Today in honor of April Ghouls Day and a game I love to pieces, My Husband Bear writes you a review (which will come in two parts) of American McGee's Alice games. I thought since he was the one who played them through for me (Because the controls make me rage quit faster than Speedy Gonzalez on meth. For real. I tried several times to play them.The games are kinda borked that way, which is a shame, considering how awesome the story is.)
Are you ready? Sriracha Bear Incoming...
|For more awesome artwork check out http://theoatmeal.com/|
Ghost Pepper Bear Reviews The Alice Games
So hello readers of the Macabre, I am Kweeny's aforementioned bear. Yes, I'm a bear. You have no idea how difficult it is to type with these claws, but for her, my murderously dual-souled love, I'll do it. Recently at her behest, as I somehow get suckered into being her gaming bear, (NO DANCING), I played American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns for her. Today I will be discussing the first title in the series.
While I first started playing these games as straight up games, diversions to entertain and challenge, a strange thing happened. I realized I was playing that most rare of genres, the horror game. The further I went in each game the more horrific it became, and that's saying something when your game starts with such personal tragedy. The stage is set when we take Alice (a girl of no more than nine) and turn her Wonderland upside down with a fire that consumes her home, her family, and even as she lay in the asylum bed, her sanity.
First up is despair. From the start the denizens of Wonderland are shackled, enslaved and working for a faceless, unseen Queen of Hearts. The bright colors of our Wonderland are dulled browns, dingy greys, and radioactive greens. Her very imagination is polluted and forced to serve others. The setting does wonders to show how enmeshed in loss Alice is without hamfisting it. At one point she can only flow down a river of her own tears to move forward, and it's plainly shown, but not hammered down your throat so hard you have to gag it back up.
The most horrific part of this game is that it throughout it hints that all Alice deals with is a denial of the truth, an artful self-delusion. This turns out to be the truth, the hard painful, wicked and nasty truth. In the end you can only delude yourself with childlike wonder for so long. Eventually the pain must out, and that dear readers is where the next game of the series begins...