Alice: Madness Returns PC Game Review
Right from the start, you are introduced into a dark world that reflects Alice's perspective of life. That setting takes an extreme change into a bright, imaginative and beautiful world when she literally trips and falls into Wonderland. Crystal-clear water, lush greenery and bright scenery fills your screen, but Wonderland isn't all fun and sunshine as you progress through the game. Its grittier and uglier side rears its head as you delve deeper down the rabbit hole. We found that the graphics seem to deteriorate during later parts of the game. We are not sure if this was a sign of the developers getting sloppy or it was designed to be so gritty that it is merely a smudge of dirt. There were also ugly textures all over the Mad Hatter's domain and some graphical inconsistencies throughout the game. Well, there's not much choices available on the in-game graphics settings to make it better either.
The musical score is haunting enough to bring out the bizarre yet eerie theme that plagues Wonderland itself. The only chirpy tunes we managed to hear of were from the time Alice first stepped into Wonderland. Get past that chapter and it's a long way down to the depths of mellow music. At some point it does get slightly depressing and boring. Thankfully, the tempo gets faster when you enter combat, and breaks most of the monotony.
We will not deny having fun reviewing this game. Exploring the craziness and quirkiness of a broken down Wonderland was a mind-boggling process and it was easy to fall in love with the abundance of smart quotes, clever riddles and a twisted plot that gets cynically sinister with every chapter. There's just something about this game that successfully mixes fast-paced combat mechanics, with cunning platform sequences and tricky puzzles. As an added bonus, all versions of the game comes with the first Alice game bundled in.
Developer: Spicy Horse
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release date: 14 June 2011
Price: S$59 (Xbox 360), S$64 (PS3) S$55 (PC)