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Bright Memory: Infinite Indie Video Game Review

Bright Memory: Infinite has had an interesting journey. The original Bright Memory was released back in 2020 and was an interesting idea. The game was created by one developer who tried to make a game on par with AAA studios. The game generally received positive reviews, but was really short. For the sequel the developer expanded a little to try and create a more complete experience. While I never played the original Bright Memory, I was intrigued by the sequel as it looked like an interesting combination of typical FPS and action game mechanics. I also was intrigued to see how an indie studio could create a game that tried to compete with the type of game that AAA studios normally make. Bright Memory: Infinite creates a fun action packed adventure in a beautiful atmosphere which unfortunately ends too quickly.

Bright Memory: Infinite takes place in the year 2036. A black hole has opened up in the sky. The Supernatural Science Research Organization has sent agents to the region to investigate. You play as one of these agents named Shelia. The black hole has caught the attention of another organization which wants to use the paranormal phenomenon for their own purposes. Can you stop the portal before it destroys the world?

Bright Memory: Infinite feels like a combination of a FPS and an action game. Most of the game is built around defeating the enemy units that stand in your way. To deal with the enemies you have a number of weapons at your disposal. Throughout the game you will acquire four different guns with each having standard and special ammunition. Shooting in the game feels like your typical FPS. You have a limited amount of ammo for each gun, but there is ammo everywhere so it is unlikely that you will ever run out. The game rewards you for head shots as you can kill an enemy with less shots than if you shoot them in any other part of their body.

The game also gives you a sort of grapple hook which brings enemies towards you and can kill them when you release it. You also have access to a sword. The sword can be used like a normal sword or you can unlock upgrades which add a ranged component to your sword swings. You can also occasionally use a special ability to launch enemies into the air and temporarily stun them allowing you to deal a lot of damage. The sword can also deflect enemy attacks back at them. Most melee enemies have a shield/defense that you need to overcome which will drastically reduce the damage you deal until you get rid of it. This can be overcome with a successful parry or you could just deal enough damage to get rid of it.

While I like the FPS and action game genres, I can’t say that I typically play a lot of games from either genre. Mostly this is because there are other genres that I just prefer more. It is also somewhat due to neither genre really being known for their originality. I wouldn’t say that Bright Memory: Infinite drastically differs from either genre, but I still had quite a bit of fun playing it.

In a way Bright Memory: Infinite kind of feels like you are playing through an action movie. The game has a number of “set pieces” which can feel pretty cinematic. Other than the cinematic feel to the game, I think it works because the combination of shooting and swordplay works well. The shooting feels like pretty much every other shooter outside of some of the special bullet types which have their own unique twists. The enemies can sometimes feel like bullet sponges, but it is still fun defeating a much larger force. I think the melee/sword combat might be even more enjoyable though. I generally am not the biggest fan of sword combat, but it works in Bright Memory: Infinite. The game only has one sword attack which you can hold to launch enemies into the air. I think the main reason that the combat works is that you can pretty seamlessly switch between guns and your sword allowing you to create fun and satisfying combos.

Another reason why I think the gameplay works well is the controls for the most part seem to work well. I would say that the controls are more arcade-y than realistic as you can usually button mash and don’t need precise blocking/parrying to succeed. Blocking at the right times does give you a benefit though. I think the controls work well because they are accessible and you can easily switch between different methods of attack. While the combat controls generally work well, some of the other controls don’t work as well. The platforming is okay but nothing special. The game being pretty forgiving in this area is welcome because it otherwise could have been a bigger problem. The biggest problems with the controls have to deal with the short stealth and driving sections. I personally wasn’t a big fan of either section as the controls let them down.

Lets move onto the game’s difficulty. I will preface this by saying that I ended up playing the game on the medium-equivalent difficulty level. At this level I personally didn’t find the game to be all that difficult. The final boss was a little difficult, but otherwise I kind of breezed through the game. I would say that this is partially due to the plentiful amount of ammo where I was never at risk of running out of bullets. The enemy AI can also be kind of stupid at times where they will run right into the open where it is easy to pick them off. The two harder difficulties should present more of a challenge, but I don’t know if I would consider Bright Memory: Infinite to be a particularly difficult game.

Usually I don’t pay much attention to a game’s visuals as they usually don’t play a big role in my enjoyment of a game. I will say that I was genuinely impressed with the visuals of Bright Memory: Infinite. The game looks stunning at times where you might think the game was made by a large studio that could put a lot of time and money into the visuals. The environments and weather effects in particular look fantastic for an indie game where they almost look lifelike. I honestly don’t think you could have asked for much more from an indie game at least as far as the visuals are concerned.

In a lot of ways I was impressed by Bright Memory: Infinite as the developer was trying to make a AAA game with only a very small team. It actually succeeds in this task in some ways. The biggest area where the smaller development team becomes evident is that the game is quite short. I would guess that the game will take most players between 1.5-3 hours to complete. In a lot of ways the game feels like a small sampling of a much larger game. The game introduces a decent number of different mechanics and never uses them again. Much of the game feels like an extended tutorial. The game is fun while it lasts, but it just ends so quickly where I honestly thought the game was just starting when the end credits rolled.

A short length by itself might not be a fatal flaw, as a game that is short but fun is better than one that is long but boring. The problem is that the game doesn’t have a lot of replay value. The levels are really linear. At most you can go slightly off the main path to gather collectibles. Otherwise you have to follow the prescribed path through the game. Other than replaying the game to gather the extra upgrade points to unlock all of the upgrades and trying out the harder difficulties, there really is no reason to play the game over again outside of just playing it again for fun. Due to its cost and the lack of replayability, Bright Memory: Infinite doesn’t give you the greatest bang for your buck.

Other than the short length, Bright Memory: Infinite’s story is pretty lacking as well. I wouldn’t say that the story is confusing, there just isn’t much too it. Basically your organization sends you to explore a black hole which leads to a bunch of weird phenomenon to occur. As another organization is interested in the black hole, you need to fight against their henchmen to prevent them from gaining access to it. The story doesn’t really go anywhere and just ends pretty abruptly. The concept behind the story is interesting and I think it could have lead to an interesting story. The problem is just that there is no depth to it where it doesn’t really play a role in your enjoyment of the game. If you don’t really care about first person shooter stories, this won’t matter to you. Those looking for at least a decent story though will likely be a little disappointed.

The last issue I had with Bright Memory: Infinite is that it has a number of bugs. I generally didn’t have as many issues as some players, but I did encounter some. The game locked up once where I had to close the game and restart from the last checkpoint. The controls for picking up ammo and other things isn’t always great either as you need to be in a pretty specific area in order to pick them up. Other players seem to be having bigger problems including save data being corrupted and other more game breaking bugs. Hopefully these bugs can be fixed soon.

It is hard to not be impressed by elements of Bright Memory: Infinite. The developer had the ambition of creating a AAA style game despite being a small indie studio. At times the game truly feels more like a AAA game than an indie. The game combines FPS mechanics with action combat utilizing swords. The combat for the most part is quite satisfying as you can easily create combos between your guns and sword. At times the game feels cinematic like you are in an action movie. The game’s visuals are also quite stunning for an indie game. The main problem with the game comes from the fact that it was overambitious in some ways. The game is quite short at only 1.5-3 hours. Much of the gameplay is linear as well, the story is nothing special, and there are a number of bugs.

For these reasons I am kind of conflicted about recommendations for Bright Memory: Infinite. If you don’t really care for FPS or action sword combat, I don’t see it being for you. If you generally like these genres though I think you will enjoy Bright Memory: Infinite and should consider picking it up at some point. Due to the game’s length though I am not sure if it is worth purchasing right away or waiting for a sale. This ultimately comes down to your thoughts on game length.

Buy Bright Memory: Infinite online: Steam

We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank FYQD-Studio and PLAYISM for the review copy of Bright Memory: Infinite used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.

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