Boy, have we come a long way with indie games. There’s always been a special place in my heart for the indie genre – indie games, indie music, indie film, etc. – because it always feels like, regardless of how good the actual outcome, each piece of art is filled with imaginative creativity. That’s not to say that AAA or mainstream games aren’t, but there’s a special feel to indie games. Bright Memory Infinite takes indie games to a whole new level, however, with its gorgeous visuals, incredible gameplay, and huge ambition – one that seemingly improves from the impressive first Bright Memory entry.
In Bright Memory Infinite, you play as Shelia, a special ops sort of gal with incredible reflexes and a knack for wielding a katana. Destruction and a giant black hole have appeared, and Shelia is sent on her way to investigate. An elite force, however, is already in play in the area – a group, apparently, with more firepower than any organization in the world – so Shelia must combine stealth, stylistic shooting, and swordplay to carve her way through the enemies.
Gameplay exists on a few planes – mostly gunplay and swordplay. Each is designed with care, and the gun action is some of the smoothest I’ve experienced since Titanfall. Additionally, Shelia comes equipped with a pretty gnarly katana that she can use to devastate enemies and deflect incoming projectiles. Outside of a few heavy pushes by enemies, Shelia’s combination of fast shooting and slashing/deflecting provides some of the quickest FPS gameplay I’ve enjoyed. It sort of reminds me of Bulletstorm in the sense that it is so fast paced. And drawing connections between Bright Memory Inifite and Bulletstorm & Titanfall should reflect how special the gameplay is here – especially for an indie title. I should note, however, that there is a bit of a learning curve for the swordplay (in particular, the timing and controlling of the parries and deflections) that can cause some frustration but is ironed out as you progress and continue to practice.
Visually, Bright Memory Infinite holds up extremely well against AAA competition. The visuals are sleek and the settings are both luscious and stark. Guns and gun effects are aesthetically pleasing and serve to improve the overall experience. Character models sometimes are jarring and kind of remove you from the experience (especially the instances when Shelia flips into 3rd person mode or the few characters who speak without a helmet). Still, an indie game with visuals like these is a rare sight, and this one uses its graphical prowess to its fullest potential.
Sound direction is relatively solid. The score intensifies the scenarios, the guns have a pleasing ring, the effects of the world flow nicely, and everything seems to fit together well. The biggest flaw in sound is the voice acting – it’s not great. In this situation, it’s a minor flaw (poor dialogue writing doesn’t help, though) because there aren’t too many extended conversations in this one.
In fact, Bright Memory Infinite only lasts for a handful of minutes over two hours. Short run times always feel a little disappointing at first, but the replayability of this one eliminates those shortcomings. The range of difficulty settings and slew of unlockables and challenges coupled with the intense and satisfying gameplay make this an easy game to revisit. The $19.99 price tag eases the burden of a short game, too, especially one that plays like a big title.
Should you be in the market for an solid indie or terrific FPS, Bright Memory Infinite could satisfy your craving. Yes, it’s short, but the incredible gameplay, beautiful visuals, loads of replayability, and its cheap price tag certainly make up for it. You will be hard pressed to find a quality indie FPS like this at this price, and it’s worth every penny you’ll spend.