One of the most beautiful games that I have played in the recent past is undoubtedly Gris. A simple platform-adventure indie game, yet it portrays great emotional depth. Gris is a game about grief and the player has to take control of a young girl in her journey to accept her pain and overcome the five stages of grief each of which smartly represents a separate level. Previously, I discussed why Gris’s Nintendo Switch port is so good. This time, it’s all going to be about Gris art and aesthetics.
In our series of Gameotography articles, we showcase and discuss the beauty of video games through our captured screenshots. This is the first article of the series.
The following article contains no major spoilers for the game.
Gris has a very unique art style. From watercolors to geometric shapes to minimalistic design, it features very illustrative and calming art and character design.
The journey starts rather dark and gloomy as depicted in the image above. You can see right from the choice of color Red and the emotional expressions of the statue that the main character is in deep pain.
However, as we progress, more colors start to fill the world around us. After red, we get a touch of green and start to see some nature.
One thing that is very notable about Gris’s design is its usage of basic geometrical shapes like cubes, rectangles, and circles. Through just these shapes, the game designers have been able to create stunning backgrounds and levels.
Gris features very few living characters. However, one of the most prominent ones is the shape-shifting creature that keeps tailing the young girl stage after stage. In the image above, it appears as a bird and tries to blow the character away which makes platforming relatively uneasy.
Another thing that I want to highlight is that the size of the character doesn’t stay the same all the time. Sometimes, we get a very close look at Gris while some other times we are just a tiny being hoping around a gorgeous-looking massive environment. This adds different layers to the side-scrolling view.
Not to mention, the game gets strikingly beautiful after the color Blue and Yellow gets dominant.
This is one of my favorite stages of Gris. The level design and color scheme are remarkable here as at this point, we get to see almost all of the colors and shapes in the game combined in a very creative way.
Just when I thought, that it can’t be more captivating than this. Gris features a cosmos-like scene that grips your attention immediately and makes you take a break from all the puzzle-solving.
Even at the very end, where once again, most colors fade away, Gris stays still equally alluring. At the final stage of grief, we get very close to accepting the pain of losing our loved one and confront our deepest insecurities. The atmosphere around does a perfect job in reflecting those emotions.
For a moment, it takes away all colors but when the player is able to overcome the final stage of grief and complete the emotional journey of the young girl, the colors come back rushing in all of its glory.
When I finished Gris, I was left very touched. Unlike many games these days that rely heavily on action and violence, Gris takes a completely different turn. It allows the players to feel through its art, beauty, and deeply emotional storytelling.
Following is the complete map of the Gris that you unlock after completing the game. Fascinating, right?
That’s all on Gris Gameotogrpahy. I would like to know your thoughts about the game in the comments below. For more content on indie games, keep following Retrology.