Bright Memory Xbox Game Review

The 2019 prologue to Bright Memory Infinite gets a Series X|S port

Xbox Series S screenshot taken by the author.

One of the most promising-looking upcoming Xbox Series X|S games is Bright Memory Infinite, a graphically dense first person shooter announced by tiny one-man indie studio FYQD at one of Microsoft’s console reveal events. It’s due out sometime in the spring of next year.

Since that game isn’t done yet, the studio has re-released its previous game Bright Memory to try and whet everyone’s appetite. It’s a much smaller prologue or first chapter of sorts, first released on PC last year and now available as one of a small handful of exclusives for the launch of the new consoles. Bright Memory is an $8 downloadable game, and it won’t run on older Xbox One consoles. You’ll need a Series X or a Series S to install it.

This is essentially a straight-across port of the older PC version of the game. It still has a full graphics settings menu which will let you change numerous settings save for resolution. It makes references in the options to keyboard and mouse controls. Its interface involves slowly shoving around a cursor with the left analog stick.

And its gameplay is still under an hour long, but what an action- packed and weird hour it is. Bright Memory is a first-person action combat game with light platforming elements. You play as a lady named Sheila who is equipped with a sword and a handful of guns, and you’ll shoot your way through some sci-fi inspired hallways full of gun-toting soldiers and also a handful of outdoor environments that are filled with skeletons, dinosaur-like dragons, and other monsters thanks to some time travel goofiness.

The game is split into around ten challenging combat arenas that are connected by light platforming sections. You’ll have to master a dodge maneuver and some special melee abilities alongside being an excellent shot in order to rack up combo bonuses and get through the game. It’s a tough, quick, demanding game that has more in common with classic character action titles like Devil May Cry than normal shooters.

The graphics look fine for an older PC game that was made mostly by one man and then quickly placed on consoles for a launch window, but there’s nothing here that feels like it needed to be exclusive to the newer machines. Once you’ve finished the game, you can play back through it to try and unlock the small handful of ability upgrades and achievements in case you missed some. The storyline is bare and basic, and ends on a huge cliffhanger that will supposedly be resolved in the upcoming sequel that’s due out next year.

The trailer for that sequel looks amazing, and like much more of a current game than Bright Memory does. Still, for a one-man production that only costs eight bucks, this is just fine. Don’t go in expecting more than one session of gameplay, and remind yourself that this was an incredibly small budget production. The combat gameplay is really fun and slick, and although I died a few times on some of the tougher rooms, I never got frustrated. If you enjoyed the recent Doom games, this has a little bit of that same fun but executed at a much different level.

I did have a few glitches during my time with the game, including multiple sound bugs. Once, the sound became highly distorted until I rebooted my machine. Another time I exited to the console’s home menu to eat some dinner, and when I came back the sound was just entirely gone.

If this cost even a cent more than eight dollars it would be a really tough ask, in spite of the fun on offer. It doesn’t do anything to show off your shiny new hardware, and although the gameplay is fun, it’s over in a literal blink of an eye. If the sequel can deliver on the promise shown here with the visuals shown in its trailer, I’m sure it’ll be one of 2021’s most surprising and impressive games.

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