Are video games art? This is a debate that has been going on for years. Well, I challenge anyone to look at Gris for five minutes and try telling me that this game is not a work of art! Gris is a 2D downloadable adventure/platformer and one of the most interesting games I have played in 2018.
You can download Gris either from GOG.com or Steam. To start your adventure, simply click on the Download button located at the end of this review.
The story of Gris is about a woman who is dealing with loss and grief. I really cannot tell you any more than that because the story is all told through imagery, there is no voice overs, text or anything like that. So, as a result, you may interpret the story in a different way than I do. I think this is great and can make for some great discussion.
The Graphical Style
The real draw of Gris is, of course, the art style. This is made to look like a watercolor painting and each stage is truly breathtaking. It is one of the most gorgeous looking games that I have ever seen. It is made even better by the fact that as you move through the level you bring more and more color to it. There is a section near the start of the game where you are falling and as you do the color follows you and it is a great site.
Gameplay wise, Gris is a 2D platform game. Each stage starts off fairly linear, but they do open up. There is a little exploration here as you try to find something to open up the next area or a new ability, however, it is not a Metroidvania style game or anything like that. The platforming is solid enough and learning new abilities is fun.
One of the early abilities you get is being able to turn into a block. You can then use this to break through floors and also make it so you can walk through the wind.
The art style for as great as it is can sometimes make it hard to distinguish what you can jump on, over, through and so on. To be fair this is not a huge deal, but it does happen. Gris is also a fairly short game.
You will probably get through this in around four hours or so, making it the perfect game to beat in one sitting. The main issue with this is that there is no replayability here at all. You can replay the game again if you like, but you do not get to try earlier levels with your new abilities, they are all stripped away which makes playing it again kind of pointless.
The Bottom Line
Gris is a truly wonderful game and a game that I genuinely had a lot of fun playing through. It is a very emotional game, not just because it is dealing with loss and grief, but because of the haunting score as well.
The platforming in Gris is nice and solid as are using the different abilities that you will learn in the game. It is the kind of game that I highly recommend, but at the same time, I have to warn you it is the kind of game you play through once and never play through gain. However, it is also the kind of game that you will be talking about for years to come. If you liked Journey and Abzu, you need to give this a try.
- One of the most visually stunning games of the year
- Great music adds to the visuals
- Nice platforming
- Emotional and heavy story
- New abilities are fun
- Can sometimes be hard to know what you can jump on
- No replayability