Luke spends his time playing video games, binge-watching TV and hanging out with his German Shepherd, Ziggy and Bernese Mountain Dog Pandora.
The Xbox Series X and S has finally released, and while the launch lineup boasts big hitters like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Gears Tactics and many more, one title that recently snuck into the mix is futuristic shooter-slasher Bright Memory. It’s short, but sweet – and cheap, too.
You may recall one of the earlier Xbox Games Showcase events a few months ago, that debuted with a hybrid shooting, ninja, cyberpunk-monster aesthetic called Bright Memory: Infinite. It certainly caught our eye, and is set to be a console exclusive on the Xbox Series X/S when it releases next year.
The Bright Memory that’s available now is a bit of a taste of what’s to come. Released originally in January 2019 by solo developer Zeng “FYQD” Xiancheng, it’s an episode that sets up the story (if you can call it that) and establishes the blistering fast-paced action that mixes genres and style quickly, yet seamlessly.
The appeal of Bright Memory is clear from the get-go. It’s a very stylish looking game, and moving from area to area, you’ll be bombarded with enemies that range from human to creature to absolutely demonic, all putting pressure on you to shoot, dodge, slash and use your abilities to rip them quickly to shreds before they tear you apart. It’s undeniably fun; the pace is fast and it keeps you on your toes during each battle, with some light puzzling and platforming breaking up the chaos.
The upcoming Bright Memory: Infinite looks amazing from the gameplay we’ve seen, while the Bright Memory available today looks good, but not as mind-blowing as I’d hoped. The frame-rate definitely holds up nicely at 60fps, and it’s a visually pretty 4K experience. However, load times aren’t as fast as other optimised titles I played, even when just respawning. Some of the character models also look a bit dated, but that could very well be intentional given the over-the-top convoluted story. Dialogue is… bad, but amusing. It’s certainly an interesting little package.
I mentioned before that Bright Memory is a taste of what’s to come, and I really did mean that it’s a taste. Bright Memory runs from around 30-45 minutes before the credits roll, leaving with it some crazy dangling story threads. But, it’s only $11.95 AUD, and with a style-ranking system reminiscent of Devil May Cry, the frantic pace – and the fact that you likely won’t unlock all of your upgraded abilities in your first play through gives you plenty of incentive to load it up again. Given the price, it’s certainly not bad value – just know you’re getting a shorter experience, that feels, in a way, like a preview.
There are a lot of gameplay elements that I’d be keen to see fleshed out with more detail and more practice to truly get comfortable with them. The fact that something so undeniably cool has been created by a solo developer is incredibly impressive, and the future of the franchise looks as bright as the title itself. At its best, Bright Memory has you juggling lots of abilities, guns and swords in a symphony of slaughter while heavy metal music blares. With more development time and polish from this “first chapter”, Halo Infinite may not be the only Infinite making a splash in 2021.
Bright Memory is available now on Xbox Series X and S.