Martha Is Dead. And that seems like an awful shame. Martha is also leaving behind a twin sister who wants to find out the truth of her murder. Martha may or may not have fallen prey to something supernatural. Martha is possibly metaphorically or literally linked to the spectre of war in 1944 Tuscany. Martha is certainly extremely creepy, as you can see in the trailer below.
My Italian is not as good as it should be, but I’m fairly certain those are coded messages for sneaky wartime communication. Else this radio fella really wants to let everyone know that the rain’s stopped and he has a lovely blonde beard. And yes, I am indeed focusing on this so that I don’t have to think about Martha’s grizzly skull face.
Developers LKA haven’t yet said much about the game beyond its plot, but they’re the folks behind The Town Of Light, another creepy historical game, this time set in an asylum – but without relying on dehumanising tropes targeting the mentally ill. Former treehouser Alec once spoke to them about their Gone Home inspirations, while equally former treehouser Adam went to visit the hospital it was based on. He wrote:
Town of Light is a harrowing experience. Developers LKA, led by Luca Dalco whose background is in theatre, are insistent that this is not a horror game. And it isn’t. Not in the conventional sense. There are no chase sequences, there’s no clumsy combat and there isn’t a single supernatural entity in sight.
There are bumps in the night though. And bumps in the day, for that matter. There is cruelty and abuse and imprisonment and fear. Town of Light might not be a horror game but it is absolutely horrifying and the fact that it’s based in the history of a real place, and the wider social history of mental health treatment, makes its terrors and grotesques all the more affecting.
Whether or not Martha Is Dead will avoid the more traditional horror game scares and focus on the same careful storytelling remains to be seen, but it seems promising.
Martha Is Dead doesn’t have a release date yet, but you can take a look at it on Steam.