Tuesday, June 13

Kholat Review

Now that Kholat arrives on Xbox one, I have been surprised to think about the few games inspired by the real stories that come to our console. This independent title is based on the so-called Diatlov Pass Incident, a mysterious event that took place in early February 1959 in the Mount Urals, where nine hikers lost their lives in strange circumstances on the "Mountain of Death" for reasons that still have not been able, to be explained. This event is actually known by fans of the paranormal, who link it with possible alien encounters or with the elusive yeti.


The game can be completed in between 5 and 6 hours on average, but it's not uncommon to lose half an hour of progress (if not more) by a random fall or, of course, being a victim of one of the dangers of adventure. I understand that it's part of the survival, but sometimes it has made us somewhat annoying


Kholat is a first person adventure and survival game with a remarkable component of terror, but quite punctual. In it, i found myself submerged in the mentioned Mountain of the Death, several years after the Incident of the Diatlov Pass took place, with the objective to try to find out what really happened there. I want to make it clear that, although the basis on which it works is real, the story that is told is an invention of the developers.

This title presents an open mountainous environment in which, you can only orient with a compass and a map that is updated to find key points. As i say, the goal is to discover the story, so the system of progression relies on notes spread across the stage, usually linked with some kind of evidence that illustrates the truth behind the mystery. At first glance, you can see some highlights in the environment that are clear candidates to hide a clue, although if you explore in depth, it's not hard find rewards in others not, so obvious.

After a small introduction that serves to present the theme and transport to the place of the facts, i begin to survive. My recommendation is that you get used as soon as possible to work with the map and the compass from the beginning, since in the end they will become essential to not waste time circling. Something that, Kholat does very well is to create that feeling of being lost, being able to lose the route quickly almost without realizing it.

Another thing that Kholat does rightly, is to create the sensation of paranormal, generating tension both with different events happening around the map and with sounds that you never know where they come from. There are also much more intense scares, ranging from slamming behind your backs to others that obviously i prefer not to reveal so, as not to spoil the surprise. In Kholat there is a lot of emphasis on discovering, and i think that counting more would do a disservice to your prospective future users.

I also want to make clear, that Kholat it's a game mainly focused on exploring, where terror plays a secondary role. In addition, being an open scenario, it´s difficult to keep up the tension constantly, and many times i just spend some time lost, looking at the compass and the map without anything particularly terrifying happening. This also plays against it at the time of development, since it can not measure it's pace with accuracy, and can offer stretches that rub the tedious, thus breaking it's environment.

Graphics & Design

Kholat relies on the Unreal Engine 4 engine to offer a very competent visual section, with some prints that even impress. Everything is recreated with great success, and I also find locations that are rumored to have been present on Death Mountain, as secret military facilities of the government in which they would have been tested. In addition, it works well, with a correct and fairly fault-free optimization.

In sound, Kholat stands out even more. As I told you, one of their voices is by Sean Bean, the famous English actor known for his roles as Boromir in The Lord of the Rings and Ned Stark in Game of Thrones. She also has the voice of Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, a dubbing actress and singer known for being responsible for many of the songs on the soundtracks of the Silent Hill saga. The narrative is not particularly bright, but it certainly is more than the height.

I also really liked the use of sound effects and music. Those are of vital importance for the development of the game, even coming, at times, to be my eyes on the adventure, so I would recommend you enjoy it with volume and, if is possible, with headphones or a good sound equipment. The music also knows to accompany with correct, appearing always in the opportune moment.


The truth is that, Kholat seems attractive to me, and not only because of the setting he has chosen, but also because it seems to me a correct and solid game, which without being particularly bright, manages to amuse and entertain, besides giving me some fright. It will not go down in history, but if you want a simple title of exploration, with a touch of survival and another touch of terror, Kholat is shaping up as a good choice.


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