Bright Memory Infinite First Impressions: Fast-Paced, FPS Character Action Fun


by in General | Nov, 16th 2021

There’s been a surprising surge in independent first-person shooter titles coming out around the past few years. New Blood has released games like Dusk, Amid Evil, and coming soon, Fallen Aces, all of which take some of the best parts of old FPS games and putting a new spin on them. Dusk is similar to Quake, in which players spend their time shooting enemies in a landscape that looks right out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Fallen Aces takes the flat walls and sprite enemies of old build engine games, and spins it on its head by introducing melee combat, a comic-book-style story, and a heavy cell-shaded 50’s landscape.

However, there’s a genre of games that independent companies haven’t considered touching yet: character action titles. Games like Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, and the original God of War trilogy. That is, until now. There’s a game that’s recently come to my attention, and now with it finally releasing, there’s a lot to talk about with this title.

The game’s called Bright Memory Infinite, not to be confused with Bright Memory, which is a demo for the game. The first game was developed by one person, modeling, animating, and coding all on his own. Players found themselves thrust into a short demo, which was a sampler platter for things that would appear in the final game.

In both Bright Memory and Bright Memory Infinite, players take control of a woman named Shelia, pronounced Shell-ee-ah by everyone in the game. Sheila works for a company called the Supernatural Science Research Organization. Armed with her special exosuit, and multiple weapons, Shelia and the player both become a force to be reckoned with, as they tear through groups of enemies and supernatural demons from ancient history.

Gameplay


Being an FPS, Bright Memory Infinite has the player shooting weapons and taking down legions of foes. However, there are some familiar mechanics in the game that players will notice upon booting it up. Shelia is equipped with a double jump from her exosuit, as well as the ability to wall run. These moves aren’t used outside of a couple of platforming challenges that I experienced within the first two hours of the game I played though. On top of these, Shelia has the ability to dash in any direction other than forward. The double jump, wall run, and dash have been staples of FPS games, with Doom Eternal using everything in Shelia’s movement system aside from the wall run.

There are multiple weapons in the game that Shelia is able to use, with them all being given to you by the second major boss in the game. Shelia’s arsenal has the assault rifle, the shotgun, the handgun, and the sniper rifle. Weapons can be switched with the weapon wheel, but much like the older shooter games, changing weapons is done by pressing one of the number keys on the keyboard, with the assault rifle on 1, shotgun on 2, handgun on 3, and sniper on 4.

Each of these weapons comes with a special alternate fire mode that the player is able to use. Ammo for these special variants of the weapons can be found throughout the map. The assault rifle fires concussive tracking shots which do more damage than the regular ballistics. The shotgun fires a shockwave grenade which is helpful for shooting groups of enemies, the handgun fires rockets, turning the pistol into a handheld rocket launcher, and the sniper fires sticky bombs, which can be used in the game to take out more enemies.

On top of all of this, Shelia has one other weapon up her sleeve: her light Sword. A mix of both a katana and a lightsaber, this sword is one of the main parts of the game and can be used to deflect bullets. Shelia is able to hold the sword out for an extended period of time, which is long enough to deal with large groups of enemies, but not long enough to keep herself invulnerable throughout the adventure. Holding out the sword is one thing, but if Shelia is able to pull the sword out at just the right time, she can also “counter” foes. The game says that this is able to happen if the defend button is pressed within .3 seconds of a attacks finish, so timing it right is pretty easy. Countering gunfire will deflect the bullet into a headshot against the enemy that fired it, but gunfire isn’t the only thing Shelia will be deflecting.

Melee enemies are also something that Shelia has to deal with. The enemies in the game will come with shields and other melee weapons to take out the player. But if it’s possible to counter them, there’s a lot the sword can do. The light sword is capable of slicing the enemy with the ‘E’ key, but holding down the ‘E’ key will also make Shelia lift her and the enemy in front of her into the air, then she can juggle the enemy in the air with every slash keeping herself airborne.

She’s also able to throw her sword into a spinning vortex that can damage groups, perform slam attacks with the sword, and other incredible feats that feel like they’ve come out of Devil May Cry.

Her Exo suit also does these things as well, with Shelia able to pull enemies to her and then blast them away with the EMP, as well as perform an AOE attack onto the ground. This opens the door for a lot of combos in the game, such juggling enemies and taking out bad guys throughout the title, which is extremely satisfying for those who are familiar with character action titles.

However, there are some bugs in the game that pulled me out of the experience, despite how well put together the game’s mechanics are. When booting up the game, I found myself in a quick time event, which isn’t the worst, but when I failed the quick time event despite pressing the prompt, only to find out I had to hold the button down, that was a little confusing. There were also some sections where seams in the world would hurt Shelia for no reason. Sliding off of a very short platform made Shelia take damage for some reason, which happened twice in two separate locations.

There’s also a section in Bright Memory Infinite where Shelia loses the ability to use her weapons and sword, which throws the player into a stealth section where a single guard discovered me, which counted as a death. This also happened on multiple occasions.

Stealth sections in the game can be a bit buggy.

Something that’s not a bug but an oversight in the gameplay design of the title is the sniper. The sniper is a one-shot kill to normal enemies and was from the moment I got it. However, the scope for the game turns the sniper into a hitscan weapon, meaning that as soon as the sniper scope is in view, it’s able to be shot straight. Combining this with the fact that the crosshair for the sniper is a dot in the middle of the screen, this turns the sniper into a laser if the player knows how to quick scope. Channeling my early Xbox 360 years of gaming, I started using the sniper a lot more for fodder on the run by clicking both mouse buttons when my crosshair was on a guy, making the enemies extremely easy to take down.

Aside from these, there is something I remember seeing in the original demo that are missing from the full title that I think should come back. The first one is that I remember the game having a style meter similar to Devil May Cry, with the more combos Shelia did the higher the meter went. Going into this I assumed that this would be the same case, as I found that meter to be one of the driving factors on how well I did in the game, seeing the combo meter go up while I fight enemies. However, that meter is missing from the full title. I don’t know why the combo meter is missing from the full title, or if it’s just not included in the normal difficulty for the game, but it was something I missed.

One of the things that I don’t think was in the original game, but should have been in both was the sword attack slicing through multiple enemies on top of shooting projectiles. Being that Shelia is fighting groups of foes, there’s no reason for her not to be able to use the sword to slice through two or three guys at the same time. This would help with landing more combos in the game and racking up the style meter if it was included.

Performance


I’m running the game on my RTX 2060 Super, and my Ryzen 3600. Despite the fact that I ran it in both DirectX 12 and the Default mode, I was unable to turn raytracing on for some reason. However, the game still ran alright while I was playing. There were a few times that the game hitched on me, but it wasn’t as big of an issue as It could have been with my machine. However, this game isn’t meant for older systems. This game is graphically intensive, and being that it’s an indie title, it might not be able to be optimized as quickly as a AAA title.

Audio


Bright Memory Infinite should be played with headphones. The sound effects coming from the weapons in the game are pretty good, specifically the assault rifle and the sword. However, the shotgun sounds very weak and doesn’t have that kick that most FPS shotguns do. The sniper also sounds very weak as well, making it feel like a peashooter despite killing normal enemies in one hit.

The voice acting is a little off, but it could be worse. It’s apparent that the developer of the game is a native Chinese speaker, and they still managed to get the game dubbed in English, but a lot of the dialogue contrasts very hard with the tone of the game. Characters having normal conversations while the island they’re on is being sucked into a black hole doesn’t do a lot for immersion.

While beautiful, the game’s visuals can be stiff

The soundtrack for the game sports a very surprising amount of orchestra, mixed with ancient Chinese music, which for someone who’s not familiar with foreign tunes, this was a surprise, and I found myself liking it.

Visuals


The visuals of the game are serviceable. The world looks fantastic and is a treat to look at, the futuristic weapons look amazing, and playing the game is a visual feast of first-person hack and slash gameplay, but the characters are very stiff in certain situations. A lot of Shelia’s animations feel like they were animated for a different reason before being used in the game. It takes the player out of the experience, but it’s not enough to convince me to stop playing the game.

Community


There’s a large number of people who enjoy the game. Looking into the Steam discussions for the title it’s not hard to see, however, that there’s not a consolidated community for the title. The game is still very niche despite its runtime.

Bright Memory Infinite sits at a price of $20, but there’s a good chance that its predecessor Bright Memory is going to go on sale soon. With this in mind, if players are interested in the title, they should pick up the first game on sale to see if the gunplay and melee mechanics are something they’d be interested in. Despite the changes made from the first game to the second game, it’s still all around the same title. However, for those who want to jump into the full game, check out some gameplay online before considering picking it up. It may not be something that all players will enjoy, but it’s a very niche game that performs its main combat system very well.

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