A few years ago, you'd be hard-pressed to find more than a handful of readily available Chinese-developed games on the PC and consoles. With a boom in the industry spawning the likes of Genshin Impact, Pokemon Unite, and My Time At Portia, there's untapped potential from this region. Bright Memory: Infinite is one such title created by a Chinese development studio that has a lot of promise, and even the backing of Microsoft behind it with special marketing. All that said, Bright Memory: Infinite doesn't stack up to the quality of other up-and-coming titles from the country and is little more than a flashy display of technology.
Bright Memory: Infinite's Flaws in Both Story and Gameplay
Not to be confused with Bright Memory, which was more like a small slice of something bigger to come, think of Infinite as the remaining piece of that pie. Bright Memory: Infinite is a full-fledged game, although, like its predecessor, it is still incredibly short at around two hours. But, the length for this action-packed FPS is appropriate, with the same runtime and feel of a B-grade action movie. It might look cool, but everything else around that is clunky and unsatisfactory.
Let's start with the story. It's basically a bunch of gibberish. The main character, Shelia, is called into action due to the sudden appearance of a black hole. This black hole is sucking the surrounding landscape up; meanwhile, there are all sorts of strange time distortions and bizarre weather phenomena affecting the area. There are also soldiers there for reasons that are about as clear as mud. The main villain? He has about two minutes of screentime if that. Really, you're safe to ignore the dialogue, because the story is so nonsensical and sparse in detail that it doesn't matter.
With that in mind, the story is not the focus here. One of the main draws to Bright Memory: Infinite is its gunplay and combat. Everything else revolving around combat is clunky, inefficient, and useless. There are platforming segments such as wall running. These areas serve no purpose but to pad out Bright Memory: Infinite's already short length. Trying to run on a wall is imprecise, leading to a lot of frustration.
Quite simply, Bright Memory: Infinite was not built with platforming in mind, nor was it created to host stealth and vehicle segments. Yet, they are included, and rather than creating suspense and excitement, it does the exact opposite. The forced stealth section is as barebones and boring as possible and commits perhaps the greatest sin, which is breaking up the fast-paced gameplay for something much, much slower. The vehicle segment isn't much better, leaving players with a bland few minutes that yet again serves no purpose but to pad the length. Although, I will admit I got some amusement when, for some reason, a line of wild boar charged at my car while a bunch of futuristic tanks shoot at Shelia.
As I alluded to earlier, gunplay and combat are pretty fun. You're given a decent variety of tools and weapons to use in order to kill various soldiers and other enemies. You've got a sword that can block bullets and slice enemies up. Slicing into enemies feels good and does a magnificent amount of damage. The use of a gravity contraption on Shelia's arm can also pull enemies in from afar and suspend them in the air, or unleash a burst of energy to deal massive damage. You'll also accrue points to upgrade these abilities and unlock more ways to use them as you progress, which was a fun aspect to explore. You're equipped with a diverse set of tools that grow stronger throughout, so combat doesn't get old.
Gunplay is also solid, equipping players with your standard assault rifle, sniper, shotgun, and pistol. They all feel different from one another and feel powerful to use on weaker enemies, yet still pack a punch on armored foes. You can switch ammo types to explore what amounts to an alternate fire mode for your weapons. The pistol shoots an explosive round with its alternate ammo type, and the sniper has sticky mines. Though harder to find, making use of these ammo types will make your time with Bright Memory: Infinite more fun and varied. The real fun comes when you combine all of your powers and tools together to topple your enemies. Blasting an enemy in the face with the shotgun and taking out his friend with my sword slashes while sliding around doesn't get old.
Bright Memory: Infinite Wows with Visuals
Besides gunplay and combat, the saving grace for Bright Memory: Infinite is in its visual design. It's certainly an Unreal Engine game with its abundance of particle effects, but this is all used well. The game is a striking display of visuals, with the constant storm pouring down rain, the wind blowing every which way, and explosions from all the mayhem you cause.
Up close, Shelia's in-game model (which you only see for brief moments, if that), is a little clunky. Otherwise, character models themselves look fantastic. My favorite part about Bright Memory: Infinite's visual design is the way in which Chinese culture is infused into this title. The architecture in China has a very impressive, grand look. You'll go through areas that comprise ancient temples, while other parts are more modernized and blend science fiction with the Far East aesthetic.
There are even some exciting set pieces not unlike your favorite action movies. These sequences aren't grounded in reality but make for a fun time. The beginning sequence is really exciting and doesn't even have combat. Brief as it is, it's about as fun to watch as the combat is to play. Near the end, you'll fight and shoot enemies while on the wing of an airliner. That's some "Fast and Furious" style action right there.
Bright Memory: Infinite | Final Thoughts
That's all the good I have to say about Bright Memory: Infinite. It's a very flawed game. A patch was pushed out very shortly before the launch of this game which addressed numerous bugs. While I cannot say for certain if it fixed this, I ran across well over a dozen crashes in one area of the game. Other than the general clunky feel to everything besides combat, I experienced numerous other bugs, making it difficult to enjoy the overall experience. Otherwise, it did run at high frame rates for how good it looked. You can use DLSS if you have an RTX card, which is a feature I love to see in games.
Here's what it all boils down to: Bright Memory: Infinite looks impressive and utilizes technology like DLSS to great effect, and the combat is even fun at times, but everything else is very, very subpar. Clunky platforming, terrible voice acting, and an incoherent story, and a general lack of polish prevent me from enjoying Bright Memory: Infinite. I do see potential should there come more games in the series, but for now, FYQD-Studios' first fully-fledged release fails to match the quality of its eye-popping visuals.
TechRaptor reviewed Bright Memory: Infinite on PC using a copy provided by the publisher.
- Exciting Gunplay and Combat
- Uninteresting, Sparse Plot and Poor Voice Acting
- All Gameplay Besides Combat is Disappointing
- General Lack of Polish