Those who have heard of American McGee's Alice will forever be haunted by the creator's twisted take on the classic story of Alice in Wonderland, and gamers everywhere are set to receive a second dose in a few months. Alice: Madness Returns chronicles the titular heroine's relapse into insanity, and her quest to rid Wonderland of the evil that has taken over. That's a compelling storyline, but now we can get a better idea of what the game itself will entail with a brand new gameplay trailer and screenshots.
The story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is familiar to most, and Tim Burton's latest film version is evidence that the subject matter can be made into as dark a tale as the storyteller wishes. From the teaser trailer for Alice: Madness Returns, it is apparent that American McGee's version is just about as dark as it gets.
The sequel reintroduces players to Alice, eleven years after the death of her family and her resulting mental derangement that formed the basis of the first title - the same time span since the original's release. Alice is still haunted by the events of her past, so she seeks the aid of a psychiatrist to help her better understand her inner demons.
Upon venturing inside her own psyche, Alice soon finds that the same evil that has been looming inside her has populated Wonderland with a vast array of corrupted monstrosities that only she can slay. With trusty blade in hand, Alice faces the darkness to return light and peace to her mind, and find out the mysterious truth surrounding her parents' death.
This game truly needs to be seen to be believed, so take a look at American McGee's vision of Lewis Carroll's masterpiece, and try not to cringe:
The graphics used in the game are truly breathtaking, and being combined with McGee's vision of a hellish dreamscape looks likely to result in a memorable experience. There is a ton of artistic flourishes and insanely grotesque imagery packed into that short video, so feel free to watch it a few more times.
The creepy factor of Alice: Madness Returns clearly can't be underestimated, which the game's very first teaser made abundantly clear. To judge for yourself if Alice is within your own limits of tolerable gameplay, have a look at these latest screens:
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McGee has referred to the game as filled with "psychotic personalities and pervasive insanity," and these looks into the game prove that they aren't far off the mark. With the recent success of other games that are fed by player terror like Dead Space, FEAR, and the upcoming inSane, it seems that player have had enough of being entertained, and wish instead to be scared witless.
Even if Alice: Madness Returns fails to truly terrify players into bringing the same critical and commercial success of its predecessor, it seems fairly certain that fans will have a whole new level of grotesque game design to enjoy.
Electronic Arts will be partnering with McGee's studio Spicy Horse to bring Alice: Madness Returns to gamers everywhere on June 14 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Will you be taking a trip down the rabbit hole?