Bright Memory: Infinite

Bright Memory: Infinite

Coming from a one-man developer, this action FPS has impressive peaks and disappointing lows.

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In March 2020, FYQD-Studio released Bright Memory, a short game that served as a preview of what the one-man development team could produce. It introduced us to a female protagonist who uses firearms and swords to shoot and slice her way through all manners of foes in a futuristic world. Why is this important? Well that's because Bright Memory: Infinite, the next adventure by this one-man developer, FYQD, has officially released, and I've already chewed through what it is offering to see how it stacks up to its predecessor in the FPS action genre.


Building on the original, Bright Memory puts players in the shoes of Shelia, a skilled combatant who is tasked with heading into a dangerous environment to determine the cause of an anomaly (a black hole), which is seemingly the first stage of a global cataclysm. The story sees Shelia fighting a variety of enemies, from militaristic soldiers to ancient warriors, and quite frankly none of the story really makes any sense until right at the end (we won't get into this though as it will spoil the narrative).

With this in mind, what Bright Memory: Infinite really is, is a linear story that sees players shoot their way through a visually striking world. So essentially a short Call of Duty campaign.

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Granted, while the title can be basically boiled down to this brief summary, it is still quite fun to play, and is rather well made, especially since it is a project by a sole developer. I won't lie, I find the narrative convoluted and uninteresting, despite its flashy looks and explosive action. It's a lot alike watching a Michael Bay movie. The chaos and visuals are of such high-quality that it often masks the hollow and drab story that resides underneath.

Bright Memory: InfiniteBright Memory: Infinite

This is precisely why it's even more important that Bright Memory: Infinite has such a great FPS system. If you took snippets of this game, and skipped past its futuristic design, you could mistake the gunplay for something found in a Call of Duty or a Battlefield game, it's of that level of quality. And it even plays like this. The gunplay is snappy, responsive, fulfilling, and truly fast-paced, and whether you're rocking the assault rifle, shotgun, sniper, or sidearm, the weapons feel well-balanced and rewarding to wield.

Then there's melee combat, which has been designed in such a way that it is actually incredibly useful and doesn't at all feel punishing to find value with, as is the case with melee in a lot of shooters these days. You can whip out Shelia's sword to unleash a barrage of strikes to hack and slash your way through enemies, or to block and parry hits to make it even more challenging to take you down. Or rather you can use a few different Exo abilities that allow you to traverse the battlefield a little easier, and to help crush the many enemies that stand between you and your end goal.

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And to add to the illusion that this is a AAA FPS, the game has some absolutely striking visuals, and its performance is top-notch as well, with the gameplay feeling fluid from the moment you boot it up until the short campaign comes to its abrupt end.

Bright Memory: Infinite

But, an illusion is what this game is, because while it does have strengths, this is an indie game and you can clearly tell. The enemy AI is easy to best (regardless of the difficulty you play on), the variation in the foes and the abilities they use against you is pretty limited, the levels are incredibly linear (there's pretty much zero wandering off the beaten path) and worst of all, the upgrading is about as uninspired and basic as it gets.

The way that the upgrading works is via collecting Reliquaries, jade statues dotted around each level in obvious and easy to reach places. Each Reliquary amounts to one upgrade point, and you can earn bonus points by defeating the ancient warrior enemies that occasionally pop up during levels. Reliquary points can be used to upgrade each weapon, your sword, and your Exo abilities in a few different ways, but the process is unfulfilling and the reward you get out of it is only really noticed in the extra bit of damage your gear gets to throw out because of it.

This system is also a reflection of the customisation that Bright Memory: Infinite offers, which may as well not exist as part of the game. As you rack up kills with your weapons, you'll progress a challenge that will see you unlock skins to whack on them. Currently, there are only two skins you can get for each piece of gear in-game (with others being paid DLC), and by the time you've finished the story, you'll probably have one or two to flaunt without much reason to use them - unless you intend to replay on a harder difficulty that is.


It's also worth noting that while it plays well and looks great, Bright Memory: Infinite is not at all perfect. Enemies seem to track you through walls and will even shoot you through them a lot of the time, the levels are a little rough around the edges, and I've actually managed to accidentally pass through the boundaries of a level a couple of times, and the grappling mechanic has killed me more times than actual enemies due to it simply not giving me the prompt to use the skill.

All in all, Bright Memory: Infinite is quite a conflicting one for me, because in places it's very impressive: The visuals and gunplay is genuinely fantastic. But at the same time, it's seriously let down in a lot of other places, mainly the weird and difficult to follow narrative, the oppressively linear level design, and the uninspired upgrading and customisation. It's a game that is unbelievably night and day, and while it is remarkable that it came from a single-person developer, and it can be a lot of fun to kill an evening with, I find it difficult to see it as little else.

Bright Memory: Infinite
Bright Memory: InfiniteBright Memory: InfiniteBright Memory: Infinite
05 Gamereactor UK
5 / 10
Looks incredible. Feels great to play. Gunplay is top-notch.
Level design is boring. Upgrading system is uninspired. Storyline is difficult to follow and overly weird. Rough around the edges.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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Bright Memory: Infinite

REVIEW. Written by Ben Lyons

Coming from a one-man developer, this action FPS has impressive peaks and disappointing lows.

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