There's a sadness in this game that I only know too real. As someone who struggles with mental health illness' it's easy to write games off that try to somewhat explain it. Martha is Dead
is an extreme version of this, in reality, this is an exercise between what is real, what is in your head and what the illness makes up for you. The game even iterates this at the closing sequence, it turns the table back at you, it asks what your actions
have been and whether you think all this is real.
Bordered between the bits that we know for deffinite are true, is the gameplay, you face choices through the game on how to act, but essentially, the stories main events are the real star.
The gameplay is rather basic, anyone can pick it up and play. Holding R2 allows you to interact with things, R1 brings up your inventory, holding Triangle automatically brings up your camera and the touchpad allows you to open the map.
Seeing first hand Guilia's story through first person view is a very good choice, I can't imagine this game being half as good in third person. The game is in effect a murder mystery, whilst exploring the fact or fiction that comes with memory, particularly one with a broken mind. Nothing shows this off better than the last chapter as Guilia tries to remember her childhood memories. The disjointed way she remembers things really shows how fragile our heads can be.
You're trying to solve your sister Martha's murder in the backdrop of World War Two Italy. Your father is in the German military and your mother is forced to look after Guilia and Martha practically alone. You can get aditional exposition late on through the phone in the dining room, but the story is well planned out and the gruesome details can be skipped if you want to, but I'd suggest not doing so as these really round off nicely in the closing stages and you understand the games point a little more.
Graphically, I really like it, it has a nice aesthetic to it and one that really compliments the setting of Italy. The mood of the house and the sounding bits of it are in contrast to the darkness of the wood where the fabled killer "The White Lady" lurks in spectural essence, a story from Guilia's childhood. The wood is littered with little graves and destroyed/decaying buildings, which is in contrast to Guilia's world.
It handles well, gameplay is very fluid. The main issue on PS5 is that the game crashes, alot
, which is very annoying at times. I had it happen a few times inside an hour at one stage, this normally occurs when the game is autosaving. Another issue is the trophy list. The game was patched and as a result, one trophy is now glitched. You can earn the trophy for using all of the camera attachments but not the one for finding them all in the first place. Which I wish I'd known before starting the game.
In all, Martha is Dead
is a decent Psychological Thriller/Adventure title that does deserve a decent score, however, it's difficult to give it a perfect score as there are a few issues. The main one being it can actually be finished in less than nine hours, as mentioned above, the random crashes don't help it, and the glitched trophies, which the devs are apparently working on fixing. So, we shall see.
+ Brilliant storyline
+ Graphically pleasing
+ Good exploration of the human condition
+ Basic gameplay doesn't harm it
- Glitched trophies
- Random crashes during/after autosave
- Can be finished in less than nine hours.