With the ushering in of next-gen consoles, Bright Memory slides its way onto the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Developed by the one-man studio FYQD Studio and published by PLAYISM, this game originally released on PC for early access in January 2019 with a full release in March 2020. It is an indie action-adventure first-person shooter and hack and slash that provides just a taste of the actual game coming out in 2021. The name of the full game will be Bright Memory: Infinite.
Finishing Bright Memory takes about forty-five minutes to an hour and it does not disappoint. You play as Sheila, an SRO (Science Research Organization) agent trying to stop a terrorist organization from activating a teleporter in SRO headquarters. She arrives too late to stop the terrorists’ plot and instead finds herself transported to a mysterious floating island filled with strange monsters and puzzles. After teleporting to the island and being attacked by its dangerous inhabitants, Sheila sees a flying Air Serpent making its way towards a pillar of light and, naturally, follows it.
As a fan of first-person shooters, I think Bright Memory feels amazing. Moving, aiming, firing weapons, and using your abilities feel smooth. From the moment you jump into the game, the action is high octane, with brief tutorials at certain sections. The experience feels thorough and seamless.
Sheila carries a submachine gun, pistol, and shotgun as well as supernatural abilities such as Grapple, with which she can either traverse hard to reach terrain or pull herself to an enemy, stunning them and inflicting damage. She can send out an EMP blast that sends enemies flying and holds them in the air for a few seconds for you to wreak havoc. Bright Memory also has a mixture of hack and slash elements, in the form of an ability known as Light Blade.
Bright Memory forces you to think on your feet, making the game quite a rush. The experience took me back to my favorite first-person arcade shooter, Namco’s Time Crisis. I enjoyed the running and gunning, hordes of enemies in every corner of the room, and dipping behind whatever I could find for cover. Yet, despite the fast-paced and hectic nature of Bright Memory, I felt at ease as I played. The game’s battles are intense, but there are no distractions from the battles while you are in them.
There’s also a style counter in the game that rates you as you battle with letters D through S, S being outstanding. The game encourages you to quickly swap through weapons and abilities to pull off sweet-looking combos on your enemies. It puts you to the ultimate challenge of pulling off your combos in aggressive boss battles. This is where I had my most fun.
Exploration of the island in Bright Memory is linear: you follow a waypoint to your next destination. Along the way, mobs of creatures ambush you in an enclosed room before having to continue your journey. After fighting those mobs, if the way is still locked, you have to solve an environmental puzzle. The puzzles present in this demo weren’t too hard but it did take some trial and error until I succeeded. These sequences were a nice change of pace after intense battles, allowing you a few minutes of respite before the game throws you back into the fray.
The environments of Bright Memory look phenomenal. You are able to see crystal clear water and your character’s reflection in puddles and mirrors. When Sheila comes into contact with water, it leaves droplets on the screen, truly immersing you in Sheila’s shoes. Lighting and shadows in certain areas are simply out of this world and plant life looks and moves as if it’s real.
On the other hand, the monsters look a little rough around the edges, as do the main and supporting characters when displayed in cutscenes. You can see the characters clearly, but some parts are fuzzy and facial features seem a bit off. However, their presence gets the job done and makes me excited to see the finished work coming next year. I definitely would like to see the monsters and characters further touched up and be wowed by their appearances just as much as I am when gawking at the environment.
I implore gamers to pick this one up, especially as an entry game on their new next-gen consoles because it will give really give you a feel for what your hardware can do.
That being said, there was one small issue I had with the game: accessing and navigating menus. Whether I was messing with game options or purchasing skills, I had to do so by a mouse cursor. This is clearly a holdover from the game’s PC origins, but I hope that the developers give more attention to a controller-friendly UI in future console releases.
Bright Memory has so much potential and I am eagerly awaiting Infinite’s release in 2021. The gameplay looks and feels familiar for a first-person shooter, but when it comes to graphics, the Xbox Series S makes it look so good. If you’re looking to kick back after a long day and you just want to shoot things up in style, Bright Memory is definitely the game for you. This is only a taste of what’s to come and its replay value might even keep you coming back. That’s doubly true if you’re an achievement hunter looking to boost your Xbox Gamerscore.
Bright Memory is available for iOS, Android, PC, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X
Bright Memory has so much potential and I am eagerly awaiting Infinite’s release in 2021. Gameplay looks and feels familiar as far as first-person shooters but when it comes to graphics, the Xbox Series S makes it look so good. If you’re looking to kick back after a long day and just want to shoot things up in style, Bright Memory is definitely that game. Granted this is only a taste of what’s to come, its replayability just might hold you over, especially if you’re an achievement hunter looking to boost your Xbox Gamerscore.