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A Review About Martha Is Dead, a Deep, Disturbing Game

Sarah is a german video game enthusiast, who enjoyes Classic RPGs and horror games. She writes as a hobby about video games.

My rating


The general Plot

Spoilers ahead

Martha is dead is set in the second world war. The main character’s name is Giulia. She and her family are Italian and usually live in a mansion, but because of the war they had to switch homes with Giulia’s Nanny.

In the beginning Giulia finds Martha, her sister’s dead body floating in the lake she takes pictures at. Her parents come rushing to help her, but her mother thinks she’s Martha. Giulia plays along and pretends to be her. Martha is deaf and mute, so Giulia has to completely change her life.

After the first day Giulia is being haunted by nightmares and they become more brutal every time she dreams. As an example, in the first dream she cuts open and then pulls off the face of her sister. After a while Giulia breaks and she cannot distinct her mind playing trick on her and reality. She starts to mutilate her sister’s body and kills her mother. Shortly after her father is killed by soldiers.

In the end Giulia enters a dream like sequence where she tells the player, she was sent to a mental institution. The ending can be interpreted differently, some say Giulia was always in the institution and the whole story was in her head. Others say she just imagined parts. There are a lot of theories revolving around the ending and most of them have a lot of evidence for and against it.

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The gameplay

The gameplay can be very clunky. Sometimes the camera just jumps to another angle, I’ve seen this happen to multiple people. In the menu the courser just didn’t respond properly, and I couldn’t click where I wanted to.

But I really enjoyed the photography part of the game, it is pretty fun and very accurate. If I had to pick my favourite part of the gameplay, it would be that. It’s fun taking pictures of the beautiful scenery.

(Spoiler in this paragraph) There is a passage where you have to send a morse code from a telegraph and it is mechanically by far the most annoying and boring passage in the game.


My opinion

I enjoyed the game. Although sometimes disturbing it touches the subjects with respect. Before you start the game, a trigger warning is shown. It can be quite brutal and graphic, which can be horrifying. In the end I just felt sad, this game makes me sad. But not in a “I hate this” way, more in a “Oh, this was harsh” kind of way.

Even though I liked the game, I do not know how to feel about it. Because I did not experience any of the horrible problems the main character encounters, I don’t know if it’s appropriate. I think it is, because they put a lot of disclaimers in the game and if you don’t feel ready to you are thoroughly warned. But I’m not in a place to judge if it should be this brutal or not.

In the end I liked the game. I played it once, bought the digital deluxe and watched it twice. The music is amazing. But it can be a little bit too much from time to time.


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