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Gris Liveblog

Below is my experience playing the game Gris

Going into the game, I already had a rough idea that the game depicted the five stages of grief. I’m not sure whether that mindset was for good, but it helped me make sense of it sooner than I would’ve unknowingly. 

The opening scene makes it quite evident that the girl has lost her voice and her world is breaking apart. Her life’s turned upside down. Minutes into the game, after the premise was set, I had the control. I was playing the game on my computer. Not being a video game person, I had no clue at first about how to make that girl stand up and walk. The arrow keys, apparently, weren’t working. It took toggling between W, A, S, D and the Spacebar key to control that girl. The audio and the visuals of the game were commendable. I could feel myself running away, treading deeper into myself. From grey to crimson to brown to a daylight tone, the different hues brought a different vibe and meaning. It took me two hours to reach that part, probably because of my inexperience, but I am definitely going to resume later. Throughout the game, the girl gets more courage with time signified by the power gained from the shining constellation-like dots and the box that shields her from the storm. 

There were parts where you had to make her climb onto a bug to move forward. To me, that portrayed how a person requires support and upliftment from humans to revive from grief. The most thrilling part in the game was falling underground to reach a monochrome landscape where your shadow seemed to follow you. That reflection made it seem like a  re-established connection with the inner self. It meant facing your fears by going to that deep level just to rise higher than before. The next scene opens with the girl emerging on the top of a stick structure.

Coming to the genre, Gris is said to be a 2D platform game. I am new to the platformer concept, but by its Wikipedia definition, I think that the game defies the action aspect of a platformer. There is no existence of a villain or fighting or shooting. The game is more like a journey of the sole protagonist through various stages of grief. The game developers chose a unique approach by quantifying grief. I think they chose to make a platformer because it’s a game which is characterised by the levels involved just like the stages in what they intended to depict ( Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief ). They are making attempts to persuade us to never give up. There’ll be times you fall off a building or get pushed backwards from a storm (metaphorically drowning more in grief), but it’s about having the will that guides the way.


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