If you’re here because you’re considering to buy GRIS1, then I highly recommend that you stop reading here and go for it right away. It’s one of those games where you want to go in blind and - if possible - play in one sitting. You might not like it of course, and I guess you could ask for a refund, but your money goes to a small indie developer trying to do their own thing and not to one of the giant publishers out there.
With that out of the way, here’s what I think about GRIS. As usual, there be spoilers below.
In short it’s a figure-it-out-while-jumping-about game with an absolutely lovely art style and excellent score/audio. The platforming is fairly simple but interesting enough, even though I find it a bit too forgiving at times. I dare say that if you have played just a few games you wont be stuck anywhere for long. Gamers looking for another Cuphead2, nutorious for it’s difficult gameplay, will be dissapointed. The main focus is to explore and experience the world rather than timing those pixel-perfect jumps just right (or figuring out stuff like the ridiculous old school Lucars Arts puzzles).
I found GRIS engaging from beginning to end. Not only thanks to the precise control you have over the protagonist, which never felt unfair to me, but also thanks to the abilities you unlock at a steady pace throughout the entire game. Some of the introduced mechanics, like the good old doublejump-glide-drop, are just a spin on the well known classics found in plenty of other games. Fortunately there are several more moves in there which are a bit more unique, since they require a more non-traditional interaction with the environment.
What really drove me forward was finding out more about the main character as well as discovering what the next area looks like. Because the graphics is were GRIS really shines.
Those watercolor animations are simply put stunning, I’ve never seen anything like it in a game before. Combined with the music it really conveys the protagonists state of mind as she traverses through the world. It’s all fairly open to interpretation so you’re experience will most likely differ from others depending on how you relate to the game itself. Hmmm, well that goes for most things in life I guess. GRIS is - for me - a story about a woman recovering from a depression, and perhaps other mental health problems. Her world is all gray, there are no colours at all. But one by one she discovered them again when confronting her issues as represented in the game.
Nomada Studio1 really have created something here which without a doubt falls under the category one of a kind. This is their first game and I don’t know if they have any plans nor the means of doing another. But I hope they do, since I’m very curious to what they might come up with next.
Now, before you leave, please have a listen to Perseverance from the official soundtrack. Ridiculous as it might sound I honestly get goosebumps when I listen to it, so please skip any crappy on-board speakers for this one! In my opionion you’re really missing out if you don’t use head phones or speakers with some actual range.