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.
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.
Kholat's poor attempts to creep and confound you fail to capitalize on its terrific premise.
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.
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.
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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.
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 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.
It's a disappointment to see something squander such potential.
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.
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.
Horror and walking sims are my two favorite genres in the medium, but Kholat serves as another unfortunate reminder that they don't belong together.
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.
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.
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.
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.
IMGN.PRO's indie survial horror game encourages profound contemplation, specifically about living with death.
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.
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.
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.