Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo from 1958 is among the best-known noir psychological thriller films of cinematic history, which inspired over a dozen derivative works. Now, a game developer and publisher, Microids, best known for the Syberia series of point-and-click graphic adventure games, is launching a video game based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo in late 2021, releasing a fantastic new trailer you can check out below.
French video game publisher Microids announced that Pendulo Studios is developing Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo video game, which is being billed as a psychological thriller video game with a more flexible narrative than that of the film. However, despite its name, the game will not be a direct adaptation of the original movie, but rather an original story about obsession, memory, manipulation, and madness – which are the underlying themes of the original 1958’s Vertigo.
The game will include three playable characters to explore and cross-check the events of several timelines and separate reality from deceptive memories. So, it is not a straight retelling, but a Vertigo-inspired tale that seems compelling even to younger generations who haven’t seen the original film – or so it seems, judging by the trailer. It’s probably for the best, given how difficult it is to adapt a movie into a video game – just look at Marvel’s Avengers video game and the number of critical updates it had to receive.
The trailer released by Microids basically visually describes the game’s synopsis. Writer Ed Miller came out unscratched and unharmed when his car crashed down into Brody Canyon, California. Even though no one was found inside the car wreckage, Miller insists that he traveled with his wife and daughter, who were in the car with him. Traumatized by the accident, Miller develops severe vertigo and attempts to undergo therapy to uncover what happened on that tragic day and what became of his wife and daughter. But does Ed really have a daughter? Or is there something else going on?
The connection to Vertigo is best seen through the undelaying narrative of the upcoming game and the game’s visuals and color scheme. From what we’ve seen in the trailer, the game seems more akin to a psychological adventure that walks the line between reality and fantasy, with a pretty intriguing approach to trauma. And while its narrative resembles Vertigo‘s movie plot in nothing but name, there’s clearly a lot of respect for the original material as well as Hitchcock himself. That’s particularly evident to long-time Hitchcock fans who might’ve recognized influences from the director’s other films, like 1940’s Rebecca, 1945’s Spellbound, and 1960’s Psycho.
Hitchcock’s Vertigo from 1958 centered on John, a retired police detective who has acrophobia, irrational and extreme fear of heights, and severe vertigo. He’s hired to investigate an acquaintance’s wife who enters his life by happenstance and appears to fall to her death. John, portrayed by James Stewart, must overcome his fear of heights and vertigo to unravel the mystery behind Madeleine’s (Kim Novak) fall. It’s one of Hitchcock’s most beloved films, regarded as one of the all-time greatest films in cinematic history – second only to 1941’s Citizen Kane.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is set to release at the end of the year on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Series S/X, and Nintendo Switch. And though we still don’t have an official release date, the game will likely launch after other, more prominent titles, like Call of Duty: Vanguard video game and the upcoming Guardian of the Galaxy gaming adaptation.