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Hack n' slash shooter Bright Memory leaps out of early access

Breaking onto Steam last year, Bright Memory looked impressive enough. A slick, sci-fi FPS that bridged a gap between Shadow Warrior and Devil May Cry with some serious technical chops. Coupled with the fact that the game was seemingly the work of a sole developer, one-man studio FYQD, and you’ve got an impressive piece of work on your hands. After an overwhelming start on early access, FYQD is ready to call this version finished, moving towards a more fully-featured vision in Bright Memory: Infinite.

It’s often disingenuous to say a game is the work of a sole developer. Even Bright Memory benefits from collaboration on audio, music, publishing support with Playism, and a tech base built out of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. But even so, FYQD had created something that could easily pass as a polished piece from a team of dozens.

When Bright Memory hit early access last January, our Dominic Tarason was enamoured by its “first-person Devil May Cry” mix-up of running, gunning, and sword-slashing foe-juggling. Sure, the localisation wasn’t phenomenal and the story a mess of science-fantasy nonsense. The art direction is decisively “not my jam”. But not only did Bright Memory mesh acrobatic character-action combos with Bulletstorm-style first-person blasting, it did it with a technical sheen normally reserved for fully-staffed studios.

A few months later FYQD would announce that he’d effectively rebooted development. Bright Memory had done numbers, numbers that convinced the dev to push for one large, scaled-up new edition called Bright Memory: Infinite rather than pursuing a planned episodic trilogy.

At the time, FYQD claimed he’d stopped all development on Episode 1 (which has since dropped the episodic moniker). But it seems he couldn’t keep himself from tinkering away, recently adding RTX ray-tracing support once planned for the fully-featured follow-up. Truth be told, the line between the two games is often hard to draw, as the dev started using it as a test-bed for features planned in Infinite.

But 1.0 marks a complete development shift. From here on out, it’s Infinite all the way forward. At least anyone who buys Bright Memory before Infinite releases will get the latter for free when it finally drops. This week’s launch comes with its own changelist, adding Nvidia Ansel support and (perhaps concerningly) fixing “the position of Sheila’s chest”. These changes, along with a collection of screens for Bright Memory: Infinite, can be found over on the 1.0 announcement post.

Bright Memory is currently 33% off on Steam, at £3.47/€3.81/$4.68

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Natalie Clayton


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