Bright Memory: Infinite Review – Too fast, decently furious

Gare – Thursday, November 11, 2021 4:06 PM
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Bright Memory is a name that may ring a few bells in your mind – you might’ve even played it. But then how come it’s only just now coming out? Well, allow me to untangle the mystery real quick: you see, there was Bright Memory, a fast-paced and graphically impressive FPS developed by a single person. It released a couple of years back, and is now back with a bigger, better, and longer version called Bright Memory: Infinite that promises to be – you guessed it – bigger, better, and longer. Having never played the original, I’m afraid I won’t be able to make any comparisons, but this I can very much tell you: the game isn’t that big, it’s not particularly long, but it sure was fun to play while it lasted.

No time to tell tales

So now you’re probably expecting me to talk in length about the story or what the game is even about. Honestly, though? If you read the Steam description, you pretty much already know, and that’s not me trying to be lazy by making you, the reader, do all the work. It’s just that there’s literally barely any story in this game. Which is not a huge deal, considering it’s mostly just a fun FPS romp, but still, it is the truth. I’ll put it this way. Bright Memory: Infinite is roughly 2 hours long in total (2 hours and 13 minutes, judging by the assessment card the game gave me at the end), and you spend 90% of that time shooting bad guys in the face. Which means there’s not a whole lot of time devoted to storytelling or character moments because, and I repeat, you spend 90% of your time shooting bad guys in the face. Which is fine, but if you were expecting a narrative (any kind of a narrative), you will be sorely disappointed. I mean, the main villain is a dude whose name I don’t even remember because he shows up in the game… twice. Maybe three times? Once is when he’s first introduced, and then he suddenly shows up again when you defeat him during the finale. This game moves at breakneck speed and refuses to ever slow down to catch its breath.

Bullet hell

Onto gameplay. This is where Bright Memory: Infinite truly shines (excuse the pun), although it’s still not without some issues. Essentially, you’re a super soldier armed with high-tech weaponry, a sci-fi Jedi arm capable of blasting people away or pulling them close, and a katana for your “I wanna slice people to bits while deflecting bullets” needs. When using all these things in tandem, protagonist Shelia becomes a veritable angel of death whose unstoppable prowess is a sight to behold, especially in the hands of a semi-competent player. The various skills and functions do feel a little convoluted and overwhelming at first, though – you have to press E to use your sword, F to use your cyber arm (and also to pick up items, which totally doesn’t get awkward at times), you gotta deflect bullets with the Tab button, switch between ammo types with the B button… and so on. That’s a lot of different buttons to press in the heat of battle, is what I’m trying to say. So unless you’ve got the long, slender fingers of a virtuoso pianist, it’s probably going to take a while to get used to. But once you do, the action is actually really fun, and is peppered with a few extremely scripted but extremely spectacular moments, including a short bit where you ride a futuristic car that shoots missiles. Yeah.

Get that knife out of my face, soldier

That said, Bright Memory: Infinite’s biggest problem is how light it is on content, and I don’t just mean the 2-hour-long campaign. Enemy variety is lacking, to say the least: you’ll be fighting the same soldier dudes and ancient warrior dudes for the most part, and there’s only, like… two types of bosses, if memory serves? Both of which are recycled, by the way, so you have to fight them more than once. Ouch. There’s also a boring and fairly uninspired stealth segment, because apparently all games need to have stealth segments now. But seriously though, this game really didn’t need a stealth segment, especially one where the main character insists on holding her knife in a way that it blocks out half the screen and makes it difficult to actually see what’s going on in front of you. Thankfully, it’s over fairly quickly and you can go back to *checks notes* shooting bad guys in the face. Which is fun, lacking enemy variety aside.

Closing thoughts

Bright Memory: Infinite is a mindless popcorn flick in video game form that lets you switch off your brain and enjoy the show. It’s fast-paced and beautiful, but also woefully light on content: there’s a distinct lack of enemy/boss variety, the campaign is both linear and only a little over two hours long, and there’s pretty much no storyline to speak of. Long story short, the game runs out of ideas pretty fast. I lament its regrettably short length, but at the same time, if it was any longer, it might’ve become too much of a chore to play; this way, at least it ended before it could become overly repetitive. At the end of the day, I did have a decent amount of fun with the campaign, but be warned that if you’re looking for a meaty, fleshed-out FPS experience with tons of content and variety, this might not be the game for you.

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