Picturing Alfred Hitchcock — Vertigo in all its stripes, it's sort of hard not to associate it with the likes of Quantic Dreams' Heavy Rain or Telltale's The Wolf Among Us. And yet, in the strangest of ways, the choice-based story-driven title wound up being a one-of-a-kind experience, and perhaps one of the biggest shockers of Q4 2022. In fact, it surprised us so much, that we only went and scraped together a few alternatives, if only to cure the post-Vertigo blues for a brief period of time.
The good news is, as original as Vertigo's storyline is, its gameplay and its overall blueprint are still pretty recognizable. Because of this, we've been able to construct a rather nifty list of all the best alternatives for budding mystery solvers to decipher. And so, if you're looking to pass the time by delving into a few quality lookalikes, then be sure to try your hand at these five episodic journeys.
5. The Wolf Among Us
While you could quite easily handpick any game from Telltale Games' portfolio and compare it to Alfred Hitchcock — Vertigo, it really wouldn't be a productive way to spend an afternoon. That said, we can probably save you half the effort by telling you this: The Wolf Among Us is, without a doubt, one of the closest things you'll get to Vertigo — especially if you're hooked on the idea of living through an episodic memory fueled by choices and questionably placed QTEs.
The Wolf Among Us follows Bigby Wolf, Sheriff of the mysterious metropolis known as Fabletown, a place in which fairytale creatures live amongst an oblivious community under the guise of humans. However, with some folk threatening to reveal their true forms and take ahold of the city by its roots, the Big Bad Wolf is forced to forge an alliance with his mythical peers to put a lid on the proposed outbreak before it's too late. Like Vertigo, the story is tailored by how you play, and every choice you make bears a consequence. Question is, how will you mold Fabletown to your liking?
4. Beyond: Two Souls
Like we said, if making tough-as-nails decisions and hammering out quick-fire QTEs is your forte, then Quantic Dreams' works will definitely satisfy your needs, to the point of making you venture out and mop up just about every game that's released under its wing since its founding. But if it's a quality episodic adventure similar that of Alfred Hitchcock — Vertigo's you want, then Beyond: Two Souls should definitely suffice.
Beyond: Two Souls follows Jodie, a troubled teen who's born with a connection to a spiritual entity named Aiden. Treated as a science experiment, a weapon, and a tool for the government, the teen must learn to adapt to a fracture life that's far more unorthodox than any other. From childhood to adulthood — it is you who will tailor the story and write Jodie's script. Question is, which side of the fence will Aiden sit on? Decisions, decisions.
3. The Stanley Parable
The Stanley Parable may not bear the same weight as Alfred Hitchcock — Vertigo's rather bleak plotline, but it still incorporates a similar level of choice-based gameplay and conclusions. And to be fair, it's also worth experiencing on its own, regardless of whether or not you enjoyed spending time with Ed Miller and pals in Vertigo.
The Stanley Parable chronicles the life of—you guessed it—Stanley, an everyday office worker whose purpose is to follow simple instructions handed down by a somewhat condescending overhead narrator. As the one in charge of Stanley's footsteps, however, it is you who must either follow the narrator's laid out plans, or divert from the path and draw up a conclusion that suits you and you alone. With thousands of doors to unlock, The Stanley Parable makes for one of the best games with infinite replayability on the block. It isn't Vertigo. But then, it doesn't need to be, either.
2. Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments
It's no secret that a fairly large chunk of Alfred Hitchcock — Vertigo is devoted to solving mysteries and threading together clues to formulate plausible conclusions. To this end, an alternative game that immediately springs to mind is Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments, an action-adventure game that incorporates a similar amount of potting around and digging up old memories to help conjure mind-boggling revelations.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments casts its eye on the famous detective and his trusty companions, Dr. Watson, and Toby, between 1894 and 1895. As the trio, you must visit various crime scenes around London to uncover the identity of a villainous culprit. To accomplish such a lengthy feat, you must delve deep into the mind of one of the greatest detectives to ever grace the murder-mystery domain, using clues to intuition to unravel a secret that knows no bounds.
While Telltale Games and Quantic Dream could both easily weave together the basic blueprint for which Alfred Hitchcock — Vertigo relies upon, many other games could definitely lend their knowledge to flesh out its murder-mystery concept. Games like, for example, Immortality, an interactive drama that grants you the opportunity to spool through old memories to search for seemingly unattainable answers.
Similar to Vertigo, the goal behind Immortality is to delve deep into the memories of a prolific figure and recover certain key moments to help make heads or tails of their fate. With an archive of three unreleased movies and an actress in limbo, you must thread together the full canvas and make sense of her whereabouts. Just what happened to the beloved Marissa Marcel, exactly? With a little luck, a good ol' root around should give you the answers you need to draw your conclusion.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any games you'd recommend for this list? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.