Bright Memory: Infinite (XSX) Review with stream

In order to fully understand Bright Memory: Infinite and why it is the way it is, it is imperative to understand its development history.  Originally launching as Bright Memory within Steam Early access a few years ago, a small indie dev built this game with a strong emphasis on gun/swordplay and a visual fidelity that rivals AAA titles. As cool as that release was, it was undermined by the short 30-minute completion time.  Shortly thereafter, the “Infinite” portion was added to the base game that polished the combat and became the action-packed FPS that we see today. This Infinite release also recently received a free update that added some additional post-game costumes and a more dynamic camera during takedowns.

As a strange black hole threatens the planet, Shelia, an agent of a supernatural task force, is sent in to investigate. To be clear, there is a story here but it is so outlandish and vague that nothing makes sense, leaving you scratching your head more than anything. Luckily, the story takes a backseat to the fun and snappy combat.

Armed with a pistol, machine gun, shotgun, sniper rifle, and sword, players are armed to the teeth and given plenty of reasons to use these cool weapons.  Beside slicing through defenses, the sword can also be used to reflect enemy attacks and a fluid dash move gives the player the creative and fun tools you need to always stay one step ahead of the enemy. Often you will be faced against numerous enemies at once, and pitted against massive bosses, but the player’s repertoire of abilities keeps the satisfying action at the forefront. 

There is a brief stealth section early in the campaign that drags a tad too long but there is a fun car chase near the end that is a welcomed, action-packed distraction from the main gunplay. Overall, the campaign is very linear and as straightforward as it gets. However, this shouldn’t be mistaken for poor quality as I actually found this linearity refreshing when compared against the overcrowded open-world games that get released weekly. Sure, there are invisible walls to guide you along the way but funneling the player down specific paths just means the quest can be hand tuned.  Why are you fighting ancient Chinese soldiers who are shooting arrows, an occasional rabid boar, and massive dudes with sturdy bronze shields as the world is getting sucked by a black hole? Again, the story is super weird and doesn’t make any sense but the strangeness and high action keeps the player entertained through the 2-hour campaign. 

In addition to equipping elemental bullets, players can spend collectables to unlock new abilities. However, just as you start to unlock a few cool new moves, the game is over. You never need these additional attacks but the balance between collecting, unlocking, and using is not balanced so players will need to replay the campaign a few times to unlock it all. There are some post-game unlockables, like changing the skin of the weapons and different costumes for the main character, but there isn’t anything worthwhile in the replay department other than wanting to earn all the Achievements. 

Even though it feels like an impressive tech demo, there is a lot to like in this brief FPS.  The snappy combat takes the gunplay and jump-set of Titanfall and mixes it with the swordplay of Devil May Cry. Taking down two-story tall giants is always a good time too.  And since the game is over in 2-hours, there isn’t any time for the enemy variety to grow stale.

As a very busy adult, I never complain about a game’s length as shorter games are much more appealing these days. However, I was having so much fun with the ridiculous combat, I was stunned when the credits rolled as I felt like it was just getting warmed up.  Although it is short and the story makes no sense, Bright Memory: Infinite proves it is possible to create a really fun, tightly tuned FPS in today’s modern landscape of open world titles that take 50+ hours to complete. I want more of this. Much more!

SCORE: 8/10

Also Play: the Shadow Warrior games

Better Than: 41 Hours

Also Try: Half Minute Hero (PSP)

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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