If you’re wanting a straightforward blast-fest shooter that’ll double your heart rate and not take weeks to finish, you’ve come to the right game. Unfortunately, this FPS titled Bright Memory: Infinite on the Nintendo Switch doesn’t offer too much more than that.
The gameplay of Bright Memory is its most obvious strength. Think of a mixture between Doom, Halo, and Call of Duty where you’ll find yourself hacking and slashing enemies and using a variety of weapons ranging from a typical assault rifle to remotely detonated sniper rounds, automatic shotguns, and more. You also have a sword at your disposal that lets you parry enemy melee attacks and offer some CQC options. All of these aspects result in a varied gameplay experience that transcends the typical first-person shooter.
To say gameplay is chaotic is an understatement. My first initial attempt was on normal difficulty, and there were a few bosses that took me waaaaaay too many attempts to defeat (which is probably on me!). Those rounds typically consisted of me spamming either the fire or dodge buttons for 15+ min or however long it took to defeat the boss. And again, that was on normal difficulty. This did result in a feeling of accomplishment and bad-assery once the boss was defeated, but it definitely required some work. Bright Memory would not be my suggestion for a relaxing gaming session, but if you’re looking for an adrenaline fueled time, this is it.
This review is for the version of Bright Memory played handheld on the Switch OLED, though this game has been previously released on multiple systems that I’m sure run better (Steam, PS5, Xbox Series X/S). The load times are most noticeable especially when you are defeated by that certain boss you’ve been failing and failing to beat (see above). There were a few times in my play through where the game completely crashed and I had to restart it, though luckily the game includes an auto-save feature so no progress was lost. Textures seemed rough around the edges overall. With all that being said, it is pretty impressive that a full on FPS like this one can run on a system like the Switch at all. The game has an overall feel of a full on first party FPS experience, though with a few noticeable drawbacks due to the Switch’s constraints. The Switch wouldn’t be my preferred system to experience this game on, though it is playable.
There isn’t much to say in terms of story for Bright Memory unfortunately. I’m still not 100% sure what all went on. You are essentially a futuristic special agent that is sent to investigate a black hole anomaly that is threatening the stability of space time…? Something like that. The campaign usually takes around 1-3 hours to complete, and in that short amount of time it’s hard to establish any solid ground in terms of storytelling. But it’s obvious that the story was not the main focus for this title, but instead to provide a full FPS/Action experience. In that regard they were successful, which is impressive to say the least considering that the dev team consisted of only ONE person!
The sound design is what you would expect for your standard FPS. Crisp and authentic firing sounds, and tension building soundscapes are present throughout the experience. Nothing mind blowing, but what is presented definitely adds to the overall experience as opposed to detracting from it.
As stated before, the entire campaign can be completed in 1-3 hours. This results in an interesting experience where the game is short enough that considering multiple playthroughs doesn’t sound like a chore which helps in its replayability. The story or gameplay doesn’t change, but the increasing difficulty levels and fun add-ons such as outfits and weapon layouts make subsequent playthroughs an attractive option. I’m sure from time to time I might pick this title up again just to get a quick FPS/Action fix. With that being said, the listed price of $19.99 (digital only) on the Switch feels like a bit of a stretch with what is offered.
Overall, I am glad I spent the time to play through Bright Memory: Infinite. It feels more like a tech presentation than a full game, though it does seems to be the start of some great things to come. If you’d like to check it out, go purchase it here on the eShop!