A few years ago, the indie community was swept up in a fervor for unique games that boast incredible visuals and gorgeous animation; fans clamored for narrative experiences that blanketed the senses in splendor. Acclaimed titles from Journey, Unfinished Swan, and Child of Light to Firewatch and Ori and the Blind Forest set gaming circles ablaze with demand for artistically transcendent forms of the medium. Today, the trend is still going strong with developer Nomada Studio’s newly announced title, GRIS.
Publisher Devolver Digital’s newest game is a narrative platformer where the core aspect of the story revolves around the protagonist Gris and her emotions. The visual and auditory themes – as well as certain game mechanics – are based upon this sentimental journey of self-exploration in which our heroine must resolve traumatic events of her past. The jaw-dropping, watercolor imagery paints a symbolic struggle as she wields the abilities that derive from her dress; the graphics, sound, and structure of the levels will all change as Gris embarks on her adventure. Her emotive milestones will result in new pathways and secrets for the players to explore, and abilities that she can obtain will reflect upon her growth as well (visually represented by changes seen with her dress).
If the narrative cohesion of the title seems too ambitious to pull off, at the very least the Spain-based studio has certainly achieved the level of spectacular visuals promised. According to Polygon’s interview with Nomada co-founder Roger Mendoza, the art style borrows elements from a variety of sources, from existing art-oriented games and abstract works to paintings and sculptures that the team gleamed from research. From the looks of the reveal trailer, the research paid off immensely. The fluid animation coupled with the fireworks display of swirling color palettes and dazzling patterns rivals the meticulous qualities of modern animated films. Gamers can only wait to find out whether the substance of the title can adequately match up to the lofty heights of its style.
GRIS will land on the Nintendo Switch and Windows PC this December.