Released in complete anonymity, Bright Memory: Infinite is one of the most beautiful games available on Xbox Series X. It was designed by just one person.
May 7, 2020: Microsoft chooses this date to hold a presentation of the first Xbox Series X games. It was an opportunity for the Redmond firm to show what its console – the most powerful in history – had in its belly. The video had started on the breathtaking sequences of a title called Bright Memory: Infinite. In a few seconds, we were amazed: visual effects, do you want some, reflections to die for, fluidity of movements, seductive textures… For a first interview, the promises were there.
Strangely, we haven’t heard of this Bright Memory: Infinite afterwards. And can you imagine that it was launched, in complete anonymity, on July 21, 2022, on Xbox Series X, but also on Xbox Series S, PS5 and Nintendo Switch (knowing that it has been available on PC since November 2021). Intrigued by this very action-oriented title, I launched Bright Memory: Infinite on the Microsoft console to see what happened to the impressive presentation of the project developed by one man. Without question, the FPS rises in the category of the most beautiful games available to date on Xbox Series X.
Bright Memory: Infinite is beautiful, and that’s about it
Behind Bright Memory: Infinite, we find the independent studio FYQD-Studio, composed of a single person named Xiancheng Zeng. This specialist in 3D environments had devoted his free time to a first demo called Bright Memory (released in March 2020) which had received excellent feedback on Steam. Bright Memory: Infinite is not really a sequel, but a way to go even further with similar bases. It was developed on the Unreal Engine, thanks to tools that allow neophytes to create complete games without typing a single line of code. ” I use Blueprints when working on game development. Because I have only worked as an artist specializing in 3D environments and have no programming experience “, he confessed in an interview published in 2019 by WCCFTech.
Once we know that Bright Memory: Infinite was created by one person, we are even more impressed by the result. It is actually a standard bearer of ray tracing, this advanced display technology which struggles to convince on the latest generation consoles (it often involves too many sacrifices). In the case of Bright Memory: Infinite, the ray tracing supports a little more the Asian atmosphere of a world on the edge of chaos, constantly shaken by climatic events after the appearance of a strange phenomenon. The screen is constantly flooded with flashy visual effects, from reflections on metallic surfaces to flames and small particles. It’s visually very generous and spectacular, knowing that ray tracing does not prevent playing with a comfortable framerate at 60 fps (there is also a 120 fps mode, and without ray tracing).
This advantageous appearance nevertheless has an impact on the technical solidity, far from being at the rendezvous. During my game, I was treated to more or less annoying bugs (the worst: actions that refuse to be triggered), crashes, slowdowns in the menus… We perceive a lack of care in the finishes, certainly linked to the very nature of the project (one person to do everything). Should we be lenient? Yes, definitely. Especially since several updates can rectify the situation a little in the weeks and months to come.
In terms of gameplay, Bright Memory: Infinite definitively imposes its style, with a very intensive action bordering on frenzy. The heroine, who must therefore investigate strange cataclysms (don’t expect anything from the narration), is as comfortable fighting at a distance as defending herself in hand-to-hand combat (there are even parries ). The result is very dynamic, almost choreographic and, above all, very old-school clashes. There is nothing deeply subtle and, once the adventure is over (a little over 2 hours), we have more the impression of having played the demo of a game that could be much more ambitious. Even for less than €20, the compacted experience is expensive – not to mention that, behind its good ideas, there are also some clumsiness.
Xiancheng Zeng does not master everything, like these secondary sequences where Bright Memory: Infinite becomes an uninteresting stealth game (a problem for the rhythm) or a chasing game without tail or head (in a car). He also shows an obvious lack of taste when he proposes to change the heroine’s outfit for something sexier. In 2022, no one wants to transform a female protagonist into a simple object of fantasy. There is zeal in Bright Memory: Infiniteand that’s a shame.