[REVIEW] Bright Memory: Infinite – Ironically fairly forgettable

There are certain things in life that are hard to forget. Anniversaries, where you were during 9/11, Dre (don’t act like you did), and the YouTube dislike button. One-man studio FYQD very much hoped to join these ranks with Bright Memory, a frantic FPS that was launched in 2019 through Steam’s Early Access program. And boy, did it impress, considering it was just one Chinese person behind this visual spectacle. But that was just a taste of things to come. With Bright Memory: Infinite, FYQD hopes to keep the memory bright. Unfortunately, the only thing we’ll be remembering is the B-movie storytelling and the infinite technical difficulties.

Alright, let’s face it. This review isn’t going to end too well for developer FYQD and publisher Playism. The final score isn’t going to be accolade trailer-worthy. And honestly, it pains me to trash a game that had me enthusiastic for over two years. Yes, I was one of those Early Accessers that jumped on the hype train in 2019. But apart from the impressive aesthetics and the fast-paced sword- and gunplay, Bright Memory: Infinite feels like a different game entirely.

And to some extent, it is. With the Devil May Cry-like grading system removed, Bright Memory: Infinite is more about getting things done quickly instead of getting them done in style. Protagonist Shelia – who’s looking into some weird black hole/alternative universe shit – still prefers to talk with her guns and her sword. Only this time we won’t have to impress the game makers with our mastery in combos. The game still grants you the means to pull them off, but it won’t publicly shame you for fumbling them. Just kill ’em all and you’ll be fine. It doesn’t have to look pretty.

Speaking of looking pretty, Bright Memory: Infinite absolutely does. And by calling it pretty, I’d definitely be selling the game short. Keeping in mind that FYQD isn’t this massive AAA studio with hundreds of developers on board, Bright Memory: Infinite surely gives those big devs a run for their money. Level design might not be FYQD’s strong suit – and neither are facial animations – but given the circumstances, Bright Memory: Infinite is absolutely eye candy. Swordplay finishers and one-hit-kill headshots in particular. And those particle-filled abilities Shelia’s exo-suit produce… me likey.

Unfortunately, the buck stops here when it comes to praising FYQD’s efforts. Even though Bright Memory: Infinite delivers a fairly decent two-and-a-half-hour play session, technical problems and an utterly incomprehensible story are ruining its odds of making it a game worth remembering. If you can make it through the game without crashing it at least one, good for you. If you can follow the subtitles without getting a few scattered Chinese subs, that’s awesome. But most of all, if you manage to not get stuck in the scenery and revert to a checkpoint that you haven’t even gotten to yet, kudos to you.

On top of that, Bright Memory: Infinite – which will hit consoles later – is clearly a PC game with faulty controller support. The D-pad serves no function in the menu and in-game button prompts seem to revert to keyboard settings at random. For those who feel like using aim assist, be ready for some wonky stuff. And whoever thought that ADS should be defaulted to “switch” instead of “hold”, clearly hasn’t played games with a controller too often. Then again, can you blame a Chinese person for that? If I were only allowed to play 3 hours a week, I’d probably make the same mistakes.

But in the end, it’s these mistakes that undermine Bright Memory: Infinite’s potential greatness. Even things like a somehow mandatory “get spotted and you’re toast” stealth mission can ruin everything if not done correctly. And guess which game has one of those… So, note to developers worldwide: lengthy stealth mission with just a bloody meat cleaver = hard pass.

The bottom line is that Bright Memory: Infinite isn’t per sé a bad game, it’s just in a poor state. The incomprehensible storyline isn’t that big of a deal in a first-person shooter nowadays. I’ve seen way worse in recent games that did score high on Instakilled. But the bugs, glitches, and the sometimes janky controls take the shine off of what could have been an awesome shooter. If FYQD could fix those technical issues and give each gun a more unique feel to it, I’m willing to revise my opinion. Maybe they’ll get it done when the game launches on consoles. Until then, Bright Memory: Infinite will end up fading from my hippocampus.

The Bright
Most of it looks jaw-dropping
The fast-paced sword- and gunplay is fairly on point
You can pretty much disable your frontal lobe for this game
The Faded
The B-movie story is utterly forgettable due to its lack of comprehension
Controller support is pretty messed up
Bugs and glitches are present in abundance
Serves a prime example of how not to do a stealth mission