Bright Memory (the 2020 Re-Release) is a one-developer-army First Person shooter that tries to blend Hack ‘n’ Slash skills normally seen in other games with the classic formula of Shooty McBangBangs.
During the game, you gain XP from defeated enemies to upgrade Sheila who’s the female protagonist, solve puzzles, beat bosses and adventure deeper into the cave to find out what exactly is going on in this timeline.
While the Hack ‘n’ Slash mechanics remind me of games like Genshin Impact/Honkai Impact 3, it’s a welcome addition to the gun-play. There’s also some puzzle solving to do and while the game is a little rough around the edges, it’s still a polished playable vertical slice of a game.
Oh and yes, that is not a doctored screenshot – the developer actually included a cheeky easter egg to Dark Souls. Very nice.
Glitches and Pain
Yeah… as much as it pains me to admit it, being a hobbyist game developer allowed me to nitpick. Here’s some of the ones that stuck out.
Crashed on the Steam Deck.
While the game isn’t Steam Deck verified, it booted up in Valve Proton just fine… until it crashed about 5 minutes in. Why did it crash? It is a mystery… but apparently I was walking on dirt when it crashed.
I later was able to finish the game on my workstation.
Can’t remap controls.
Apparently due to this being a playable vertical slice of a game, the developer did not implement the ability to remap controls, which is a bit of a pain. However, the controls seem to copy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s layout, so if you’re familiar with those then you should be fine.
Menus do not respond well especially after screen resolution change.
It seems that your mouse cursor’s hotspot is too far above the top of the cursor. This means it’s hard to accurately click on things and this becomes apparent when working on low resolutions like the Steam Deck.
I also encountered a glitch where the display settings did not stick and reverted to older settings after a cutscene.
Weapons get stuck in ADS mode even if they’re not.
I noticed that sometimes after reloading, the weapons will somehow think I am aiming down their sights. This was annoying as I needed to quickly click RMB (Right Mouse Button) to fix the weapon’s state.
Dying in midair plays a camera tilt animation and floats.
When you die, the camera plays a little stumble animation and then rotates to the left to imitate that Sheila fell over and died. This works, but when you die for example for being skewered from spikes, it’s kinda weird.
In that case, I feel a red flash, a skewered sound effect with Sheila’s exclamation of pain followed by a respawn would be a better fit.
If you take fatal damage in the air, the camera also plays the tilt animation and stays at the spot that you died instead of falling back down to the ground or the place beneath you.
In other shooters, usually the game in single player will snap you to the ground under you or sometimes the game will do its death sequence while you land in a corpse state.
Enemies sometimes have weird hitboxes.
This one is annoying. Sometimes enemies can be a fair distance away from you, but when they go for a melee attack they can hit you form that distance. Or they’ll have the habit of clipping into you and making you unable to move… kinda like a gangbang. Trust me, during my playthrough, I got stuck between 3 enemies and the boss.
Puzzles sometimes bug out.
I had one instance where a puzzle bugged out and I had to re-do a boss battle to get the puzzle to correctly unlock the way forward. I thought I had to shoot something to continue, but I had to reload my save. Something must have failed to register correctly or an enemy clipped through the geometry and fell into the ether.
Bright Memory is a solid playable slice of what a First Person Shooter mixed with Hack ‘n’ Slash could be. You can buy it on Steam, which shouldn’t cost you very much – I got mine during the midweek sale, so it was around $7 Australian Dollars.
Now, if you excuse me, I’m gonna get started on the sequel, Bright Memory: Infinite.
Final words: Buy it. It’s a decent sampler of the full game. Short and sweet.