Bright Memory, which acts as the episode of the game, tells the story of Sheila who is tasked by the Science Research Organization (SRO) to stop the SAI, a military organization, from acquiring a legendary ancient power that can reawaken the dead. She heads to the Land of Sky where she’ll come across a variety of threats and puzzles.
Bright Memory is a first-person shooter mixed with hack n’ slash elements, Your primary source of defence will be your firearms: handgun, shotgun and machinegun. One interesting mechanic is when aiming down, once you press the LT, it stays aiming without having to keep it pressed down. As you shoot enemies, you’ll be able to unlock the use of your trusty weapon temporarily. Unlike most hack n’ slash, the sword has a timer. You can slash your way through enemies as long as the meter has time left. While you can attack with your sword by using RB, to do additional, stronger attacks, you need to press arrows on the d-pad; it’s definitely weird and takes a while to get used to.
You also have a grappling hook with is used at pre-determined areas where you have to cross large gaps; it can also be used against enemies and bosses by zipping you over the targeted enemies to get a bit up close. The grappling hook mixed with the sword can make for a great way to do quick damage before you evade the enemy’s attacks. And yes, you can dodge, thankfully.
The game’s most annoying feature of the character movement. The protagonist, aside from running and dodging, moves sluggishly making boss fights a marathon of dodge button mashing. While normal enemies move at a reasonable pace, some bosses will zip over near your character pretty quick requiring you to act fast by either dodging or running.
The game’s boss fights are pretty tense. Some of them reminded me a bit of Dark Souls bosses where you have to pace yourself and act quickly. They never feel cheap or undoable; some might more time to learn their pattern and successfully overcoming them, but the further you into the game, the more you get used to the controls and skillset, boss fights become addictive encounters; it’s definitely one of the game’s strongest appeal. While bosses are top-notch, overall standard enemy design is repetitive and a bit limited.
Bright Memory looks great; an amazing showcase of the untapped potential of the now current-gen. Although, not everything is perfect as some of the cutscenes looked more like early now last-gen; movement oddly reminiscent of what can be seen in Dead or Alive games. The protagonist reminded me of a generic DoA fighter. The soundtrack isn’t any too special. (…) The little issue here is that the navigation is treated as if players are playing with a mouse; questionable design as with controllers you can navigate through menus easily with the d-pad or left joystick.
Bright Memory is an awesome achievement given it was developed by a one-man studio. It looks impressive, plays smoothly and is action-packed. While using well-known gameplay mechanics, it still somehow feels new and refreshing. While overall great, it does have its flaws. Character movement feels very slow making some sub-boss battles harder than they should. After playing this, I’m excited to get my hands on the complete Bright Memory Infinite project currently slated for next year.
- Intense boss encounters
- Great combat
- Way too short
- Slow character movement
- Annoying menu navigation