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Martha Is Dead Review (PS5) – An Emotional Roller Coaster That Leaves You Guessing Until The Very End


Martha Is Dead PS5 Review – Martha Is Dead is a harrowing tale that had me guessing its plot and questioning everything I saw. Developer LKA has done a tremendous job putting me in the shoes of a young girl trying to deal with the death of her younger sister and questioning everything she knows and sees.

It’s an emotional roller coaster that had me guessing until the very end precisely what was happening to Giulia inside her small Italian villa home.

Martha Is Dead PS5 Review

A Story That Had Me Guessing From Start To Finish

Martha is Dead is a complicated story to convey into words without spoiling it. So much transpires, and almost everything that plays out is a hint to what is truly going on that even the most minor mentions can spoil the overall plot.

You take on the role of Giulia, the older sister of Martha. One night, Giulia set up to capture nature photographs, only to discover her sister floating in the nearby lake.

Giulia rushes into the lake and pulls her twin sister out to discover that she is dead. As her mother and father come to their aid Giulia passes out on the beach and begins to dream terrible dreams about what happened to Martha.

Giulia starts to suspect that someone murdered Martha, but nobody else believes Martha is dead. Instead, your mother begins to think that Giulia is Martha and Giulia is the one who has perished.

Going along with the idea, Giulia begins to pretend that she is Martha. She herself was deaf, making it easier for her to pretend to walk around the house and listen to what her mother and father were constantly talking about while trying to discover what truly happened to Martha.

The game takes place in 1944, and the constant fear of war reaching Giulia’s estate can be felt throughout the game. Giulia’s father is a general in the Nazi army, but he loathes his position while her mother is heavily medicated, causing constant mood swings.

The Smallest Detail Can Hold The Key To The Mystery

Everything I’ve mentioned about the story and characters plays a significant role in the game. Even the slightest bit of information plays a critical role, and the mystery behind it all is one of the best things about Martha is Dead.

The twists and turns within the story had me completely hooked from start to finish; every time I thought I knew what was going on, the game threw a wrench that had me questioning everything I’ve learned up to that point.

The game’s plot is not only about Martha. Another plot point that starts to take shape is the war and your father’s role in it. This plot of the game took away from the experience for me. Though it plays a key role, I found myself distracted by the various objectives I had to complete during the game’s “war” portions.

As you may have expected, Martha is Dead is a first-person adventure game. You explore the main villa and surrounding locations like the forest, lake, and family crypts, examining objects to get information about the world and characters’ backstories. The main focus is taking pictures with your camera and developing photos. As you progress, you’re able to find various lenses and filters to use.

You’ll Be Taking Plenty of Photos And Solving Plenty of Puzzles.

These allow you to capture various photos in different environments. Whether it’s better lighting at night or even infrared to capture things in pictures that may not be visible to the naked eye, you must develop them after taking photos.

Developing film will have to partake in a small mini-game where you have to focus the photograph, resize it and expose it. Though the mini-game isn’t difficult, it does start to get tiresome, especially if you take a lot of photos and develop them.

I learned playing Martha is Dead that you can entirely skip a lot of the objectives you get. The game doesn’t even tell you your primary and secondary goals. It’s something that I didn’t like. As I played, I couldn’t figure out what objective would move the story forward and what one won’t

There were so many moments that I would complete a task only to have the game move on to the next chapter. Thankfully some of the game’s objectives and goals can be completed later. The other problem is that not every task can be achieved when presented. This is a problem because it keeps you running around trying to solve a problem with no current solution.

Though you play through many different mini-games, the worst one has you sending a morse code telegraph. Unless you know morse code, chances are you’re going to go online like I had to and figure out what each dot and dash means and how to spell things out.

The game gives you a guide but doesn’t explain how to follow this guide. I was stumped and was forced to turn to the internet to figure it out.

A Visually And Auditory Spectacle

Martha is Dead is a visually stunning game. The villa is packed with detail and some incredible landscapes to look at. The character models are highly detailed, and the more gruesome effects are disturbing and hyperrealistic.

Unfortunately, the game does suffer from some lousy texture loading. There were plenty of times when I would walk around and notice the wall textures of the home not loading correctly and looking pixilated and muddy.

Another issue I ran into is lines of dialogue repeating a few times before a scene would move on. The subtitles would also remain stuck on the screen. I also ran into a fair amount of crashes and game freezes, which were annoying as the auto-save feature is very hit and miss. One time it would save after I completed a task another time, it wouldn’t save until I would complete an entire chapter.

The voice work is also exceptional. Giulia’s narration is top-notch whether you play the game in its natural Italian or English dub. The soundtrack is haunting and, at times, disturbing. It sets the mood so perfectly that simply walking through Giulia’s home and constantly hearing the megaphone and radio playing put a chill down my spine.

Martha is Dead is not the game you think it is. Though it borrows heavily from the horror genre, its horror is in its reality and the horrible things that people have to go through in life. I felt sadness, hatred, disgust, fear, and everything in between throughout my time playing as Giulia.

Its story is its strong suit, and it’s brought to life by fantastic visuals and sound design. It’s just a shame that some technical issues get in the way, and some puzzles and objectives aren’t explained very well.

Martha is Dead is out today for PS5, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One.

Review code provided by PR.



The Final Word

It's not every day that you get to play through a game that leaves a mark with its disturbing and tragic story, but Martha Dead was able to achieve something that got me thinking from start to finish. The game's incredible soundtrack and sound design are harrowing, and the visuals push the genre forward. It's just a shame that some technical issues and hit and miss tutorials hold the game back from true greatness.