Today I am back with a new-release, horror game review titled: Martha Is Dead. It came out February 24th in Australia and is available to purchase on Steam. This psychological story is set during World War II in Italy. It’s very atmospheric, dark and deceptive. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth the hype, I can answer that for you. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
MARTHA IS DEAD…
In 1944, conflict intensifies between German and Allied forces. Amidst the tragedy of war, a young girl named Giulia finds the dead body of her twin sister Martha, drowned in a lake near their Tuscan home. When her parents discover their daughter’s corpse, Giulia assumes her sibling’s identity and convinces her family that she is actually Martha. As the lies begin to pile-up, our protagonist works hard to solve the mystery behind her sister’s demise, unsure whether it was an accident or foul-play…
The average user will be able to complete this game in under seven hours. However, there are some side quests and collectibles that will provide you with more bang for your buck. For example, Giulia (pretending to be Martha) enjoys photography. She requires you capture images with her antique camera in order to progress the storyline. You will spend a fair bit of time in the cellar’s darkroom, developing the pictures you take. There are also plenty of articles, artwork, notes, diary entries and things to interact with. You can even get regular tarot card readings! If you were curious, you do not fight anybody, nor can you die. Having said that, you can ride a bicycle and run very quickly when needed. This is definitely more of a slow burn narrative than a fast-paced, action adventure. Take your time with it and explore everything.
WHAT I ENJOYED
Martha Is Dead was the first indie game to launch using the native Italian language as the default setting. I chose this option (as an Italian myself) and enjoyed hearing authentic voice acting and music with the English subtitles below. I also loved the setting. Even though the main focus of the story is to solve your sister’s murder, you are constantly reminded that it is taking place during World War II. There are planes flying overhead, radio reports, gunshots heard and bombs landing in the background. It brings a whole new meaning to the saying: “hell is other people.” Furthermore, your home in the Tuscan countryside is so beautiful. I was such a fan of the atmosphere and different areas to explore. Another highlight is getting to play in numerous marionette sequences. As Giulia, you get to navigate a puppet theatre in order to unlock repressed memories. I particularly enjoyed the blend of European folklore and dialogue options. It was unlike anything I had come across before.
WHAT I DIDN’T ENJOY
My biggest complaint with this game was the lack of horror. It wasn’t overly scary and I wish it had been. It was certainly disturbing but there just wasn’t enough tension and suspense to get my heart racing like others in the past. I felt like it started off strong but as the game progressed, it became very obvious who was behind Martha’s death, which made the reveal quite anticlimactic. Unfortunately, my laptop didn’t cope with the graphics, so my entire playing experience was quite laggy. That’s not a fault of the creators, it just made it less enjoyable for me. I also have to add that the ending was weird. I liked it but it went in a very strange direction. It reminded me of something out of Bioshock or Layers of Fear. I wasn’t entirely clear what happened. I wish Giulia had been haunted by her sister more. That would have provided plenty of scares and a higher rating.
OVERALL STAR RATING
I gave this a 3.5/5 star rating. Overall, I enjoyed it and would recommend it others.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Please let me know if you have played this game. If there are any horror games you want me to play and review, I’m open to suggestions. Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo