Alice: Madness Returns, McGee Comments

In ten years she hasn't learned to wash a knife.

More details have emerged about American McGee’s sequel to Alice, Alice: Madness Returns. It’s only stills, concept art, and rendered trailer at the moment, as Kieron broke down last week, but it’s looking pretty interesting, with some smart design, and here an interview with creator McGee by Gametrailers. It’s below.

Certainly the “American McGee” moniker doesn’t carry as much weight these days. The original Alice was his post id heyday, and since then the average Scrapland, the risible Bad Day L.A., and the completely unexceptional Grimm games (which I’m slightly surprised to notice has released three seasons of episodes), have seen the brand tarnished. This Alice sequel is coming without his name in the title, which is likely a good idea. Alice is still remembered as an interesting platformer, and a sequel to that seems a good plan.

I like how he breaks down the plans for the game. Alice wandering through London, using Wonderland to explore her own psyche, to try to understand the deaths of her parents. It seems smart, although perhaps somewhat at odds with shots of blood pouring from Alice’s mouth. Clearly it’s a horror, but maybe a smart horror?


  1. fallingmagpie says:

    How much more would there have been if Kieron hadn’t broken down last week? Hope he’s feeling better.

    • Brumisator says:

      Poor KG, I hope he gets better soon.

      I’m setting up a trustfund, just paypal me money and I’ll send the money to his hospital just after paypal freezes and unfreezes my account.

    • qrter says:

      Oh just plug him in to the mains, he’ll be right as rain in a couple of hours.

    • Azazel says:

      Have you tried turning him off and on?

  2. Spacewalk says:

    That’s not blood that’s raspberry jam.

    captcha: ewww

  3. Bascule42 says:


  4. terry says:

    Gorgeous presentation and art design. I found the platforming in the first game pretty uninspired though so I’m hoping that’s been changed up some.

  5. misterk says:

    ooh, maybe it’ll be a clunky and poorly designed platformer! Oh wait, they’ve already done that….

  6. the wiseass says:

    Loved the first iteration. Was a bit disappointed with what happened to McGee afterwards tough. I hope he can make his comeback with this game because it’s pretty much his last chance. If not he’ll be forced to go back to BaiJiu Racer, that poor bastard.

  7. Lars Westergren says:

    I never played the first one, because it came at a time when I was in a permanent sulk over the constant iD worshiping; a company I thought were ruining PC gaming with a focus on action and graphics above everything else. Furthermore that game seemed to emphasize gore over storytelling, with a very tenuous connection to the Alice story from which it took its name. But maybe it was better than I gave it credit for?

    I like this new stuff much better anyway. Atmospheric scenery, but with more focus on story it seems.

    • DrGonzo says:

      It really doesn’t look any different from the original. So if you think this looks interesting you should go back and try the first. The first is the antithesis of everything you described.

  8. Grey_Ghost says:

    Huh, for some reason I thought American McGee was Asian.

    • Oozo says:

      No, you’re confusing something there: he just likes to share the frame with vaguely-interested looking Asian women.

    • Zetetic says:

      Well, he lives in Shanghai now and seems to have set up a (presumably very cheap to run) Chinese game studio over there.

  9. Oak says:

    Well, he made some good Quake levels.

  10. SheffieldSteel says:

    She looks a bit like Effy…

  11. DrGonzo says:

    You know I’m pissed off because everyone is going on about how interesting this game looks and how crap the original was. It wasn’t! Next to Psychonauts it has by far the most interesting level design of any game I’ve played. This looks like more of the same, which is excellent.

    • sfury says:

      Indeed, the level design in the first Alice was awesome. Also while I wouldn’t call it a pure masterpiece – the art, music and (bits of) gameplay blended just fine for me – making it a unique game and tough to forget.

  12. Spliter says:

    Ok, I’m not liking this interview for several reasons:
    1-he didn’t mention PC AT ALL, even though it was the primary platform of the first game. Therefore we can already assume that everything has been “simplified” for the consoles and then ported over night to PC.
    2-the environments seem a lot lighter. As well as the music. The “scariest” thing in there was alice pouring blood out of her mouth but that would be the least scary thing in the original.

    Which leads me to two conclusions:
    1- apart from sharing the common world/weapons/characters, the game won’t have enough resemblance to the original, therefore, don’t buy the game expecting to have a similar experience.
    2-Lousy PC port will have our aiming hand want to cut itself from our hand.

  13. fallingmagpie says:

    Just watched the video.

    Alice can hang her open sign on my candlestick.

  14. sfury says:


    Seriously though – the concept art is lovely, music behind the interview was interesting too, hope it’s from the game – I still remember some tracks from the first one. Call me a fool, but from I’m quite enthusiastic about that sequel even without much info – I get a lot of the vibe from the previous one and they pledge all the key elements will be there – let’s hope so.

  15. Ted says:

    “Certainly the “American McGee” moniker doesn’t carry as much weight these days.”

    It carries a lot of weight. It means the game is a guaranteed piece of shit.

  16. Tyler says:

    Kinda obligatory, right? This links to where the review actually starts talking directly about the game instead of being ridiculous.
    link to

    I liked the first game enough to finish it, but I’m glad to see this one isn’t trying to get away with the exact same shtick, because that would get old fast, even ten years later.

  17. Urael says:

    I liked Scrapland. Never finished it; the gameplay became fairly tedious pretty quickly, but it was fun to whizz the ships around the varied, gorgeous levels, blowing up unsuspecting motorists. And the body-swap gameplay mechanic did amuse for a time. Above Average, I’d have said.

    I never did get the first AG: Alice, despite loving the design of the chesire cat. This looks…mad. Certainly enough to keep me interested.

  18. pimorte says:

    Is the original voice actor for the Cheshire Cat still in it?