Playism Game Show Hands-on: Bright Memory

22 Sep 2020

I had heard of Bright Memory a year or so ago. A sleek first-person shooter sporting AAA-quality graphics and made by just one person. “No way,” I thought. There has to be a catch. Did the single developer, FYQD-Studio, pull it off? Not yet, but I think they might.

I was able to play the first chapter of Bright Memory, currently available on Steam, as a preview of the game’s upcoming full release as Bright Memory: Infinite. This portion was about 30 minutes of nonstop action. Right off the bat I was impressed with the textures and lighting on display. Playing at 1440p with ray tracing on, Bright Memory is frequently gorgeous to look at.

There are some cracks in its faux-AAA paint job, though. Characters’ faces and animations are a bit clumsy and the voice acting is only passable. That being said, it is still far better than it has any right to be.

I figured with all that work put into its visual fidelity, Bright Memory would falter in its gameplay, but that is not the case. The gunplay is visceral, with a variety of skills and moves to mix in with the bullets. My favorite is the light sword; nothing beats using it to slice up a horde of enemy “Draugr.”

I noticed quite a lot of Dark Souls influence throughout Bright Memory. That seems odd for a first-person shooter, but the two boss battles in its first chapter are very Souls-like. That…and the bonfire I found that I could light and it played the little Souls tone with the word “Bonfire Lit” filling my screen. Maybe it was mostly that.

Bright Memory’s first chapter does not give much away in terms of its story and what it does tell doesn’t give me much hope. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with that, but I would love to be proven wrong. The world around you is interesting though, and there is definitely a possibility of some interesting environmental storytelling.

With the imminent release of Bright Memory: Infinite, I believe FYQD stands a decent chance of providing a near-AAA experience. Whether or not it can live up to that lofty category in its fidelity or design remains to be seen, but if the remainder of the game can stand up to its first chapter, I think everyone who picks up Bright Memory is in for a fun time. 

Preview copy provided by FYOD-Studio for PC. Screenshots courtesy of FYOD-Studio.