Archives by Day

Bright Memory: Infinite

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Publisher: Playism
Developer: FYQD-Studio
Release Date: Nov. 12, 2021


As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

PC Review - 'Bright Memory: Infinite'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Nov. 11, 2021 @ 7:00 a.m. PST

Bright Memory: Infinite is a lightning-fast fusion of the FPS and action genres, where you combine a wide variety of skills and abilities to unleash dazzling combo attacks.

It's interesting to think about how game development has advanced. What used to take a team of dozens can now be done by a handful of people. The earliest games are so small that they take up less space than the text of this review. As we advance, we can see that there is a ton of potential for small development studios to create titles that look as good as something from an AAA studio. Bright Memory: Infinite, primarily developed by the single-person development team FYQD Personal Studio, is a great example of how far one person can go. It's easily one of the best-looking indie titles out there in terms of raw visual prowess. Unfortunately, it's also an example of how looks aren't everything.

Bright Memory: Infinite has a plot, but I'd be hard-pressed to tell you what it is. The game has cut scenes and dialog, but they do a poor job of conveying what is going on. You play as an elite secret agent named Shelia who is sent to investigate a black hole that opened up in the sky. Along the way, you'll fight both generic evil soldiers and random ancient warriors. There's a villain, but I don't know who they are or what their motivation is. Even the game's ending feels entirely random.

The real shine of the game is in the gameplay. Bright Memory: Infinite is effectively a fast-paced shooter/slasher hybrid. Shelia has access to guns, a sword, and an "exo-arm" that allows her to grapple enemies up close or shoot them with an EMP that leaves them floating in the air. Your only limitation is that most actions that aren't shooting a gun use up some of your exo-meter, and if you use too much, you won't be able to perform any of those actions until it recharges. Thankfully, recharging takes mere moments, so you're free to kill as you like.

There isn't that much depth to combat. You can use basically whatever you want and expect to win. You'll probably need to rely heavily on the sword because of its damage output, but beyond that, you can do whatever you want. Snipe enemies from a distance, get in close, and combo them like you're in a Devil May Cry game. Use your exo-arm's various modes to punch enemies incredibly hard in the face. That's basically all there is to it, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's something satisfying about going super-anime-ninja-soldier on enemies in a way that few FPSes quite capture.

There are a few nice twists. You can counter and parry both melee and ranged attacks with your sword, allowing you to be more aggressive than you might otherwise be. You can close in and do damage with minimal risk, and even if you take damage, you need to block for a while without taking more damage to replenish all of your HP. The game rewards aggression, in a Doom-lite style.

The biggest core problem with Bright Memory: Infinite is that it's only fun when you can be a human buzzsaw through swarms of helpless foes. When it tries to do something else, it is average at best. There's a tedious insta-lose stealth sequence that feels incredibly out of place and drains most of the fun from the opening sequence. There's an inexplicable driving sequence that feels massively out of place and consists of driving forward. There's even some clumsy platforming that has no real consistency between where you need to jump and where you need to land.

Bright Memory: Infinite also has the problem of a lack of polish in many gameplay elements. For example, the English translation frequently drops back into Chinese with no rhyme or reason. At least one of the game's skills was entirely untranslated, and several others became untranslated after upgrading them. It's a confounding lack of QC considering you can burn through the game in two hours. The transitions between arenas are also very finicky. You can only jump and grab very specific places that don't look so different from other places. If you attempt to use a grappling hook while jumping, the game always registers it as falling to your death instead.

That mention of "two hours" brings us to my other point: This game is short. There are only a handful of enemy types, most of which are indistinguishable from one another because you're a human buzzsaw who tears through them. There are a couple of bosses that are reasonably fun but nothing special. It quickly becomes clear that you can see almost everything the game has to offer in a single playthrough. There are harder difficulty modes and the ability to unlock a variety of skins for your character (most of which is sexy fetish cosplay), but it depends on you enjoying the game enough to play it over and over.

Bright Memory: Infinite boils down to essentially a tech demo. The game looks absolutely phenomenal from such a small development team. Even without the extra bells and whistles, the title looks as good as anything from a big-budget studio. When you add in the excellent use of ray tracing, it looks honestly exceptional. Since the entire game takes place in a rainstorm, it allows for reflections off water and various lighting to shine. (Pun entirely intended.) It also runs shockingly smoothly with very little overhead. As a tech demo, it succeeds wonderfully well and shows off how much you can do with relatively little in terms of pure visuals.

Bright Memory: Infinite looks incredible for a game from a small development team, and the core sword-and-gun gameplay is fun enough. However, everything surrounding those two elements feel unpolished and poorly thought-out. The incoherent story, the non-combat gameplay mechanics, and general lack of quality control drag down the entire thing. If you're looking for a quick and breezy shooter to tide you over for an afternoon, Infinite might be fun for you. Otherwise, there's nothing here that you can't see in videos that show off its rain-soaked beauty.

Score: 6.5/10

More articles about Bright Memory: Infinite
blog comments powered by Disqus