It is unlikely that once someone took such a direction as video games seriously and thought that they would be able to reach great heights. Now virtual worlds are becoming more popular and more perfect, but few people see them as something more serious than ordinary entertainment. But there are also projects in this industry that can easily claim the laurels of not just a game, but a real work of art. And if such examples are interesting to you, then the unusual watercolor parable Gris from the developers from Nomada Studio is this representative, which carries great aesthetic value and, thanks to its visual component, can easily become the most beautiful game of recent years. But is there something hiding behind a good outer shell and does the game have other elements necessary for the project to be successful? Let’s try to figure it out.
But before moving on to the game itself, it is better to find out more about its creators. GRIS is being developed by Nomada Studio, a small Spanish studio based in Barcelona. The developers aim to create interesting and unusual projects with an emphasis on the visual component. But we are not talking about modern graphics, but about various artistic features that make the game bright, amazing and unforgettable. For the studio itself, the GRIS game will be the debut project and, as you might guess, the developers do not want to lose face and show with all their might what they are capable of.
Not much is known about the plot in the game, but some data is available. The official announcement states that the action of the game will unfold around the young girl Gris, who is in a state of strong emotional distress and, because of this, leaves for her own world. In this world, a girl travels and gets to know herself and her feelings better, and the key means that helps her in many ways is the girl’s own dress, which has a number of properties that help her to go through certain places. As you progress through, the heroine gains new skills and abilities that she will also need in detailed study and self-knowledge.
Some secret power takes away the voice of the young girl. A completely unhappy girl is increasingly immersed in her world, which is directly influenced by the girl’s own emotions. The more her suffering, the deeper she plunges into the depths of her consciousness.
The girl is faced with the task of getting back into the real world and getting out of her own confinement. At first, the girl is in despair, but knowing herself better, she finds more and more new ways that can eventually lead her to an exit and awakening.
The storytelling in the game is also worth noting. There is no voice-over or long description, which is common in such projects. These techniques in GRIS are successfully replaced by paints and musical accompaniment, which further immerses the ordinary player in the story of the young heroine.
The gameplay itself is based on the above-mentioned immersion in your consciousness and departure to the imaginary worlds of Gris. If we talk about the genre of the game, then we are faced with an ordinary two-dimensional platformer, but with a number of its own features and aspects. Quite simple management and a list of skills that need to be learned and mastered only through application in practice. And the level in the game itself is somewhat reminiscent of the Monument Valley project, they are also regularly modified and the player will have to guess the specific direction or changes in the environment himself. And only having a good understanding of the mechanics and accustomed to constant changes will it be possible to easily overcome certain locations.
The color tones in the game are of great importance. In addition to the ordinary external beauty (and from the point of view of the visual component, the game looks great), the color in the game is also important as the game mechanics. As already mentioned, the girl does not have a voice, and therefore her emotional experiences and changes in mood are reflected exclusively through the color palette. So the variety of colors in the game should not only be admired, but also carefully monitored.
The levels in the game are very interesting and varied. Each of them will have many riddles and secrets, and it will be very difficult to find them all. Some of the riddles can be solved by using an unusual Gris dress. For example, if there is a strong wind at the level, you can use a dress to turn a girl into stone, which will not make it possible to move her from her place. And in the case when there is a large abyss in front of you, the dress easily turns into an analogue of the sail and takes the girl to the other side of the level.
It should be noted that the game is very humane in relation to the main character. You cannot die here, for example, crash in the same abyss. You just go to this or that place and start the passage from the beginning. They won’t let you get lost in the locations either, the game slowly moves between levels through small scenes, somewhat resembling a moving picture.
The game owes its magnificent and original characters and levels to a young artist from Spain, Konrad Roset. Thanks to his work, one gets the impression that this is not a game, but a constantly changing picture, which looks just great. If we talk about the elaboration and immersion in the world of the game, then another very atmospheric platformer Ori and the Blind Forest, as well as the equally wonderful game Journey, can be cited as a comparison. These both projects can also easily drag you into their beautiful and vibrant world, without letting go for a very long time.
The soundtrack in the game deserves a separate mention. She perfectly copes with her role and perfectly immerses us in the world of the game and the story of the girl. Sound is very important in this project, as it conveys not only the atmosphere of the game, but also the girl’s feelings. And it’s good to see that this is okay in GRIS.
Like many other projects, GRIS is a kind of star that burns brightly but goes out quickly. This means completing the game, which will only take three hours. Good or bad is a moot point. Do not forget that we are dealing with a project of a small independent studio, where all the emphasis is placed on great design and storyline. Most likely, the developers would hardly have been able to stretch the game for tens of hours and create many wonderful levels, each of which would be wonderful. But the fact remains that the story of the girl Gris will not be very long, but interesting – for sure!
Projects like GRIS are needed by the gaming industry. They are unlikely to show millions in sales (although who knows) and will not become the games of the year topping all possible ratings and tops. But such projects show all the beauty of the virtual world and can, with their atmosphere and setting, pull any player into their arms, telling and showing him an interesting story that he will remember for a long time afterwards. Such games are more than just games and it is not without reason that GRIS was compared to a work of art in the beginning.
The game is not intended for ardent hardcore players, it is unlikely to have harsh or very difficult gameplay. The game focuses on emotionality, immersion in the world of the game and the story of the girl Gris. But what can I say, so as not to spoil the impression and not interfere with the immersion, we were even deprived of the opportunity to die in the game, and this says a lot.
However, in a good game, the setting and visuals with a good storyline are not enough. The game must be wanted to be played. Will the various levels and the three-hour walkthrough in the GRIS platformer be able to tighten the player and make the gameplay really interesting? I would like to believe, because if it works, then the game will definitely succeed.
To find out how everything is in reality, we introduce ourselves very soon. The game will be released in December this year on PC and Nintendo Switch. Well, now you can once again admire the trailers and screenshots, because they are worth it.