I feel what Bright Memory Infinite offers is a reminder that any game designer can do what they want when they set their mind to it. We see massive AAA productions swarm the market and many of which come out clunky, broken, or vastly empty in terms of content. But the solo team behind Bright Memory Infinite has shown us that one person can really make some awesome, awe-inspiring content that will surely get others motivated to make their own game.
Does the lighting-fast action game offer more than just hope to any novice game designers? Does it compete with the giants of the industry and show you don’t need 600 people to animation a door opening? (Doors are hard to program in video games, no joke).
Read on and see. What is Bright Memory Infinite?
Bright Memory Infinite is the main game from FYQD Studio, which brought out the prologue “Bright Memory” last year as a sort of teaser. Giving us “lightning-fast” action with a mixture of sword and gunplay and beautiful spectacles with breath-taking action set pieces, Infinite is showing that with a very small team and resources, anyone can create the next Call of Duty on steroids.
Taking place in the year 2036, players will take on the role of Shelia, a sort of Black Ops operative who works for the Science Research Organization (SRO) when trouble is brewing with the world. Shelia is called upon when a bizarre phenomenon occurs with no explanation and could cause the end of times. A Blackhole has appeared in the skies and it’s up to Shelia and the SRO with their agents to investigate and stop this phenomenon from causing total devastation.
As Shelia embarks on his mission, she soon realises that all is not right and even time itself is being torn apart as strange warriors from another time appear, mystical beings appear, and the end of days checklist is being ticked off with rain, thunder, and Earth-shattering quakes becoming more frequent and dangerous. Story
Now for more story explanation …. Actually … there isn’t not much else to tell really.
The plot overall is very linear and basic, with good guys being good and bad guys being bad. There’s not really any character development, twists and turns, or love triangles to speak of. Now considering your stance as a gamer, this is either great or not so great. Personally, I didn’t mind so much as the game itself if filled with so much action and spectacle that weighting it down with long dialogue exchanges or pointless twists would have ruined the flow and enjoyment.
But I would have liked a little more depth in either the characters or lore. Reading up on documents about the event, why it was bringing elements from other time periods along to the current year, and who the hell certain mythical warriors were might have been good to read up on. When certain characters do pop up with no explanation, rhythm or reason just adds confusion and little investment.
It would have also been a little more joyful to see our leading lady Shelia have a little more personality as well. She does seem confident and powerful but acts nothing more than a badass pretty face throughout the venture.Gameplay
Bright Memory Infinite indeed makes up for the lack of story with an overload of action. Combing gunplay and swordplay, with lighting fast movement and over-the-top action that would make Michael Bay blush a little, is the meat of the gameplay. Shelia is tasked with venturing from point A to point B in pretty much every level, but must deal with an abundance of armed troopers, heavy troopers, mythical beasts, ancient warriors, and boars …..
What Bright Memory: Infinite does really well is combining FPS gunplay with its speedy sword antics, focusing the action within tight arenas where you can unleash massive combos, special maneuvers, and fire special rounds from your guns to make enemies into nothing more than ash. What you may get flashes of (if you played it) is 2013’s Shadow Warri-or, just a little more excessive and, a lot prettier looking. Combat is fast, swordplay is very responsive, and is layered to include counters, special moves, and combining this with the gun-play makes it feel like high octane death of death which is both messy and tactical. If that makes sense? (Which is all good fun of course).
You may equip different ammo types for your guns, from tracking bullets to explosive rounds, making lighter work of taking on the hordes of enemies. And Shelia can also learn new abilities making her even more dangerous, by picking up Jade Dragon statues (yeah, I don’t get it either, but it’s cool).
Bright Memory Infinite basically plays out like a game from the early 2010s, in all the best possible ways. A refined, high octane action game, focusing combat in tight spaces, featuring cool and creative set pieces (for the most part), big boss battles, and really smooth and satisfying sword/gunplay. What does Bright Memory Infinite do right?
What this first-person hack and slash does right is keep everything consistent and the fast-paced action coming, going, and expanding upon it with new weapons and abilities. Making the flow of events ever more interesting and explosive.
Visually and sound design-wise, the game is beautifully stunning, while the voice work is a little underwhelming, everything else is really on point. The world is unique to venture through, with storm-ridden towns, villages, and temples from another era of time being the basis of the journey. The outdoor areas look immensely detailed, with weather effects adding another layer of organic depth, even down to the wind blowing through the trees. Really capturing a sense of the end of days on this mystical island you are on. All these elements combined make Bright Memory Infinite one of the best-looking games on the market hands down.
While the action could be viewed as basic at times, with generic AI to fight off and a typical roster of guns to play with, Bright Memory does spice things up with an epic fight on the wing of an airplane mid-air, intense boss battles, some good set pieces, and decently de-signed arenas where you’ll be switching tactics and weapons quite often. Keeping things fresh and entertaining.
The gun and swordplay is really entertaining overall, with guns feeling impactful and useful for each encounter. You can expand your range of skills to land devastating attacks, making for a true power fantasy, while still having a good sense of challenge and intensity. You’ll be able to launch enemies into the air and finish them off as they float in a frozen state, or blast several shrapnel shells into a heavy enemy, before launching a dozen sword swipes from across the room. Shelia can also use her suit to push back enemies to give you some breathing space or land an immense punch forward that will cause insane damage. Plus, there’s a lasso ability which is great for getting up close and personal or just buying yourself some time but incapacitating the odd enemy here and there. A bit like that fun game everyone has sadly forgotten about now ….. Bulletstorm! Remember that?
What I’m getting at is to say while Bright Memory Infinite might not do anything new or original, it does execute some impressive and fun combat mechanics with end results that are engaging and extremely entertaining. What Bright Memory Infinite could do better?
While there is plenty of action and spectacle, this is not a very long game, totaling at most 3 hours if you take your time. Not so much a problem as the price reflects the length and what you get is some of the best high-octane action out this year. But I wished there was more unlockable content, such as modes, filters, and cheats to lengthen the overall experience and add more replayability. You get outfits, which is nice I guess. But some of these are locked behind a paid DLC wall, which is a shame.
There were some moments, which felt forced and just killed the pacing overall. Such as the stealth segment which felt really underdeveloped, pointless, and just tedious on repeat playthroughs. And a moment you must fight a hoard of boars in a field … this was completely offbeat and didn’t make use of any mechanics or set pieces. Maybe fighting a giant pig would have been cool but killing a couple of dozen charging boar was more funny than entertaining …. In a very sad way.
Lastly, I felt the game needed more compelling secrets, as the tokens to upgrade your weapons and skills are ridiculously easy to find …. They’re often pointed out in plain sight for you. Having some hidden behind breakable walls would have been more interesting than where they are placed in the game. Overall?
While it has some shortcomings here and there, I can’t deny that Bright Memory Infinite is something incredible. Having been worked on by mainly one person and seeing the level of confidence in executing fun and fluent combat, a good sense of pacing and great planning for epic set pieces is something to behold. While we get the likes of Call of Duty and Battle-field, from big studios and publishers, to see something tightly woven, entertaining, and highly polished by a very small team or induvial is something I will always admire and respect. I would say check out and support Bright Memory Infinite right now and play one of 2021’s most spectacular gems.
++ Immense and entertaining action
+ Good mix of gun and swordplay
+ Looks amazing
+ Some really good set-pieces
-- Some not so good set pieces and events
- Needed some more unlocks and bonus content
- Level design could have been tweaked a little more in places
A Steam review key was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review