I guess it’s been too long since I’ve been to college.
Arif Pribadi (Lead/Technical Director) and Audrey Wong (Lead Modeler) have created something so visually appealing that I’m certain finding a job after college will be a walk in the park for them. When I stumbled upon the beauty that is Warrior’s Pilgrimage on Twitter, I knew I had to play it for myself. I asked to review their game and found it a little humorous that Arif insisted that it wasn’t a game and instead humbly referred to it as an art project.
I mean, really.
The “walking simulator” and “visual novel” genres are constantly redefining what it means to be a game, and while I get that this is an extremely basic product, calling it an art project just doesn’t seem to do it enough justice.
Warrior’s Pilgrimage, instead, should be termed a “massive undertaking” or “thing made by insanely talented people” or “I feel bad for not accomplishing anything this gorgeous in my life”. I don’t know. I’m practically speechless when it comes to something this breathtaking that I have no idea what to call it. But they’re insistent on not calling it a game, so I’ll do my best to refer to it as anything but that.
Warrior’s Pilgrimage starts off high in the mountains. You play a warrior with sheathed weapons and a look of calm bamf-ness. You’re not told much, or anything, but the objective is clear - there’s a path, so follow it and enjoy the scenery.
And enjoy the scenery I did!
I couldn’t help but stop and take it all in as I slowly made my way from the bountiful mountain to the vaguely Tibetan town to the dark and mysterious cave. The plant life was lush and vibrant, the skies were clear and blue, and every minute detail was so perfectly rendered that I couldn’t help but think that this was perhaps some early footage from Uncharted 2 or something. It was just... TOO BEAUTIFUL.
I think what struck me most was the main character himself. The warrior, unnamed, had realistic looking hair and beautifully designed weapons. So beautiful, in fact, that I told myself I’d stop and take screenshots whenever I found something impressive, and I ended up just taking screenshots every few seconds. To say I was impressed is an understatement.
Warrior’s Pilgrimage has no enemies, no voice over, and no music (kinda), but that’s honestly okay. It’s essentially just a walk from one end of the map to the other with the goal of picking up a weapon of some sort from the aforementioned cave. Even though it was so extremely basic in that regard, the incredible visuals, which I really cannot stress enough, were so insanely gorgeous that I think it raises the standards for all indie game devs.
Did I mention this was made by two people?
So how did they do it?
Arif goes into a great level of detail in regards to the development process in his blog. Truth be told, he’s already an experienced game dev going back to school to learn more, so he was perhaps a bit above the curve when it comes to learning (as we can plainly see). He understands that he knows more than your average Computer Science student, so he devotes time and energy to his blog to further educate those just getting into the game.
Arif further explained that the inspiration behind Warrior’s Pilgrimage was that he wanted to create a new genre - playable art - and I believe he fully succeeded in this task.
So what does this mean for the duo?
Well for one, I can’t imagine them getting turned down from any job interview they walk into. One look at this project should indicate to the big developers that Arif and Audrey know exactly what to do when it comes to making a quality game. I foresee some great things ahead for these guys, and they’re very deserving of any fortune that comes their way.
For a game... I mean, an art project that is so short, it’s somehow so full of substance. Perhaps not a compelling story, but certainly a remarkable journey. The stunning graphics belong in AAA games, most definitely, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing Arif and Audrey’s work in one very soon.
It was a real pleasure to be able to undergo Warrior’s Pilgrimage. It made me feel like I didn’t achieve much in college, but the momentary suspension of disbelief that allowed me to feel like I was in a very realistic-looking Tibetan village more than made up for it. Special thanks to Arif and Audrey for letting me experience their project. I can’t wait to see what they do next!