The trailer of Bright Memory first caught my attention when Shelia, the leading Science Fiction soldier of the game, pushed a wolf monster into the air by arms, energized it, rolled it into bands by blade, thickened it in a time bubble, and then cut it into ribbons – because why not?
Good news: this is the whole game. Bad news: the whole game, now on Steam early, doesn’t have much meat yet, and may not be on its mangy wolf bones for quite a long time.
The Bright Memory mashup is mainly made by a single developer, Zeng “FYQD” Xiancheng, “as it says in a Steam page” in their leisure time, “which includes over – the-top bulletstorm-like first-person shooting and Devil-make-cryptic action. And while the audiovisual standard of modern triple A shooters isn’t quite the same, they often close, with a penchant for both dramatic set-ups and ancient monster-mashing boss battles.
Here, there is just enough stupid and mistranslated B film story to justify Shelia being carried away to a land of legendary creatures, skeletal soldiers, wolf monsters and also regular wolves who are only mean for some reason, from the slumpy halls of future corporate espionage. The new version of the game only consists of its first chapter, and the hour-long experience usually funnels you through meetings that show you the cords.
That’s probably the best, because a lot has to be played. You can fire rivals, of course, but bullets are at best a way to end up angering them. The real meat of the game is a combo with your weapon, your sword and other powers, for example that can send sky-high enemies and allow air juggling to be ready.
I invested my first 10 minutes in the sword and timing of Shelia’s force-push-like EMP attack, but then I became more imaginative. Bright Memory likes to drop hordes of bad things on you decently, but going on the air in a hurry is a good alternative to crowd management. Furthermore, it is both pleasing and strategically advisable to smash the sashimi for a few seconds from a skybound enemy with a slash downward that sends other enemies from close proximity backward. Bright Memory also scores your hacking, slitting and shooting using a combo-level system like Devil May Cry, so the variety is your best friend — if you spam a move you will not get as high as you can if it is successful. It is not so good.
Success in combat performance XP, which can be spent on everything from enhanced defense status to new capabilities, such as time-stop. But the first episode of Bright Memory was long before I could unlock them all.
Generally, levels are quite linear, with little exploration space. It’s mainly to funnel you into open arenas of combat, so that monsters can pour out and do their own thing. Though sometimes contrary to Bright Memory’s dodge-heavy, free flow fighting, these areas are competently built. Almost all fightings I ended up with at least one difficulty that irritated me more than it challenged, whether that means the pit of immediate death I took when I went around the enemies in a cave, statues that jut from the walls of a ruin that my personality kept holding on when I tried to escape the boom bumps of a boss or forest fire that like someone in California, I might.
Puzzles are sprayed all around, but they are as complex as they are. I matched runes with symbols on a wall in one. On the ground. In another place I platformed around, using the strength of my lass to swing over lacuna that was too long for me to hop over at cannished pre-specific points. There are these puzzles. I solved them. I fixed them. Within a week, I’m going to forget them.
Fortunately, Bright Memory seems quite conscious that combat is its main focus and I’m interested in seeing what future episodes carry. The first episode ends with a quick boss fight against a lord — this game is quickly escalating — which is heavy on flash but low on smart gameplay. Now that all the tutorials are out, however, I hope episode two fixes this and then some. Then add wolves even bigger.
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