In 1959, a group of nine college students went missing in the Dyatlov Pass, named after their group leader, Igor Dyatlov. There was no explanation, but four months later their bodies were found. They showed no clear sign of a struggle, yet a few of them had fractured skulls and broken ribs. It was discovered that they had cut their way out of their tents in the middle of a blizzard and headed out into the snow, some of them barefoot. It just didn’t make sense. In Kholat, the first-person psychological horror from IMGN.PRO, you head up into the mountains in search of answers.
These answers will be found during the non-linear exploration of Kholat, which take place years after the Dyatlov Pass Incident, and focuses on the story and atmosphere, rather than all-out horror. This is emphasised by the fact that actor Sean Bean narrates throughout the game, lending a voice of fame, authority and being British.
From what I’ve seen and heard of the game, Kholat’s horror aspect comes more from its tense narrative and the occasional spiritual vision. Ghostly entities appear around the mountain, and the forest bursts into flames as you walk through it, only to revert back to its less-on-fire self. Each moment brings you one step closer to discovering what happened on that fateful night up in Dyatlov Pass, although you may not like the answers you find.
More information on IMGN.PRO’s game can be found on the Kholat website, and if you're feeling brace, the game can be purchased for £14.99 on Steam. While I haven’t played it yet, I’m interested, and have learnt enough to know that it’s always safer to stay in and watch Netflix instead of hiking up a mountain. Who knows what else might be up there…