In the run up to the Xbox Series X|S launch, Bright Memory caught the attention of many Xbox fans for its incredibly impressive and stylish visuals, especially considering the game was made by just one developer. Well, with a little more time, and money from sales of the predecessor, developer FYQD is back with more in Bright Memory: Infinite, an experience that builds on the foundations laid by the previous effort. But, is it actually a full game this time around?
Well, not exactly. While Infinite is no-doubt a chunkier experience, our playtime still only clocked in at around two hours. Runtime isn't everything of course, but most first-person shooters do go on a little longer than a couple of hours, and we would have liked to see the world expanded somewhat to incorporate a bit more variety.
The core of what's included here, however, is good fun to say the least. Shooting feels incredibly crisp across pretty much all weapon types, featuring that arcadey CoD-like 'feel' that so many console shooters have strived for over the years. It perhaps lacks the gunplay depth of the newer, post Modern Warfare CoD games, but if you're after a fast and fluid FPS experience, Bright Memory: Infinite nails it.
Melee combat is also a pretty central feature in Infinite, although again, it lacks depth. Slashing and throwing blades comes in handy in a pinch, and the way hits connect is definitely satisfying. Again, it all feels right with responsive weapon and player controls throughout, but even with a skill-tree of sorts featuring weapon and ability upgrades, things feels pretty shallow.
Most of those abilities lean into 'advanced movement'; sort of like the way Titanfall or CoD: Advanced Warfare work. In short, you're rocking an 'exo suit' that enables mid-air dashes, double jumps, grapple hooks, all the rest of it. These are useful during the game's various boss fights, while also being regularly utilised for the game's platforming scenarios, scattered between combat arenas.
If you're coming to Bright Memory: Infinite for story though, you may as well turn around and close the door on your way out. There's some context to proceedings — you're in the middle of a freak weather incident that's being observed by an opposing force you're content on taking down — but it doesn't really make much sense all told. There's no real character development or overarching storylines, even if the idea of Bright Memory: Infinite's narrative does feel like it has potential to be built on.
One final thing we'll touch on are the technical aspects of the game. Straight up, this game is gorgeous, with great lighting, beautiful weather effects and a general level of visuals and performance that a AAA studio would be proud of. There are three modes featured on Xbox Series X (where we played the game); a 4K mode, a ray tracing mode and a 120Hz mode. We stuck with the ray tracing mode pretty much throughout, as the texture and material work really popped with the feature enabled.
All in all, what's here in Bright Memory Infinite is impressive, and the shooting feels super smooth throughout. However, even though the first Bright Memory was classed as a demo-of-sorts, Infinite still feels like an Xbox Series X|S tech demo, all things considered. It's still incredibly short at just two hours long, and the game's story, systems and world need more work for it to feel like a full game. We dig what's here, no doubt, but we were hoping Bright Memory Infinite would feel more like a full game than it ultimately does.