spoilers in terms of gameplay elements in the report, but nothing really plot-wise.
We've got two creepy and disturbing new dates for your diary courtesy of GDC announcements. American McGee's Alice: Madness Returns and Grasshopper Manufacture's Shadows Of The Damned will be launching this summer, and we have the gory details below.Click here for the dates and details...
If you're yet to check out the latest sneak-peak trailer for the upcoming Alice: Madness Returns we suggest you do so right now. Go on, we'll wait... Pretty nasty towards the end wasn't it?