This is the most beautiful game I’ve ever played and I’m just through the first main “level”. Gris is nothing short of gorgeous, a blend of hand-drawn characters and lush watercolor effects. It’s a perfect thing to point to whenever someone tells you “games aren’t art”. A relaxed, but not always east puzzle-platformer, Gris is a tale about loss and perseverance, without being heavy-handed or feeling pretentious.
Gris is sort of an open-world platformer, and begins with you singing high above the clouds, beautifully… only to have your voice suddenly lost or taken from you. You fall to the ground, and resolutely begin your quest to regain your voice. What follows is a relaxed, but not easy, quest to open new lands, solve puzzles, and face dangers that are never frustrating.
In short, Gris is an exploration-based platformer, not one about jumping on enemies or how fast you can dodge fire. It’s not punishing, but you may get stuck at times on some of the puzzles. The way the world changes and responds to your actions also causes new levels or regions to open up. It’s all a cleverly disguised series of puzzles and collections, that feels like a game but never feels too grindy.
If there’s any real issue I have with Gris it’s that it takes a bit long to get going. There’s a lot of walking in the first few minutes without purpose or any real actions needed to be taken. It’s boring, and doesn’t make the best first impression. You begin to worry that it’s going to be a walking simulator, but that only lasts the first few minutes. Then the puzzles and exploration begins and all is right with the world.