There’s Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, there’s Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and then there’s American McGee’s Alice – who is a whole different chick altogether. The 2000 PC game American McGee’s Alice was a violent, surreal take on the classic tale. Here, Alice was a teen and Wonderland existed only in her mind. Her battle was a fight for her sanity and she fought it with a an arsenal of sick and twisted weaponry as she sliced, shot and stomped her way through a grotesque Wonderland; brutally butchering every card guard, Jabberwocky and Caterpillar in her path. The sequel, Alice: Madness Returns is set to drop this summer and trailers have now been released which give us some idea of what to expect.
Madness Returns is a third-person action game where you control teen Alice who is once again gripped by madness. While the trailer does leave much to speculate on, plot-wise, this much is clear: this is an action-packed slice-and-dice adventure.
What set the first Alice game apart from the standard third-person beat-em-up was its extremely imaginative sights and sounds. Spooky music, trippy visuals, and an odd, madness-soaked story all blended together to create a uniquely disturbing world.
Most of that is the work of one man: American McGee. And, yes, that is his real name (his mom, as he explains, was a hippie). Cutting his teeth with id Software on their famous Doom games, McGee has gone on to become a true video game auteur. Whether you love him or hate him (and it’s rare to find a gamer who doesn’t have a strong opinion about him), McGee brings a very distinct, uncompromising vision to his games. And to ensure he has even more control over his work, he works (and lives) in China – where it’s financially possible for him to create his games just as he wants them.
Alice: Madness Returns will be the game with the potential to reach his biggest audience to date. So far, all of his games have been PC exclusive (Alice almost made it to the PS2, but never did). Madness Returns will also be the first American McGee game to be available on the X-box 360 and the Playstation 3. And as much as PC gamers may wish it weren’t so, video games these days are all about consoles. So if McGee’s blood-soaked, bizarre take on Alice succeeds, he could go through a looking glass of his own and become a mainstream “big name” in gaming, instead of just a cult hit.
Alice: Madness Returns drops June 14th
Check out the trailer below:
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