Top Critic Average
As a lifelong fan of Fortean mystery and atmospheric adventures, Kholat is a game I really wanted to love, but it left me out in the cold in more ways than one.
Overall Kholat is an atmospheric adventure game that is creepy but really should not be labeled as a horror game. With a wonderful art style and amazing sound effects, Kholat should still please horror fans and adventure game fans alike.
So, a beautiful looking game that has an amazing soundtrack and is based on a still unexplained real life event. I will now do quite a bit of reading about The Dyatlov Pass Incident and try to see how good the game related to it.
Enormously atmospheric, highly intriguing, but falls just a little short of its narrative ambition. A compelling real life historical mystery. Well told, though the pay-off may frustrate some. A great control innovation effectively supports the overall atmosphere of isolation and exposure.
This thrilling story will keep you at the edge of your seat and will leave you wanting to know more about these events. Kholat won't disappoint the fans of the genre and is worth a try.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
While much of Kholat can feel repetitive as players roam aimlessly through the barren landscape, the spine-creeping sense of dread that accompanies the rest of the game more than makes up for it. There were a few times that I began to feel a bit bored with winding through the same rocky paths, but they were offset by the time spent struggling to survive against encroaching threats and the strangely threatening narration of Game of Thrones' Sean Bean.
Kholat is a compelling release set against a fascinating backdrop that drew me in early and kept me playing. It offers a memorable, if not completely satisfying, experience that's worth checking out.
Despite its issues I still feel Kholat is a genuinely disturbing experience, full of atmosphere, tension and visually impressive for an Unreal Engine 4 game. Its faults take it out of the really awesome category but I personally loved it and how it blended horror with unravelling parts of a real world mystery. As it is I believe Kholat is still worth playing but just be aware that frustration and tension will be present in equal measure.
A poignant and masterfully haunting affair, Kholat's flawed narrative and sparse environments aren't enough to considerably detract from its overwhelming atmospherics and sense of adventure.
Kholat succeeded where many failed: to create a superb horror mood for a game, mixing great visual settings and a soundscape that is bewitching. In terms of gameplay, however, the game is limited by simple interaction and no jump system, plus frustrating death and errors with no reasons or explanation, which might test even the most patient players.
Don't get me wrong, KHOLAT is a good example for next-generation walking simulators. But the unhinged story and lackluster gameplay makes the game feel stressful at times. The graphics, once again, are impressive. The 4 or so hours I've spent are oftentimes stressful when walking back and forth and don't even get me started with the game's disappointing ending.
Kholat has plenty of issues but there is no denying that it also one of the most atmospheric games I've played recently and is really creepy. The game makes great use of the Unreal Engine 4 as well to deliver some great visuals. I also like that it is based on a real world event as it adds more to the game. If you're into these kind of experiences I highly recommend it but do expect some frustration to come with it.
Kholat is a very interesting first person survival horror game that sadly fails to deliver on all of its promises due to an unfocused storytelling style, which doesn't take full advantage of its mysterious premise. A tighter storytelling would have served the game greatly, as its survival mechanics are among the more interesting of recent times. A quality title, without a doubt, but definitely polarizing and not for everyone.
Though there's less direct threat when compared to more mainstream horror titles, there's an intensity to that environment that helps to create a wonderfully sinister atmosphere. It's not an essential horror game, but it's a genuinely ripping yarn.
Kholat is a great looking game that can capture the imagination of players very quickly with its impressive environments and with the initial narrative about the real world set of events on which it is based.
If you're really, truly desperate for a new adventure-horror game in the vein of Dear Esther and you consider yourself to literally have the patience of a saint, at the very least Kholat will look and sound pretty as you play it. Anyone who doesn't want to deal with tedious gameplay, a confusing story, or frustrating progress roadblocks however should steer clear.
Little to no directions are given to the player -- you're just dropped into the world and expected to figure things out on your own. It wasn't until my second play session that I realized the locations marked on the map were of importance. After figuring out proper use of the map and compass, it was easy to complete the game in just around four hours, which felt a bit light for the asking price of $20, considering most of your time will be spent looking at snowy rocks. Overall an enjoyable experience that has a fantastic presentation but just lacks much depth in gameplay.
Kholat may be daunting to approach at first with its massive scale, but its eerie setting is worth exploring for its intentionally perplexing narrative and unsettling visual and aural atmosphere. The simplistic gameplay may turn some off with how tedious exploration can become with few scares and long stretches of nothing, but if you choose to remain steadfast on this trail, the sights, sounds, and story may very well be worth your effort.
Kholat's narrative exploration is ambitious, and the real world base for its plot, the recreation of exploring a bewildering and unforgiving landscape and the audio-visual design were all superb. But for what it gets right, the mounting flaws in its design only become more evident and distracting.
For its price, Kholat is a pretty enjoyable experience, and I'd certainly recommend picking it up if you can find it on a Steam sale, but do note that Kholat is one of those games that requires willpower to keep playing. It's easy to put down, but a work of art of a horror game when you don't.
Kholat does a fantastic job at creating a tense, moody atmosphere in which you're completely alone in an unforgiving landscape. However for everything the game does right there is an equal flaw to break player immersion. The grizzly tail of a real life a real life incident immediately draws you in, but the narrative is often perplexing leaving you with a lot of unanswered questions. The open-world environment is realistic, beautiful and calls on your adventurous side, but the gameplay is overly simplistic and exploration is tediously long.
KHOLAT nails the experience of being atop a snowy mountain during volatile conditions, and the idea of it being based on a true story is intriguing. Ultimately, though, the execution falls short and you're left with a shallow experience that is hard to find the fun in.
Kholat quite likely captures what it would be like to be lost in the snowy mountains, but games are meant to be enjoyed, not merely 'survived.' With such an interesting story and a great narrator, Kholat truly dropped the ball in what could have been a great narrative, instead delivering nonsense dialogue and an incomprehensible plot.
Grievously weighed down by its unforgiving orienteering mechanic, tedious gameplay and frame-rate issues, Kholat is more likely to leave you with your head aching rather than your head spinning.
Kholat had a lot of potential, but is unfortunately hard to enjoy, due to frustrating gameplay and hard to decipher orienteering mechanics. It will appeal to the odd soul, who will fall in love with its disturbing and maze-like mountaintop setting, but most will come away annoyed.
It's a shame because Kholat has one of the best horror game set-ups we've seen for quite some time. Not only that, the team at IMGN.PRO has clearly put effort into sculpting an spooky collection of vistas each dripping in atmosphere. Sadly, wedged between these tense moments is way too much filler. The mind-numbing map reading and navigation would have been easy to overlook if that only made up a small portion of the game. Instead, it forms this drab and unappealing bedrock that threatens to drag Kholat down whenever there isn't something scripted happening on-screen.
Simply put, Kholat fails to properly balance its moody aesthetics while keeping the player actively invested. It is yet another case of an experience that is beautiful to witness, but boring to actually engage in.