Not much else of Martha is Dead is that impressive. The gameplay is nearly nonexistent, consisting entirely of taking pictures and solving light puzzles. You are given many different attachments for the camera that you use but are rarely required to use the vast majority of them. I didn’t really see the point of the depth that camera customization had, as taking the pictures and then working on them in the dark room wasn’t particularly interesting or engaging. When most of the game is treading through areas that you’ve already been through, you’re unlikely to find yourself compelled to take photos for no reason.
The graphics are servicable, and manage to create an unsettling atmosphere when intended, but are par of the course for the genre. The game shines its brightest during some of the psychological scenes where the imagery is able to twist itself into more interesting and meaningful ways, but these parts of the game are sadly short and few between.
The sound design is downright terrible at times, one of my least favorite aspects of the game. Failed attempts at building tension are instead filled with strange and annoying screeches that take away from the scenes they’re added to more than they provided extra depth for. It’s often times difficult to take important scenes seriously or at face value when such distracing noises that don’t fit in with the tone are added.
Martha is Dead is a great example of what the psychological thriller genre is at its core. A slow burn narrative, some slight puzzle content, and some surreal imagery. Never really doing anything to push the envelope or make a strong statement, but also managing to still provide a rather worthwhile experience for fans of these types of games. I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t already enjoy these games to fall in love because of Martha is Dead, but those who are already fans should be happy to hear there’s a new title to sink their teeth into.
Publisher: Wired Productions
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5