Kholat is a survival horror/walking simulator style of an indie game. As a fan of horror movies, games, and books, this is a game that I have been meaning to try out for a while. It is one of those games where the story behind it really intrigued me, so much so that I did quite a lot of reading after I played the game.
How to Download Kholat
You can download Kholat for y our PS4, Xbox One or Windows. Click on the Download button below this review. If you like such horror games, check out also our review of Blair Witch.
The Game Review
In case you did not know, Kholat is based on a real tragedy that happened in Russia back in 1989. A group of university students went missing under strange circumstances and all were found dead with strange injuries. Over the years many legends, stories, and even theories have been released about what happened to these people.
That is where the story of the game comes in. It is set on the Kholat Syakhi, or if you prefer “death mountain and you are trying to get to the bottom of what happened. You are tasked with trying to follow their footsteps and find out what really happened. Of course, nothing is what it seems on this mountain and you soon find yourself fighting for your life as well as trying to figure out the truth.
As I said the premise of this game is awesome, I found myself being inspired to research the Dyatlov Pass incident and found the whole thing very interesting. The thing is, the story and the history the game is based on is what I consider to be the best part.
The game looks good enough and it certainly has you on edge for the most part, but right from the start, I felt the game was trying way too hard to be weird and cryptic.
Iconic British actor Sean Bean lends his voice to the narration and he does a good job. the problem is I often wondered what the heck he was talking about. From a narrative point of view, Kholat is one of those games that is trying way too hard to be secretive, but rather than make my imagination run wild it just kind of annoyed me.
Most of the story is filled in by finding pages from the original investigators’ reports as well as diary entries from the hikers. These were kind of cool and some of the diary entries did make me shiver! The idea here is fantastic it really is, I just feel that the story needed a tad more actual direction.
The gameplay is a mixed bag of survival horror and a walking simulator. This is a game with no easy-to-follow map, no waypoints and much of the time you will be wandering around lost. Some did not like this, but I get the feeling it was to make you feel as lost as those poor students were. I think this was a smart idea and they so nearly pulled it off.
The map gets marked when you find items and you can find coordinates, but that is it. The problem with this system is the “combat” or lack of it. There are these orange “entities” that are stalking you on the mountain. You cannot fight them and they can one-hit kill you. This makes things very, very tense.
The save system though is very harsh. You can be wandering around for a long time until you find your next objective. This is the only time the game saves so if you die before this, you go back to the last save point which can be very frustrating. The way these entities can see you is also hard to get a read on.
Kholat is not a bad game and I feel had they offered a more generous save system and a way to know if the enemies can see you or not it would have been way better. Still, I was captivated by the legend that this game tells and wish the story was a bit more coherent rather than trying to be clever. Still, I can see why some people love this game, but others were not drawn in.
- The presentation is great
- I love the legend that is behind this game
- Sean Bean as the narrator is cool
- Reading the diary entries of the missing students was interesting
- You have an uneasy feeling as you explore
- The save system is way too harsh
- The story tries way to hard to be clever and cryptic