At its Summer Showcase event, EA announced the sequel to the classic shooter-platformer American McGee's Alice, titled Alice: Madness Returns. Though it may no longer have the name of series' creator American McGee in the title, the designer behind Grim and Bad Day LA will helm this new entry in the Alice franchise from his Shanghai-based studio Spicy Horse (which is still a great name for a developer).
Madness Returns will once again take players back into Wonderland and also into the real world of London, where Alice will have to use the fantasy Wonderland as a weapon to fight her enemies and her own madness.
What made the original Alice a memorable release was its very distinctive visual style. Alice was released just as Quake 3 engine licensing was catching on, and most of the early games on id Software's new tech just looked a lot like Quake 3: brown and grey-iron environments that shot for realistic looking environments (or, at least, as realistic as a floating platform in a dark void could be). By contrast, Alice was driven by its dark interpretation of Wonderland, and, as a result, it was a game with more stylistic flair than games from that era. It was one of the first games driven by art style more than a desire to replicate reality. Alice didn't look like other games, and it was better for it.
From these screenshots, it sure looks like Madness Returns is aiming to once again capture that twisted and gothic art style that made the first game memorable. We'll see if that stylish flair holds our attention a second time when Alice: Madness Returns launches in 2011 on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.