For a long time, movie aficionados heralded Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. Critics praised the film for its inventive cinematography and deep themes, and the Library of Congress even chose to preserve it in the National Film Registry. Years later, the movie will receive a tribute in the form of Alfred Hitchcock – Vertigo, an adventure game developed by Pendulo Studios. Although publisher Microïds first announced the game in 2018, they revealed a short trailer for the Guerrilla Collective indie game showcase on Saturday.
According to a dev diary hosted by narrative designer Josué Monchan, the game will make heavy use of Hitchcock’s storytelling techniques. The game will incorporate many of the original Vertigo‘s themes as well, such as “the confusion between imagination, dreams, memories, and reality.” Monchan studied many of Hitchcock’s trademark camera techniques for the game, such as the dolly zoom effect, which the Vertigo film famously pioneered.
What is strange is that, despite borrowing the movie’s title and Hitchcock’s name, Alfred Hitchcock – Vertigo features a noticeably different story from the film. The movie stars a detective who suffers from vertigo after a colleague falls to his death. On the other hand, the game stars a writer who survives a car crash and deals with vertigo afterward, and the differences only begin there. Pendulo Studios’ game only loosely adapts the film’s scenario, a common practice in any medium. By borrowing the names of the film and director, however, the developers may attract a degree of scrutiny that would not exist otherwise.
On its own, Alfred Hitchcock – Vertigo looks like an intriguing and potentially engaging game, if only because of the teaser trailer’s abstract nature. Whether the game lives up to Hitchcock’s renowned film, however, remains to be seen. Pendulo Studios plans to release this loose adaptation by the end of 2021.