Bright Memory: Infinite Review

Richard Walker

Playing Bright Memory: Infinite, it's hard to believe that this is the work of just one person. Built using Unreal Engine, it's a spectacular looking shooter that handles like a dream, blending fast-paced gunplay with sword-swishing dismemberment – not unlike Flying Wild Hog's unapologetically over-the-top Shadow Warrior series. Without that game's Wang, however, Bright Memory: Infinite has you assuming the role of crack female Supernatural Science Research Organization agent, Shelia, as she's tasked by her handler, General Chen, with investigating a series of strange, anomalous events occurring in the year 2036. Once again, it’s the future, and everything is going wrong.


Just fighting on the wing of a plane. Nothing to see here.

As a member of the SRO, Shelia is decked out with cutting-edge tech, enabling her to use thrusters to double jump and dodge enemy attacks. She can deflect projectiles with her katana, pull enemies towards her and temporarily suspend them in mid-air, blast them back, pound the ground, or simply let loose with her standard issue assault rifle, along with other weaponry she gradually acquires out in the field. All of the usual weapon archetypes are covered, meaning that by the end of the game, you'll be fully furnished with a shotgun, handgun, and sniper rifle, which unfortunately doesn't leave a lot of leeway for anything too outlandish.

Each weapon has a secondary fire (selected with a quick tap of up on the d-pad) with your shotgun able to unleash fiery shrapnel bombs, your handgun spitting out incendiary grenades, sniper rifle pumping forth sticky bombs, and your assault rifle spewing homing tracker shells towards foes. Ammo is liberally scattered about the place, so your guns will seldom run dry, and, on the off-chance that they do, your 'Light Blade' katana is always a viable alternative, with a well-timed guard pinging bullets or arrows back at enemies. Wait a second... arrows? Yes, arrows.

Bright Memory: Infinite's story involves the appearance of black holes in the sky, causing ancient demons to spill into our world. Meanwhile, a cadre of heavily armed operatives are also looking to take you down (they don't want you sniffing around their business, apparently), which means facing gun-toting villains alongside mythical demons wielding mediaeval weaponry like swords, halberds, shields, and bows. This ensures you're kept on your toes, adapting to different enemies on-the-fly, evading and deflecting bullets while keeping an eye on Shelia's health and power bar – the latter putting restrictions on spamming her various skills.


As you progress and collect 'Reliquaries' (also acquired by gathering 'Relics' from crates and vanquished baddies), you can upgrade Shelia's mechanical Exo Unit Arm, boosting the efficacy of her EMP and Tractor Beam skills, as well as granting access to further abilities, like the Shock Punch or the ground-pounding Quake Punch. As you gradually upgrade and unlock more of Shelia's skills, you'll be mixing things up like a pro, and in these moments, Bright Memory: Infinite plays like a dream, speeding along at a crisp 60fps, as bullets and sparks fly.

Traversal is enjoyable, too, double jumps combining with wallruns during the game's few platforming sections. There's even time dedicated to one of those levels where you've lost your weapons, forcing you to rely solely on stealth, using a meat cleaver to silently slit throats from behind stone walls and hay bales. And the whole thing zips along at a swift pace, never stopping a second for a breather during its brisk two hours of play time, with action-packed set pieces including a car chase, and levels punctuated by challenging boss battles.


A rare moment of relative calm.

Bright Memory: Infinite is an impressive technical feat, especially when taking into account that developer FYQD-Studio comprises only one person, Zeng Xiancheng, save for the game's composer and voice actors. Rain effects look great, and the scenery, inspired by real-world locations in China, like the Yongji Bridge in Chengyang, and the Xinjiang Qianhu Miao Village, are grand and immersive. If there's one quibble, it's that any attempts to push at the boundaries of the game's maps sees you falling afoul of invisible walls, while messing around shooting the scenery yields no feedback or interactivity. Don't expect splinters to go flying off wood, or the big bells to go 'bong' when you shoot them.

The narrative isn't particularly enthralling either, but it serves a purpose, in as much as providing an excuse to shoot loads of bad guys. And, in fairness, that's all it really needs to do. You'll be too busy being hypnotised by the speedy blasting and the swordplay to care about the storyline anyway, and, in delivering a tight two hours of blistering first-person shooter action, Bright Memory: Infinite does so in spades, encouraging replay with its unlockable difficulty levels and post-game scene select option. In a nutshell, this is the good stuff.

Bright Memory: Infinite

A slender and streamlined FPS made by just one person, Bright Memory: Infinite is quite the feat – an action game that flies by at a lick, bombarding you with slick set pieces and cracking gunplay. This is a first-person shooter distilled to its raw elemental components, and it's marvellous.

Form widget
80%
Audio
70%

Decent enough voice performances and similarly decent synth music to complement the action. Perfectly fine.

Visuals
85%

Really impressive stuff – 4K ray-traced visuals running at a consistently smooth 60fps (120fps on a compatible display), with some neat details and great effects.

Playability
85%

Seamless wielding of Shelia's guns, sword, and skills makes for an immensely fun and frantic FPS experience, the speed and slick traversal combining to great effect.

Delivery
75%

While two hours isn't all that long for a shooter campaign, it's something you'll want to play more than once. Unlockable 'Revenge' and 'Hell' difficulties encourage repeat visits.

Achievements
50%

Not the most imaginative list – bag a load of kills with each weapon, collect Reliquaries, complete the game on the higher difficulties, hit campaign milestones. That's about it.

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