Review: Bright Memory Infinite
Developer: Zeng "FYQD" Xiancheng
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4|5, Xbox series X|S, PC (Steam)
When a black hole appears above the Earth, it Is a good sign that it isn't going to be an easy day at the office. Fresh off a solid debut on Steam, Bright Memory Infinite makes the leap from PC to console, ushering in its unique experience to an entirely new audience of players. With an interesting history complimenting the gorgeous visuals and the intense gameplay, Bright Memory Infinite is a wild experience that is over too quickly. However, short can be a good thing.
Bright Memory Infinite is all about gameplay. The story takes a back seat but provides enough setup to be interesting. Shiela is a special SRO Operative minding her evening on a rainy day when a mysterious storm overwhelms the city. Called into action, Shiela possesses unique skills, with weapons and explosives, but most notably, her katana. With a bionic arm and Exo suit, she flies headfirst into danger and the unknown.
Bright Memory Infinite hits players right away with a tremendously impressive use of the Unreal 4 engine. Water falls on metal, and air wisps through. The characters, including Shiela, truly are shown off a cunning degree. Following the visuals, there is the gameplay, which many have likened to Devil May Cry and Shadow Warrior, and having played it a while, that is certainly the, even with a slight learning curve.
Shiela is a one-woman army. Shiela is skilled in a variety of firearms, from assault rifles to handguns and even sniper rifles. In Bright Memory Infinite, each weapon has a primary and secondary fire; most importantly, they are a blast to use. Each weapon has a futuristic element to itself, which makes for exciting combinations. The handgun, for example, fires an explosive "dragon's breath" from its small under barrel, incinerating anyone unlucky to come across it. The sniper rifle sports explosive sticky bombs on a timer that detonate shortly after attaching to an enemy. The weapons are sharp, frantic, and a blast to use, but that's only part of the combat mechanics.
Shiela's left arm is bionic, and she also sports an exosuit for added agility and power. A quick button press and flick of the joystick allows her to dodge incoming projectiles, but her arm and sword become unfathomably dangerous when used properly. Shiela's left arm allows for lethal punches and quaking ground slams, perfect for absolutely wrecking enemy soldiers. Shiela's katana is no ordinary sword and is infused with the same technology as her arm. Shiela's sword creates a multitude of incredible combat moments. Players can deflect a bullet or two, even right back at the enemy for a quick save. Players can also block with their swords. Some enemies will rely on physical attacks, and blocking at the right time creates a party, rendering them unable to fight for a short time and allowing players to dig into them with a sword or gun. A quick charge of the sword can send sword waves like projectiles and even create an energy sword fan that can make short work of lightly armored targets. Finally, every ability Is upgradable by finding small statues throughout the campaign. These upgrades are worth the find. Shiela's bionic punch can become a fiery Captain Falcon Punch of destruction when upgraded, sending a rage-filled ball of fire to a tone caught on the other end of that fist. When all these aspects of Conant combine, Bright Memory Infinite is a tremendous action game that is unique and exciting to the genre.
Enemy soldiers come in hordes and waves, but it is an enthralling thrill to make short work of them with such choice-driven combat. In one moment, combat is conventional, with bullets flying left and right. The next, Shiela is sending enemies airborne, slicing them in midair. Another moment, Shiela is pulling enemies in with her arm, like Darth Vader and the force, then crushing them with energy. It's a dynamic combat system that makes me feel like a bonafide badass in my own sci-fi action movie. It's solid and thrilling, and it's made even better as the game goes on. Stranger enemies occur as time and space collapse, providing interesting opportunities. There are also a multitude of boss fights to test players' mettle. These are incredibly fun and memorable, and while there are only a handful, they are nonetheless enjoyable.
With all these elements, Bright Memory Infinite is an incredible experience worthy of your time. However, time is something that isn't quite on the game's side. Bright Memory Infinite is a single-player first-person shooter. There is no co-op, multiplayer, horde mode, or other campaigns. This wouldn't necessarily be bad, but the campaign is over in roughly two to three hours, depending on difficulty and skill level. This isn't necessarily a bad thing for the price, but it might be a steep price for some. There is also trophy and achievement hunting for the completionists, so another 3 hours on a higher difficulty setting can potentially get more value out of the game. There is also an added benefit: a game that is short enough to be enjoyed by those who prefer short, quick, but jaw-dropping experiences in their games. Still, I can't help but wish we had at least six more hours of the game for a cool 10 or 15-hour experience. Bright Memory Infinite reminded me of the days when first-person shooters were all about the experience and making that experience as enjoyable as possible with long, solid campaigns. With Bright Memory Infinite, that vision is achieved, even with the short length.
Bright Memory Infinite started with a single developer, Zeng "FYQD" Xiancheng, making the game in his spare time, and that small step has taken his game onto a grander stage. While Bright Memory Infinite is short and may not be worth the price tag unless it's on sale, it can't be faulted for being an enjoyable and thrilling experience. It's a shooting experience that can arguably compete and maybe even better than the competition. It's almost enough to inspire me to learn his skills and get into game dev, especially with all the wild ideas I have floating around in my head.
Bright Memory Infinite is thrilling and action-packed, and like a movie, it has a run time with a beginning, middle, and end. While I would love for the game to be longer and hope that we somehow get an additional campaign down the line, I'm satisfied with what it is: a fast and furious shooter for those looking for that quick burst of action.
Bright Memory Infinite was reviewed on an Xbox Series X thanks to a review key generously supplied to Stack Up from Stride PR.