“Martha is Dead”: a disturbing and unforgettable game! [Test]

The year 2022 was filled with video game hits that have played madly with our emotions. However, one of these games managed to draw real emotional strength through constant unease. martha is dead was probably the most disturbing title of the year.

Nota Bene : The game is censored on Sony consoles. The most violent scenes can be skipped, but no longer appear as QTEs. Also, the PS4 Fat version does not feature the narrator’s cutscenes and is content with just text and voice.

Opening the main menu. The camera presents a dark room where photographs are developed under a soft, but disturbing song. Don’t Forget my Namesounds the chorus of Femina Ridens’ composition, which will take on a whole new meaning at the end, in addition to reminding us that martha is dead will be one of those titles that will be hard to forget.

Developed by the Italian studio LKA to whom we owe the unsustainable The Town of Light, martha is dead takes place during World War II. Giulia and Martha are twin sisters and daughters of a nazi general. Together, they painfully go through the overthrow of Fascist Italy by the Partisans. Martha, mute and deaf since childhood, is the favorite of a difficult mother. Giulia, she falls in love with Lapo, a resistant for the freedom of Italy. One night, Giulia finds her sister’s lifeless body in the lake near the family villa…

martha is dead : we remember several days later!

Like the previous game, martha is dead looks a lot like a walking simulator. You will not find the slightest element that would define a survival, nor even the slightest jump-scare. LKA’s title contains no enemies and is not really scary. However, it is masterfully oppressive and could traumatize any player who might know the end of the story. Political background of fascist Italy with a perfectly documented immersion (radios, newspapers or music Bella Ciao), martha is dead is a terrifying journey of sorrow and pity. By pretending to be her sister, Giulia will discover a dark secret within the villa.

It’s hard to write more without spoiling more, but martha is dead is one of those works that still haunt you several months later. A ruthless trajectory between the supernatural and madness, the game also presents scenes of unbearable violence, which have earned it censorship on certain versions. As Giulia’s story progresses, you’ll have more questions than answers. The truth hiding in the villa being hard to swallow… martha is dead is the title that manages to offer a disturbing climax and an extremely striking final chapter, so much does it jostle towards horror.

Smile for the photo!

What is all the more surprising is that the formula is the same as in The Town of Light. You explore the villa and the surrounding forest, as you used to explore the Volterra hospital in the past. Nevertheless, martha is dead is much more mastered, and not only thanks to its scenario and its immersion, but also by its theme of photography.

With a simple click, you have access to Giulia’s film camera and you will have to take pictures to advance the plot. By looking for something to change the Iso, zoom or add filters, you will have access to new side quests that can lead to interpretations on what will lead you to the end of the adventure. We even took many pictures, since we have the freedom to do so. They will also have to be developed in Giulia’s darkroom. Something to satisfy photography enthusiasts. Especially since, in your short walks, you will be able to find secret places reminding you that the war continues… But let’s not write more about these details.

"martha is dead" : a disturbing and unforgettable game! [Test] - Cultea

The unbearable loneliness at the end of the war

Behind this desire to add gameplay hides one of the reasons that make martha is dead particularly disturbing, constantly playing on the heavy loneliness and the possible key to the secrecy around Martha. To put it simply, the title of LKA masters its feeling of loneliness and oppression brilliantly. Despite the beauty of the sun, the game remains worrying. There are many questions about the place of folk superstitions and about Italy’s political conflict about to end. Nothing is taken lightly throughout a scenario that keeps the player in suspense for six hours.

There are also many similarities with The Town of Light on the issue of mental health and trauma, but we’ll talk about it soon so as not to spoil the surprise… We may have said enough. So who killed Martha?

For simplicity, martha is dead proves it doesn’t need to be scary to be one of those most disturbing survival horror games. It won’t be for the faint-hearted, nor does it need to be fun to play, as it will exhaust you psychologically on its ruthless journey towards hard-to-see truths…

“Martha is Dead”: a disturbing and unforgettable game! [Test]