Devolver Digital, famous for publishing visceral titles such as Hotline Miami, has announced a new, calmer sidescroller called Gris.
Developed by Spanish team Nomada Studio, Gris‘s reveal trailer is drenched in an ethereal and calm atmosphere. Aesthetically, the trailer is gorgeous, exploring a multitude of styles through contrasting and delicate colour palettes.
Gris—which translates to grey in English—is the title’s protagonist, a young girl “lost in her own world” following a painful experience in her life. Gris’s experiences are manifested in her dress, which grows and grants new abilities as the game goes on, similarly to the main character’s outfit in 2012’s Journey.
As the story matures, so does Gris, allowing her to “see new paths” in earlier levels. On the surface, Gris looks to match Metroidvania design principles with discussions regarding maturity and mental health. Similarly to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, the project embeds itself in an obscurely “faded reality” to discuss mental health.
According to the trailer’s description on YouTube, the game will not feature a fail state. Instead, Nomada Studios wishes to focus on platforming and optional skill-based challenges “free of danger, frustration or death.” Speaking to Polygon, Nomada Studio co-founder Roger Mendoza explained part of the objective behind Gris:
“We’re really seeing video games as a form of art. We don’t think there’s so [many] differences between movies and art. The same way that you see movies about everything, there should be games about everything.”