- Release Date (NA): November 12, 2021
- Release Date (EU): November 12, 2021
- Publisher: FYQD-Studio, PLAYISM
- Developer: FYQD-Studio
- Genres: Action, FPS
- Also For: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
If you’re thinking of how the world will look like in 2036, you might be picturing a world with greater availability of futuristic consumer tech and hopefully no new COVID variant. In the world of Bright Memory: Infinite, this holds true, except that there’s the addition of a supernatural phenomenon; that of a black hole suddenly and inexplicably appearing in the sky. That is why the Supernatural Science Research Organization (SRO) deployed its agents to investigate the incident. Featuring among those agents is Sheila, our protagonist, who uncovers more of this cryptic occurrence that hides even more mysteries than meets the eye.
I learnt of Bright Memory: Infinite early in 2020 when it was still known as simply Bright Memory and had an Android demo version. I was quite impressed by what a single developer made, especially considering it was an Android game (a PC version was also available). It had stunning graphics and console-level gameplay. When I heard that he was remaking and expanding the title as Bright Memory: Infinite, I was looking forward to how it will turn out.
Once again, FYQD-Studio did not disappoint on the visuals. The latter are easily comparable to what AAA titles deliver, with highly detailed environments and intricate character designs which serve as visual delights from scene to scene. It’s simply a visual showcase of what Unreal Engine 4 is capable of. I played the game on the AYA NEO and while this is not the optimal system to play such a game on (and clearly doesn’t do justice to its aesthetics), I was still basking in eye candy. The ability to play such a visually-impressive game on a handheld only added to the experience.
On the gameplay front, Bright Memory: Infinite crams a lot in its 2 hour-ish of playtime (yes, it’s a short game). Sheila can wall-run, grapple trees and even get to ride an assault vehicle with, I dare say, better controls than Cyberpunk 2077. In some sequences, you swim and will even employ stealth mechanics to get past baddies.
To defend herself, Sheila can use a sword, a number of guns and her high-tech Exo Unit arm for sci-fi energy blasts. Not only are each of these upgradeable to unlock more powerful offensive maneuvers, but their animations are also sights to behold. Grapple your enemy, throw them up high, slash them with your blade and couple that with some bullet rounds if you wish; by mixing and matching attacks, you can execute some combos for some neat finishers.
Bright Memory: Infinite manages to cram all of these in a 2-hour playtime, because it is fast-paced and over-the-top even. And I'm talking about ejecting from a car and grappling to a plane in flight and immediately engaging in a gunfight on one of its wings level of over-the-topness. But it’s all in good fun and these were the highlights of the game for me.
Making its varied gameplay fit within its time frame is also in part due its linear approach. I have no issues with linear games as it helps keep the focus on the core gameplay. However, in Bright Memory: Infinite, the linearity is almost handholding-like; and a sandbox approach would work better with such a game and its range of playstyles it allows.
The game’s linearity also extends to its general execution, with clearly laid out access paths. For instance, you cannot cannot progress until having cleared an area of all enemies, so the playstyle is somewhat forced upon you. And even if a stealth mechanic has been implemented, stealth is only really an option in a segment where you are devoid of weapons. There is a blatant underuse of promising mechanics which could have been exploited with a more sandbox gameplay.
Adding to this linearity is the sequential approach to finding new weapons. This feels rather anticlimactic as you just get them seemingly at random, and face enemies appropriate for those weapons. For example, Sheila’s first encounter with snipers happens just when she gets a sniper rifle for herself. FYQD-Studio might have mixed things up by introducing snipers earlier and leaving the player to devise another approach to take them down such as slowly sneak up to their location. And finding the sniper rifle later on might feel more satisfying to take on similar enemies. That's how a sandbox approach would be appropriate in Bright Memory: Infinite.
Nevertheless, there is a slight degree of exploration present, allowing you to find more ammo and stats upgrades. But this is not very significant compared to the general linearity of the game.
Another aspect of Bright Memory: Infinite that feels bland is its characters. The main cast’s backgrounds aren’t elaborated in a satisfactory way and somehow feel like placeholders for a very elaborate tech demo. The game does pack some really cool and original character designs, especially for bosses like oriental styled golems and a six-armed ancient Emperor. And it unfortunately feels like there is more to those intriguing characters but their own stories couldn’t be elaborated upon.
Many of Bright Memory: Infinite’s issues can be boiled down to the fact that it was developed by only one person. With a bigger team, the game’s characters could have been more fleshed out and the play time extended to take more advantage of the numerous mechanics. But even then, Bright Memory: Infinite could be compared to AAA titles in many aspects from the visuals to the number of mechanics implemented.
Overall, I did enjoy the fast-paced sequences and this was supplemented by the fact that Bright Memory: Infinite is easily the best-looking game I’ve played all year. I hope that FYQD-Studio learns from this game’s release and improves on its issues because I am looking forward to what they come up with next.
Bright Memory: Infinite - PC Release Trailer
- Visual fest of a game
- Range of gameplay mechanics
- Fun fast-paced sequences
- Underdeveloped plot
- Underused mechanics
- Some of the linear aspects