So, you’ve been lucky and have been able to spend £250/$300 or £450/$500 on an Xbox Series S or X. What now?
You’re going to want some games of course, and if you love highly intense action and all you have left is pocket change, you should probably check out Bright Memory.
Created by one-man development studio FYQD, Bright Memory is an Xbox Series X/S console exclusive that costs just £6.69/$7.99. Granted, it’s more of a paid demo than anything; the full game, Bright Memory: Infinite, will release at a later date, with owners of Bright Memory scoring themselves a discount when it does finally see the light of day. What you get right now by investing in Bright Memory is around an hour of replayable fun.
Bright Memory casts you as Shelia, an agent of the Supernatural Science Research Organisation (SRO). In the intro, another organisation known as the SAI has infiltrated the SRO headquarters via a technology known as the Quantum Transporter. And in yet another classic case of someone messing with something they don’t understand, Shelia has inadvertently transported everyone nearby by attempting to calibrate the coordinates on it.
And so Bright Memory transports players to the Floating Island, a place located near the North Pole that’s apparently been undisturbed for over 100 years. It’s picturesque, and initially seems like a nice place to have been accidentally warped to. But then you’re attacked by wolves, and you begin to wonder what other hostile creatures are lurking nearby.
The answer is: a whole smorgasbord. Bright Memory is a game that throws consistency and common sense out of the window when it comes to enemy design. One minute you’ll be fighting against numerous undead; the next a creature that’s got the head of a lion, the scales of an armadillo and the crest of a lizard. It’s mental, but if you just go with the flow and turn your brain off, it’s highly enjoyable.
Its thrilling combat helps. It’s basically Devil May Cry but played from a first-person viewpoint. You explore the Floating Island, running, jumping and swinging your way from one combat encounter to another. It’s up to you to then shoot and slash your way to victory, and you’re rewarded for doing it in style. Mix up your moves and you’ll see your style meter rise, and the higher the style meter goes, the more experience you earn which can be used to buy yet more skills.
Admittedly, there aren’t that many skills to buy, but there are enough to keep the combat interesting for at least a few playthroughs. All of your skills have cooldown timers as well, so you need to think about how you’re going to use them for best results. It’s particularly important in the game’s few boss encounters, which are undoubtedly a highlight.
Perhaps one of the most notable things about Bright Memory is that it has a full suite of PC-style graphical options. You can turn V-Sync on and off, for example, and also adjust the level of anisotropic filtering. You’ll likely just want to turn everything up to max and forget about them though.
Bright Memory, then, is a brief but enjoyable experience, providing you go in knowing that it’s not really a full game and that nothing about it makes much sense. But it does allow you to shoot, slash and force blast your way through a pleasingly varied assortment of outlandish enemies, as well as some troublesome bosses. What more could you want for the price of a couple of cups of coffee?
Bright Memory is available on Xbox Series X/S and PC.