Friday, February 20, 2009

More Of McGee's Alice

My real beef with Alice is that it ripped off a roleplaying game I ran once.  True story.American McGee's Alice is better remembered for its eye-grabbing visual style than for its quality gameplay (or lack thereof). In fact, American McGee as a person is better remembered for his unusual name and his penchant for attaching it to subpar products than he is for creating anything particularly wonderful.

Still, Electronic Arts seem to be willing to give him another shot. Completely ignoring the evidence of Bad Day L.A., Scrapland and Grimm, they apparently think good old American can make a bestseller, and they're therefore producing another Alice-themed title for consoles and PC.

I'm not sure what this goes to show, but I'm personally confused whether to groan, sigh, or roll my eyeballs. Protip: don't do these all at the same time or people will think you are having a seizure.

10 comments:

organic io said...

Interesting... I actually thought Alice was a pretty decent game. But I'm a huge fan of 3rd person melée action adventures with a fixed camera (Rune, Enclave, Drakan)... and these days, the genre is pretty much nonexistant. So maybe my opinion is a bit skewed?

But seriously, I really didn't think it was bad at all. Not amazing, but certainly not bad either.

Greg Tannahill said...

It's probably the best thing he's done. In all seriousness, neither Scrapland nor Grimm were completely made out of suck either, but on the other hand if American McGee had never been born the landscape of gaming would remain completely unchanged.

(Sorry, American - but it's true!)

Phrancq said...

I'm not sure I agree with that Greg. Perhaps his direct efforts aren't of any great note to gaming history, but spare a thought for those who saw his ideas and improved on them to give us something better. I'm sure there's got to be one.

Take the example of Peter Molyneaux. Sure, his games have never and probably will never be the perfection of gaming, but there are probably people who saw Syndicate and said "I can do that so much better."

And did.

Greg Tannahill said...

Well, I'd never make the argument that Peter Molyneux hasn't affected the industry. He totally has! He is a man of big ideas, although poor implementation.

But American McGee hasn't even done anything innovative. He gets to the table just when everyone else is about to leave, makes a poorly publicised B-grade game, releases it on whatever is EXACTLY THE WRONG PLATFORM, and then points out to everyone how "American" is a rather unusual name. I don't think anyone's picked up anything he's made and run with it, ever.

Scott Leis said...

I can't comment generally on the argument about innovation (or lack of it) because I've only played one of his games, but I also enjoyed Alice.
It's basically a FPS aside from the camera being in a different position, but with the story and art design being a bit twisted, I found it more interesting that many other FPSs.
I was actually looking forward to the movie based on the game, but considering the "Status: Unknown" shown on IMDb, I wonder if it will ever be finished.

Greg Tannahill said...

If EA are serious about a second Alice game they should make efforts to get the original ported to Live Arcade, and then see if they can't get Scrapland to come up in the XBox Originals program.

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I really agree with you said because McGee's Alice was and will be remembered for its eye-grabbing visual style than for its quality gameplay, this is something some people have differed so in my particular case that's the way it is.m10m

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