Game Review - American McGee's Alice
American McGee's Alice is, by today's standards, a pretty primitive first-person shooter. It is loosely based on the story of Alice in Wonderland, with cameos from key characters and various elements from the story. The rest will largely be unrecognizable if you are looking for an Alice in Wonderlandexperience.
Where the game lacks in strong story and modern graphics, it more than makes up for it with a very interesting journey.
- The graphics are obviously dated nowadays. On the up side, you can run it with all the graphical bells and whistles you can enable through your video card.
+ Interesting and varied environments. Despite the simplicity of the graphics and what are considered very low-quality textures nowadays, the level design is very good; the variations take you to very different landscapes and thus different experiences; and overall it has a surreal, dream-like quality, a genre not often seen.
+ Gameplay is enhanced with interesting weapons that give you a wide variety of tactical choices. Commonly in FPS games you have a basic melee weapon, basic ranged weapon, long-range sniping weapon, some sort of bouncing grenade, and an explosive heavy weapon. Here you have all that, but in more interesting ways, such as a deck of cards that can track a target; a jack-in-a-box that can either explode like a grenade or sit for several seconds spewing out flame in all directions; and the Jabberwock Eye Staff that can call down an area bombardment.
+ Interesting events, characters, encounters, and cutscenes.
- The story is weak and token. A lot of it is borne in very boring reading in document files -- that hardly anyone will read anyway. In any case, it isn't particularly important and really only touched on lightly in the late game. Dialogue starts out quite strong and interesting, but falls off later.