Welcome to Italy
Martha is Dead, or is she? During all my gaming years I’ve played a whole
lot of games from Genre A to Genre Z and everything in between, horror though
has never been a genre that I would count amongst my favorite, or is it now?
After playing Martha Is Dead, I’m not exactly sure where I stand on the subject
anymore, I liked a lot of the parts in the game, and was utterly confused for
some parts of the game, the game is absolutely stunning when you turn on the
graphical options, and also it ran on my relatively above mid tier PC quite
lousy to be frank, now all this combined together is probably also why I am
a little bit conflicted on how I feel about the game and the horror genre in
general from this experience alone.
Without spoiling the game, I’ll just stick to the beginning of the game, and
mention a few things in general. So what kind of game is Martha is Dead?
Set in World War II Italy, a small semi open world game, that has you and your
trust worthy camera moving around trying to put a murder mystery together what
really happened to your twin sister, the game features a lot of things we’ve all
come to know and do in horror games, collect items, record evidence, puzzle
solving (a very annoying deciphering sequence(s) later on in the game) and even
features some QTE:s (Quick Time Events), and lastly but not least even a few
side missions. A special mention here gets the puppet show case, that recaps
what has happened so far in the game, that you re-enact.. (creepy).
But yes, this also means you will be walking a lot / or bicycling getting from
point A to B.
Now when you combine this with some brilliant writing for the
opening hour-hours the game kicks off in a classical scary sense, but the further
the game goes along, the less I seemed to follow the plot until I took a step
back and thought about it for a minute.. there is definitely some memorable
scenes in the game that will follow me and I’ll most likely compare to other
future horror games, what I mean by this is there are no tacky jump scares in
the game, it’s the insanity of what people could do, raw horror and brutality
visually, really visually shown to you, this part Martha Is Dead nailed for me
and had me feel I was truly playing a horror game. If you want to experience
the full game and all the horror it has, you should opt for the PC Version
or the Xbox version, Playstation owners right now only have a choice for a
censored version, taking out the visual horror elements is my understanding.
So how long is Martha is Dead? I clocked in on my first playthrough 6.5 hours
and this is only completing the story, there is a lot of things to collect
and even if the map isn’t the biggest it’s still quite a chore to find all
the items you can collect, and side missions to complete.
I said earlier on that the world looks stunning, and yes the developer LKA
has really utilized a lot of the Unreal Engine 4:s potential, as you can see
from the gallery above, but the performance during my playthrough like I said
was a bit of a let down, on a 3070, 16gb of ram and a i5-9600k my frame rates
could be all the way down to 15fps or 100-120fps, this using Balanced/Performance
DLSS settings at 3440x1440p. At the time of writing this, patches have been
issued to Martha Is Dead on PC, and some performance issues have been solved.
Like with every game these days, squeezing out more performance always come
at some point in time, and here it was definitely needed, other than the
occasional FPS hiccups, the game ran absolutely fine for me, and no note-worthy
bugs were encountered. I also have to give a special mention to the sounds of
the game, and the music, making the world really feel alive, there has been
a ton of focus put on this aspect also, so it’s just not a shiny looking game
but it’s also a good sounding game, another plus that I have to point out is
that you have a ton of options for languages and subtitles when playing the game
LKA nailed it on this front as well.
So this is my spoiler free review on what you can expect, and what type of
game Martha Is Dead is.
My final words
Martha Is Dead, is a game worthy of experiencing, be it you might not choose
a horror game title often to play, and the same goes for people who love horror..
It’s a different styled horror game, with some very visual horror, good story
writing, and parts of it showcasing horror/insanity in a way that might confuse
us. It has some dull moments (puzzle solving), and utterly confusing scenes
towards the end (this is my personal opinion) but overall it’s still worthy to
experience, you’ll experience something different within the Genre and unseen
- Visual horror is frightening
- Stunning World
- Well written mostly
- Sound & Music
- PC Performance can be frustrating
- Some annoying puzzles and bicycling
- Some scenes towards the end might confuse you why it's relevant