Review by Rapskallion
"This twisted tale of Alice in Wonderland is a true masterpiece"
I usually don't waste my time writing reviews for games that suck. I just don't like doing it. If I play a game that I don't enjoy, I usually don't bother finishing it, and since I don't write my reviews till i beat the game, most games I review get an 8 or 9... but Alice is something more. This game is quite possibly the best game I've ever played (and I've played a lot of damn good games!). It is more than a game, it is a work of art. So now, here is how this twisted game looks on the famous ''Rapskallion's Rating System'':
(NOTE: I have never given anything a rating above 10/10, but I just had to make a point here. Sorry if it offends any true fans of ''Rapskallion's Rating System'', but I couldn't resist.)
The plot is so good, that Wes Craven is directing a film based on it. That alone should tell you something about it. American McGee must truly be a genius to think this up; years after her adventures in Wonderland, Alice isn't looking so hot; after seeing the tragic death of her parents in a terrible fire, Alice went boinkers and is now in a mental institution. All the sudden, her old pal the white rabbit appears and calls her back to Wonderland. However, Wonderland has changed. It has become dark, twisted, and very very evil. The Cheshire Cat has become a skinny, tattooed creature with a devilish smile and a voice that makes your skin crawl. The card guards have become minions of evil and attack poor Alice without mercy. Alice is older, bloody, and wields a knife. The environment itself has twisted, making Wonderland appear more like Nightmareland... it is one twisted place, and it appears that it is up to Alice to restore Wonderland to the happy place it once was by destroying the Queen of Hearts once and for all. And she gets some VERY cool and original weapons to do it with. The whole thing is so terribly wonderful that you can't help loving the sick and twisted world that McGee has created.
The graphics are, well, perfect. You feel like you really are in this dark and twisted world known as Wonderland. The attention to detail is enormous; the clocks move from side to side, tentacles wave in the wind, creepy structures sway back and forth as if alive. The game uses the Quake 3 engine, but it is so much more than anything the engine's done before. The characters are creepy looking and look so evil it's frightening. The levels outside are just as impressive as those inside, with huge mushrooms looming overhead and evil ladybugs attacking from the sky. The game feels more real than any game has ever felt before. McGee and his team made sure that the game looked good, and it truly is a masterpiece.
The main problem in the game is in its somewhat awkward gameplay and the faulty AI. The game is seen from a 3rd person prospective (like Tomb Raider). However, unlike most 3rd person action games, the camera is never a problem. The camera stays far enough back so that it never blocks your view of the action, and not once while playing the game did I ever have any trouble with the camera view. However, the combat was somewhat disappointing. Some weapons have much to slow of an attack speed, and Alice seems somewhat hard to control during the battles. I guess that it makes sense that she has trouble using the weapons and is rather weak; I mean, she is a young girl without any combat training!! But the seemingly slow, clunky combat system made fighting more of a chore than it should have been. Also, the enemy AI was disappointing. In many cases, cards and chessmen ran at walls trying to get to me, or tried to run through doors, making it impossible to open the door. While these occurrences were not too common, it was still something that should have been fixed before shipping.
Without a doubt, the sound in this game is one of its strongest points. In my opinion, the sound did more for the environment than the graphics. The background music was dark and gothic, but also had a childhood lullaby tune to it, helping to add to the twisted environment more than music has ever done before. The voice acting was superb, especially Alice and the Cheshire Cat. Alice's voice was childish and innocent, but had a strange twist to it, making it seem evil at the same time. And the cat's voice was perfect; he spoke at slightly more than a whisper in a deep, mysterious voice. Needless to say, it got the point across. For most games, I turn the music down and listen to my stereo instead, but not Alice. The music is perfect for the game, and will truly come back and haunt your dreams.
Alice does not support multiplayer. While some are upset at this, I think it was the right thing to do. What could they do for multiplayer? Have a bunch of Alice's swinging knifes at each other? Even by letting you play all the characters in a multiplayer mode, I think it would have just taken away from the overall atmosphere in the game. Therefor I think that McGee was wise to leave multiplayer out of the game.
Replay Value: 8/10
Do to the lack of multiplayer, there is a limited amount of replay value. However, I have already found myself drawn back to the addicting single player mode, and am determined to beat the game at all of its difficulty levels. Also, the game is quite long, so you will get a few hours of quality playing time in.
To me, this is the most important part of ''Rapskallion's Rating System'', and once again Alice scores big. The game is like living through a wonderful novel. The dark, yet strangely familiar world of Wonderland unfolds before you, and it is truly a unique experience. Also, the weapons are a blast to use. While the game will not appeal to a certain audience due to its somewhat disturbing theme, most people will enjoy this game immensely.
I don't know how many times I've used the word ''twisted'' in my review, but I'm sure it was quite a few. That is the word that best describes McGee's masterpiece; it is a wonderfully twisted game that does everything right. The graphics are perfect, with more attention to detail than any game I've ever seen. The soundtrack is the best I've ever heard on a PC game. The story is so original that even Wes Craven was impressed enough to use it! There is no doubt that this is my vote for best game of the year, perhaps even best game of all time.
-Rapskallion (yes, with a K!!!)
Like my review? Hate my review? Tell me about it! E-mail me at Brian755@home.com, I'd love to hear from you! Only through your comments and criticisms will my reviews improve, so send me your thoughts!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/13/00, Updated 12/13/00
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