Bright Memory: Infinite Review
I first clapped my eyes on Bright Memory: Infinite back in 2019, with its outstanding visuals that I couldn’t believe were possible, due to the news that the game was essentially being developed by one person. Fast forward to the present day and colour me surprised, the game is in my hands and I’ve been proven wrong; those visuals were indeed possible.
This is not the first time we’ve seen Bright Memory though. Those with a keen eye will have seen that there has been somewhat of a technical showcase of the game previously, just going by the name of Bright Memory. Additionally, the developer also pushed out a Ray Tracing benchmark back in 2020, allowing us to sample all that NVIDIA techno-wizardry and go “ooh, ahh, that’s nice!”.
So what does Bright Memory: Infinite bring to the table? Well hopefully I can answer your question with my ramblings. You play as Shelia, a member of the SRO; I had no clue what kind of organisation they are, so I called them the Sausage Roll Organisation. Upon actually using my eyes and reading the story snippet on Steam, they’re actually the Supernatural Science Research Organisation. This unit appears to be incredibly well trained and equally well armed, as Shelia is most definitely a force to be reckoned with.
We kick off the proceedings on a rainy day, chilling in your apartment. Despite the gloomy weather, firework displays are still going ahead for the New Year’s festivities. As you lay on your bed, Director Chen of the SRO contacts you by phone, giving you orders to investigate weather anomalies which have garnered the attention of General Lin and his SAI military forces. Who are the SAI? Again, I had no idea, so I called them the Salami Augmentation Institute in my head.
From here you gear up, yeet yourself in some aircraft and promptly crash after a couple of quick time event button prompts which forces you to eject from the aircraft. You soon see the cause of the strange weather anomalies once you reach land and dispatch a couple of troops. For some reason, a black hole is forming in the sky, beginning to cause all sorts of chaos.
This early into the game, I had already failed the crash landing sequence as I was just in awe at the visuals and simply missed the button prompts. I couldn’t believe that these were the work of one single developer. This is hands down one of the most visually impressive titles I’ve played in recent years, even more so after enabling NVIDIA’s Ray Tracing goodness. To the developer, FYQD-Studio, I tip my hat to you, bloody well done! You’ve left me as moist as a Great British Bake Off sponge cake with what you have achieved here.
Moving to gameplay, Bright Memory: Infinite is touted as a “fusion of FPS and action genres”. This translates into some lightning-fast gameplay as you dash and deploy the five D’s of Dodgeball, closing down on your opponent before delivering a killing blow with your sword or exo-enhanced fist. If you feel like popping melons from a distance, then the game has you covered too as the gunplay in this is also feeling pretty solid.
You don’t get many toys to play with, but what you do get can be upgraded to become even more powerful. From enhancing the energy waves you throw out from your sword, increasing the damage of your ground slam with your exo fist, or increasing the range and damage of the seeker rounds from your assault rifle, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Each of the four firearms that are available to you have an alternate fire mode, providing you’ve picked up some ammunition for the job. Your assault rifle can — as I mentioned — switch to firing seeker rounds, the shotgun switches to incendiary bombs, your pistol shoots incendiary grenades, and finally your sniper rifle can fire out sticky explosives onto your foes.
The way you upgrade your abilities and unlock new skills is by finding jade statues throughout the levels. They’re usually scattered around and hidden, though you do have the occasional few in plain sight, but for the most part you’ll be checking every nook and cranny for those elusive upgrade tokens.
This should put you in good stead for the action packed encounters that you’re going to be facing as you battle through Bright Memory: Infinite. This game will have you battle through all sorts of craziness including some intense fights on the wings of aeroplanes. Just be glad you’ve got a grappling hook tucked away in that exo arm of yours, as you’re going to need it; I certainly did.
Now I will say this, if you are going to play this on PC like I have; please for the love of Bob Carolgees and all that is holy, CHANGE YOUR KEYBINDS! I cannot stress this enough as your default button to block attacks with your sword is the tab key. Your default control for dashing around is shift + a directional movement. So if you’re dashing and trying to block at the same time, it brings up the bloody Steam overlay due to the shift + tab input! I died so many times because I’ve triggered this overlay, making me stand still while a sniper eliminates my eyelids.
I did also encounter a couple of small issues during my time with the game, none of which are playthrough breaking or detrimental to the overall experience though. First off I had an odd issue with the upgrade screen where a couple of the descriptions weren’t showing their English text and remained in Chinese. Next, the reticule of my sniper rifle scope remained on screen as I transitioned between phases in a boss fight, so that was fun having that on screen for a short while. Once the boss promptly smashed my face in and the fight restarted, that reticule had disappeared.
I’ve no doubt that these problems are already known to the developer and likely fixed at the time of writing this review. This is an early build I’m working with, so I can forgive a couple of minor niggles that I encountered.
The one main gripe I have with Bright Memory: Infinite is that it’s short. My run was completed in a shade over two hours with 19 deaths. Coming off the back of an epic boss fight which I felt like was just the beginning of opening up the game to deliver more story to explain this black hole and why the SAI were so interested in the same phenomenon, my bubble burst. That being said, the way this game seems to be set out, I feel it could easily be adopted by speedrunners and those who constantly strive to better their run times in the games they play.
With your upgrades and abilities carrying over into running the game again via “scene select”, it gives you the opportunity to hunt more statues if you still need to further upgrade your arsenal, or increase the difficulty should you feel like an additional challenge in your next run. Either way, you’re in for a treat, albeit one with a bittersweet afternote, if you do pick up Bright Memory: Infinite.
Bright Memory: Infinite (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Pushing out sheer pornography with its visuals while also testing you with fast paced combat, Bright Memory: Infinite teases you like a temptress. It brings you oh so close, then leaves you wanting more.