"Alice: Madness Returns"
Reviewed for: Playstation 3 and Xbox 360
Also available for: Windows PC
From: Spicy Horse/EA
ESRB Rating: Mature (blood and gore, sexual
themes, strong language, violence)
By Billy O'Keefe
In the land of video game characters who have recently returned from extended leave, all the headlines belong to Duke Nukem.
But if you want to read the real success story, you'd best train your eyes on Alice, whose comeback validates not only her place in today's gaming climate, but the legitimacy of a genre — family-friendly platforming wrapped inside a bloody, deranged, M-rated shell — that hasn't had much representation in the 10-plus years since "American McGee's Alice" came, left its mark and went.
At its core, "Alice: Madness Returns" plays by many of the same rules that governed its predecessor, splitting platforming and combat roughly down the middle and spreading it out across a lengthy (15 hours, give or take) journey through some large, diverse and creatively sovereign interpretations of Lewis Carroll's imagination.