Martha Is Dead 2022: Review
February 24th, 2022
Unashamedly authentic voice acting in Italian
The first Indie game to launch using the native Italian language as the default setting – for full immersion into the story and the characters.
From the creator of The Town of Light
The second game from LKA, the award-winning developer of “The Town of Light” and specialists in reality-based narrative games focused on tough subjects.
The deep and dark multi-layered narrative
Martha Is Dead is an exploration of loss, relationships, and the psychological undertones of a dark period of history through the eyes of a young woman who seeks the truth, but who also has secrets of her own to hide.
Explore a detailed recreation of the Italian countryside
Freely explore the breathtakingly realized Tuscany countryside on foot, by boat, or by bike. Grounded in reality, Martha Is Dead’s setting and historical context are inspired by real facts and places that have been faithfully reconstructed in true LKA fashion.
Play with dolls
Play with numerous marionette sequences in the puppet theatre to remember repressed memories.
Mixing folklore with superstition
Unlock symbols and use tarot cards to unveil new aspects of the game and summon the spirit of The Lady.
A backdrop of War
Collect newspapers, and telegrams and listen to the radio to keep updated on what is occurring in the world during the war.
Virtual photographic greatness
Take pictures for the sheer pleasure of doing so, and also to progress through the story and discover more about the game world. A simulator will guide you through 1940s photography, where you’ll be able to develop your actual photos through a fully working in-game darkroom!
Authentic Italian music of the era
Immerse yourself in a deeply evocative and atmospheric soundtrack containing underwater music specialists Between Music and their Aquasonic project; The Town of Light composer Aseptic Void and his moody yet spinetingling tones; and held together in true vintage style featuring reimagined versions of classic tracks including Schubert's Ave Maria, O Bella Ciao, with original tracks written and sung by Francesca Messina, AKA 90s disco star, Femina Ridens.
Martha is Dead is a psychological horror game heavily driven by its story. LKA Studio is addressing mental health concerns and disorders brilliantly. The action takes place in Italy near the conclusion of World war 2. You will play Giulia K, the daughter of Nazi General Erich K, who discovers the floating body of her deceased twin sister while on a normal walk along the lake and embarks on a journey to make sense of it and explain her death.
We should begin this review of Martha Is Dead by emphasizing that we would not recommend this game to anyone who is sensitive to the sight of more graphic imagery; certain sequences are disturbing, frightening, and unlike anything else, you will see anyplace. You’ll know when something is going to happen thanks to some powerful trigger warning sounds. With that in mind, Martha is Dead will not leave you indifferent on that front, for better or worse, as you see the world through Giulia’s eyes and camera lenses.
Without much background and not understanding the magnitude of what we were getting into, we expected ghosts, dread, jump scares, and even zombies at some point. This was a truly horrific experience with Martha Is Dead, in the good sense of the word. Instead, we had to face this adventure with our imagination as our worst enemy. Not knowing what would happen, even attempting to stop our character from doing things at times, but ultimately powerless and watching as everything unfolded.
Throughout our investigation, Martha is Dead has seemed like an adventure-walking simulator, complete with excellent graphics, design, mood, and an incredible method for immersing oneself in it. In the confines of our map, we are allowed some sort of open world to uncover additional components of the tale, more background, and information to read, evaluate, and think about in order to piece it all together. Furthermore, we are allowed to snap images with our cameras whenever we want and develop them in the black room. This feature was a lot of fun, with hundreds of various versions, lenses, and new components added to the camera as the story progressed. Giulia’s hobby/passion is photography, and a significant amount of effort was spent on making it a major feature of gameplay. Furthermore, the game is absolutely amazing, and the degree of detail will astound you. It adds to the immersion, and when your main task is to capture images, having some artistic freedom and realism just seems natural. We had not anticipated such a high-quality effort on that front. The novel is incredibly well-written, the plot improves with time, and some decisions must be taken along the way. Whether it’s through discussions with other influential people or by making your own decisions about your future actions. It is unclear whether these had any bearing on the story, but they offered some more substance to a game that might seem a little short without it.
The ambiance of Martha Is Dead is incredibly nicely done, and exploration is rewarded; from the music, radio, photos, and paintings, everything has a role to play in Giulia’s world, and every room, corridor, and discussion means something. The voice acting was excellent, but only in Italian. It was very mediocre in English; the translations were adequate but not flawless; do yourself a favor and play the game in Italian with English subtitles; you will not be disappointed.