Kholat, the exploration-based horror game about missing mountaineers, will be released worldwide on 9th June for PC and Mac via Steam.
Our Ian Higton took a look at Kholat back in March, where he likened it to a horror version of Dear Esther, narrated by none other than Ned Stark himself, Sean Bean.
As noted in his Kholat preview, the game will have more mechanics than Dear Esther as there are ghostly foes to avoid, but the vast bulk of the experience is focused on environmental storytelling with enemy encounters few and far between. As such, it sounds a bit like a less linear version of The Chinese Room's spiritual successor to Dear Esther, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, the actual sequel to Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Pigs was certainly a divisive game, but I dug it, and unlike The Chinese Room's sequel, Kholat is a fresh tale so there will hopefully be fewer off-kilter expectations going in.
Kholat does have some baggage, however, as it's based on a real event. Known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident, a group of student mountaineers were found dead under mysterious circumstances in the late 1950s. The bodies were found half-dressed hundreds of meters from one another around the campsite, and it appeared that their tents had been cut open from the inside. Some say they were running from an avalanche, others claim they saw glowing orange orbs in the area that night, and it's said that one of the hiker's pants contained radioactive traces. This has led to beliefs that there were some spooky science experiments happening in those woods.
"Kholat is a game that doesn't follow mainstream game design rules but creates its own, which are based on players intelligence and imagination," developer IMGN.PRO said of its experimental horror game.
Here's a peak at how Kholat looks in its latest release trailer: