Asylum Looks Even Darker Than Madness Returns In New Dev Video

American McGee’s potential Alice sequel, Alice: Asylum, has received some new details which make it look like a much darker game than its forebears.

A new official video for Alice: Asylum has detailed many aspects of the game’s grim world of psychological horror. asylum is the long-awaited sequel to Alice: Madness Returns, which was first released by EA over a decade ago. Tea Alice games are considered to be cult classics among horror titles, and still maintain a relatively small but highly dedicated fanbase.

Directed by former doom and Quake designer American McGee, Alice launched in 2000 and became a moderate success both critically and commercially. The game was a darker, more violent interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s tale in Wonderland featuring combat, platforming, and puzzle-solving. It also took on the broader themes of trauma, grief and guilt and how they affected Alice’s mind. The IP was revived for a sequel in 2011 with Alice: Madness Returns, which also achieved modest success. However, EA has never seen fit to greenlight another sequel despite American McGee’s commitment to the IP. Nevertheless, McGee and his team have continued to work independently on Alice: Asylum over the years as the third entry in the series.


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A new preview of Alice: Asylum has been posted to American McGee’s YouTube channel and reveals extensive design documents for the game. The video is taken from asylum‘s design bible created by the team, and includes everything from narrative outlines to gameplay breakdowns. All of it is illustrated with detailed concept art and direct explanations of various systems. This includes a glimpse of the plot outline, which describes a narrative based on an exploration of the five stages of grievance. The full 250-page document is expected to be released as a free PDF some time between late 2022 and early 2023.

However, the video makes it clear that all of this is very much a work in progress – everything shown is purely foundational. EA still owns the Alice IP, and McGee and his team have been conceptualizing asylum for years while hoping to get the rights to turn it into a full game. According to the design documents, the game would be made in Unreal Engine 5 and released on “all major consoles, PC platforms and next-gen consoles.”

Although Alice: Asylum is only a hypothetical game for the time being, it gets more impressive and intriguing each time American McGee shows off more work in progress. The dedication of the team clearly mirrors the dedication of the Alice fanbase, and without any corporate financing, the project is driven entirely by passion. Fans who want to donate to McGee and his team can do so over on the game’s official Patreon, and someday, the idea may become a reality.

Next: Lost In Random Proves We Need American McGee’s Alice 3

Source: American McGee/YouTube

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