Martha is Dead developers on the PS5 SSD, ray-tracing, next-gen power and more

We worry about the specifications for months. Now, finally, some developers are ready to speak out and tease how the PlayStation 5 will change the way we play games. In this issue, we sit down with Luca Dalcò, Studio Head of Martha Is Dead developer LKA, to discuss how the power of Sony’s next-gen hardware is harnessed to make horror truly terrifying.

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The developer has always put credibility at the heart of its games, and PlayStation 5 will make that more feasible. “We are excited to see next-generation hardware coming to help us bring our vision to gamers,” adds Dalcò.

What the graphical improvement of PlayStation 5 over PS4 means is that we will see incredibly detailed textures in our new games. Dalcò explains: “We have worked hard to use textures with the highest possible resolution also on PS4; however, the PS5 will allow us to use an incredible Texel density, up to 4096px/m, which means the image will be fully detailed at higher resolutions as well. This is one of the biggest advances in vision ability we’ve been waiting for!”

next generation story

Although there is much talk about the visual muscle of the game, Dalcò wants to emphasize that the action is not overlooked in a race to show what the next generation can do. “We think Martha Is Dead is making great progress on the game, adding unique aspects never seen before in the genre,” he says, but adds, “We need to have the visual quality to match.”

So what it is Is Martha dead? Billed as a psychological thriller set in 1944 Tuscany, it is played in the first person and mixes haunting dream sequences with a photorealistic recreation of World War II Italy.

luca dalco

Superstition, psychological trauma and the horrors of war are the backdrop to the mystery of a woman found drowned. Thematically, the game looks like a progression from LKA’s The Town Of Light.

Dalcò explains: “After a project like The Town Of Light, there is of course a focus on mental health in our games, but Martha Is Dead is a very different game. Many months of research went into shaping Renée’s story in The Town Of Light – with Martha Is Dead we wanted to do something different. The game will continue to explore the human mind, but with a more artistic approach, frequently suspending reality and creating symbolically powerful abstract scenes; for this reason, I think it may not be necessary to compare the two projects, although “there are elements that bind the games together”. together.”

The idea for the game came from the team’s love for Tuscany and the desire to show another side of the region known primarily for its landscape. “I like to use the contrast between the beauty of the landscape and the sadness of the story: in fact, war, violence and unrest are the ingredients of the Martha Is Dead story. [What] It started as a simple concept… it became very complex and constantly grew and evolved during the development of the game”, explains Dalcò.

light ray

Likewise, the use of an SSD by the PS5 will allow the team to offer a new experience in Martha Is Dead. “High-quality assets are naturally larger in size and will therefore benefit from faster load times. On top of that, Martha Is Dead has a game world bigger than anything we’ve ever created before as a studio.

Dalcò clarifies that Martha Is Dead is not an open world game, but we will be able to visit places in and around San Casciano. The developer says: “These different areas can be traversed on foot or by bike without the constant separation of loading screens; an SSD will certainly help with these transitions.

It’s clear that LKA sees the PS5’s features as an opportunity, but “it’s more about going to the next level of immersion than it is about delivering the next big game mode.” We will closely follow Martha Is Dead… through our fingers.

(Image credit: Future)

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