Martha Is Dead Is A Haunting New Psychological Thriller

In the world of indie horror, games that explore “real-life psychological trauma” are a dime a dozen. Everyone has their hot take on isolation/mental illness/depression/gender identity, which of course can only be accurately represented by a frightened protagonist making their way through a surreal sepia-toned nightmare world. It’s a genre I’m obviously not too keen on. So when a game comes along that possesses the narrative maturity to truly move me, I remember it. The Town of Light was one such game. A nuanced take on the real horrors of institutionalized mental health in the early 1900s, you can check out my longer thoughts in the review.

So when I heard that LKA was coming out with a new title, I was excited to see what they had in store. Well, excited might not be the appropriate word. Definitely intrigued. A collaboration with Wired Productions (who have been popping up more and more on my radar), not much is known about the specifics of this new psychological thriller. Presumably, there is a woman named Martha, who is likely deceased. Or maybe she isn’t. Plot twist. Here’s what I got from the press release.

Award-winning global publisher, Wired Productions, and acclaimed Italian studio, LKA, are pleased to announce a new global publishing partnership for Martha is Dead, a dark psychological thriller tipped for release in 2020. This new collaboration demonstrates the strong strategic partnership between the two companies, joining forces once again to bring LKA titles to life and to market.

Following its debut title, The Town of Light which released in 2016, Martha is Dead continues LKA’s signature style of deep multi-layered narratives combined with real locations and a mix of history, superstition and psychological distress. LKAs expertise for delving into complex and riveting subject matter that borrows from both fact and fiction helps to distinguish its development pedigree and passion. 

Set in Tuscany, 1944, south of the Gothic line, as conflict intensifies between German and Allied forces, the desecrated body of a woman is found drowned. Her twin sister, the young daughter of a German soldier must deal with the acute trauma of loss, while the truth of the brutal murder is shrouded by mysterious folklore and the extreme horror of war draws ever closer.

With photo-realism at its core and using advanced texturing techniques alongside full support for real-time ray tracing, Martha is Dead is built in Unreal® Engine 4 and is set once again to blur the boundary between gaming and reality by bringing human stories to life; amplified with high-level production, cinematic visuals and haunting audio.

“We are delighted to be once again working with the incredibly talented team at LKA as their ability to bring stories to life is once again demonstrated with this unique project,“ said Leo Zullo, Managing Director, Wired Productions, “Martha is Dead is a beautiful and haunting adventure that will take players through an unforgettable story, and we’re confident it will leave a mark with gamers as it has done with us…”

“At LKA we want to tell stories that push your imagination to the limits, while embracing those real-world elements that make our narratives more immersive and grounded,” said Luca Dalcò, Founder and Creative Director, LKA. “We’re delighted to be once again joining forces with Wired Productions, a publisher who shares our vision while providing incredible support to bring our game to market.”

Fans of first-person thrillers will experience a unique opportunity through Martha is Dead, as the game offers a chilling story seen through the eyes of an innocent young woman who is on a mission to find out the truth. Along the way, she will encounter situations and discover things no one should have to… mortal death was the easy path compared to this one marred by mental and emotional distress which lingers on.

Currently in development, Martha is Dead is set to arrive in 2020 with further details, including platforms, to be announced.

So no details on the release date, announcement, or much of the gameplay/story. Still, given how much I loved The City of Light, I’m letting myself get excited about this one. Until then, I’ll let you know everything I know. So here are the screenshots we have so far, which admittedly don’t show much. At least they’re very pretty.

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