American McGee’s Alice Review
Xbox 360 | PS3
American McGee’s Alice Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PS3
Dev: Rogue Entertainment
Pub: Electronic Arts
Release: June 14, 2011
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-720p Blood and Gore, Violence

Games from the 90s and early 2000s (and even many today) tend to be plagued with awful voice acting. I don't know if it's because we didn't have voice actors like Nolan North to lean on (he's been credited on dozens of video games) for believable acting, but I'm happy to say that Alice doesn't share this problem. The writing and voice work is almost as entertaining as what's found in the sequel, only this time there's more of it.

American McGee's Alice Screenshot

What's even better than the dialogue is the incredibly haunting soundtrack, scored by Chris Vrenna (drummer for Nine Inch Nails), Mark Blasquez (guitarist), and singer Jessicka (lead vocalist for Jack Off Jill). The soundtrack is at times beautiful and soothing, and other times its dark and twisted, providing the perfect backdrop to the deranged world of Wonderland.

Looking at the weapons, puzzles, and platforming, you might have noticed a startling trend. I'm stunned to say this, but American McGee's Alice has more variety than Alice: Madness Returns. Because of this, I actually found myself enjoying this game over its sequel. As a fan of horror, I also enjoyed the darker feel of the world of effectively creepy denizens. The insane children that roam the halls of the school stand out in my mind, if only because I find it a little surprising that they're there in the first place; kids weren't usually portrayed negatively in games until fairly recently. Turning a corner and being met with the wide-eyes (the eyes looked to have been stapled open) and even wider grin of a child walking robotically or pecking at the floor as if it was a chicken was genuinely unsettling.

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If you're looking to get a little more bang for the sixty bucks you spent on Madness Returns, or just looking for a few extra achievements, this game is a fantastic way to get both.

By Adam Dodd
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
Alice looks incredible for its time, and its unique art style has slowed the aging process quite a bit.
3.3
Control
The slow, tank-like combat hasn't aged well, but controlling Alice is rarely frustrating and the platforming is a lot of fun.
4.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The soundtrack is better than many scores from current games. The voice work and sound effects also manage to hold up well even eleven years later.
4.0
Play Value
The single-player story is substantial but there's little reason to return to the game after experiencing it once.
4.3
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Experience a darker version of Wonderland that's been corrupted by Alice's growing insanity.
  • Explore nine beautifully detailed areas, including a twisted forest, underground complex of labyrinthine tunnels, and even a massive chessboard.
  • Haunting soundtrack scored by Chris Vrenna (Nine Inch Nails), guitarist Mark Blasquez, and lead vocalist Jessicka.


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