Bright Memory Infinite Review: Flash Over Substance

Bright Memory Infinite's tight gunplay is simply spread too thin to make up for an otherwise uninspired experience.

Bright Memory Infinite is an astounding technical feat from a single Chinese developer known as FYQD Personal Studio. There's no denying how gorgeous Infinite consistently looks and that it's longer than the previous Bright Memory, later dubbed Episode 1. But underneath all the flash and pizazz is a generic and uninspired shooter that struggles to stand up on its own. 

The "original" Bright Memory launched in 2019 as an Early Access title and was an incredibly basic experience that spanned roughly 45 minutes, feeling more like a tech demo than a full title. And that didn't change much when it hit 1.0 in 2020, finding its way to Xbox Series X|S.

Presumably, that release didn't do much to take Bright Memory to new heights because FYQD was focused on Infinite, a redesigned and revamped version of Bright Memory meant to feel more like a full release. But sadly, Infinite still feels like a demo or Early Access experience. 

Bright Memory Infinite Review: Flash Over Substance

Spanning roughly two hours from start to finish, Infinite starts with the protagonist, Shelia, waking up in her apartment as the news blares about a mysterious and unprecedented weather event. Or something like that ...

I could try to explain the story of Bright Memory Infinite. In fact, I'd love to. But I honestly, truly have no idea what is going on here, or what anyone's motivations really are. The story and its character arcs are difficult to follow at best and utterly nonsensical at worst. 

But this type of game isn't exactly known for its story. It's known for its gunplay.

Bright Memory Infinite plays at a blistering pace, and in some ways, it feels more like a character-driven action game than a first-person shooter. On top of the typical armory of guns at your disposal, you also have access to a devastating close-range sword attack, the ability to block incoming bullets, and a tractor beam that can pull in enemies for close-up kills.

Things control well for the most part, but it's quickly evident that the sword attack is your best friend and, bizarrely, guns feel less and less effective as you progress. This is especially true when you start digging into the skill system, which near exclusively upgrade your sword strikes, leaving guns by the wayside except for enhancing the effectiveness of special ammo.

While shooting does feel smooth, there's simply not enough variation to make things interesting, even in an experience that only lasts a few hours. The bulk of Bright Memory Infinite is relegated to corridor shooting, but there are two different sections that try to mix things up: a stealth section and a driving section.

The mechanics in both sections, though, don't work very well and feel tacked on for the sake of diversification alone. The same can be said for the handful of uncompelling bullet-sponge boss battles and the small pool of generic enemies that exist solely as cannon fodder.

Bright memory Infinite Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Absolutely gorgeous, especially in terms of environment design
  • Core combat and shooting feel good
  • Decent skill upgrade system

Cons

  • Serious lack of variety, even in just a roughly two-hour runtime
  • Too many bugs
  • Utterly nonsensical story

Bright Memory Infinite feels like a budget title across the board. From the small number of enemies and bland boss fights to the same few music tracks that play across everything. Though Bright Memory Infinite was made by one developer, these issues are difficult to overlook. Outside of the core shooting and a few collectibles, there's nothing much to do. 

Despite being a more "complete" version, Bright Memory Infinite still has quite a few bugs and problems too. Text pops up in Chinese, despite my language being set to English. Enemy AI snags and glitches from time to time, getting stuck on walls or objects in the environment. 

The unlockable costumes in Bright Memory Infinite, which you can get through completing various difficulties or via DLC, do nothing but sexualize the main character with skimpy outfits, something especially disappointing to see. 

If you're looking for a fairly mindless shooter to fill a few hours, you can certainly do worse than Bright Memory Infinite. But this is a shooter that leaves so much on the cutting room floor and feels stuck in an infinite loop of mediocrity.

[Note: FYQD-Studio provided the copy of Bright Memory Infinite used for this review.]

Our Rating
5
Bright Memory Infinite's tight gunplay is simply spread too thin to make up for an otherwise uninspired experience.
Reviewed On: PC

Contributor

Published Nov. 11th 2021

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