I bought this on the spur of the moment without any idea on what to expect.
This game is a sequel to an 11 year old game, one that I vaguely remember but hadnt played. You get a downloadable copy of that game with this by way of a code you enter into the voucher redeem function of the PS3. I played the old game first so here are my thoughts and comments on that.
For an 11 year old game it looks pretty good, its built on the Quake 3 Arena engine and while the locations are quite blocky the abstract nature or the artwork manages to hide this for the most part. The game is rendered in HD so dont expect PS1 standard resolution, the conversion to 16:9 seems to lop off the top and bottom of the picture during cut scenes. Sound is good, only the sound Alice makes when she jumps could annoy after a while. Voice acting is good throughout. There are are fair few challenges but its all pretty straight forward and clear as to what you have to do. The swimming sections are the most annoying, underwater enemies are hard to target. You can save whenever you like which makes progress easier as you can save after every tricky moment. You should expect to finish in 8 to 10 hours. Trophies are unlocked through progress only so by the time you are done you will have them all. This is a great bonus and its worth playing first, not only do you get the backstory but you will be able to see just how far graphics have come in those 11 years.
Now on to Alice: Madness Returns. The game begins with Alice in the real world of London as she talks to a doctor about her mental state. A short trip through the streets has Alice fall back into Wonderland. This time Wonderland looks green and lush, populated by suitable strange creatures and objects. As you progress though the opening level things starts to fall apart and there is a gradual return to the dark twisted Wonderland seen in the first game. The graphics are great, direct from the imagination. Alices animation is greatly improved with smooth movement and flowing hair. Controls are similar but there are subtle differences, you can enter a 1st person view and shoot as you might in any 1st person shooter. Alice can no longer hang from or pull herself up onto platforms but she can now double jump and float across large gaps. Alice can alter her size at will to gain access to small keyholes which in turn give you access to some form of reward, shrinking also enables you to see hidden messages and other secrets You can no longer save at will so its worth making a decent amount of progress to the next auto save point. Worth noting that the content of Madness Returns is more adult and not really child friendly with disturbing images and some strong language.
I really enjoy these games and the worlds they create and would recommend them.