Bright Memory Xbox Series X Review

November 10, 2020

If you’ve been following the Xbox Series X for long, you may remember Bright Memory Infinite, the incredibly flashy first-person shooter/slasher shown off in May’s Inside Xbox. What you might not know is that Bright Memory Infinite begun life in much humbler fashion, as a short game titled Bright Memory. Serving as more of an introductory episode, rather than a full game, Bright Memory comes to Xbox Series X as a much smaller scale and much rougher experience.

Bright Memory serves to introduce us to Shelia, a member of the Science Research Organisation (SRO) who has been tasked with preventing a military group from obtaining an ancient and deadly power. What is the SRO you ask? I don’t really know. What’s the ancient power? Absolutely no idea. Why is the military group evil? Beats me. Bright Memory’s story is woefully underdeveloped, even giving it leeway for its bite-sized nature. There are flashes of weird occurrences, sudden shifts in dimensions and location, and fantastic powers, but none of it is ever given enough context to make it engaging. Instead, it feels like that prologue you have in a game before it shifts to the real protagonist and the story actually begins.

Bright Memory originally began life as a PC exclusive title and that’s strikingly obvious in the Xbox Series X version of the game. All of the game’s menus continue to use analogue stick-controlled pointers instead of buttons for navigation, while the camera sensitivity controls also alter the speed of that same pointer. The game even still has a fully intact graphical settings menu that seems to be ripped straight from a PC game, which would be cool if not for the fact that no matter what I tried, the scroll bar wouldn’t work and I couldn’t actually reach all of the options. It feels like a weirdly slapdash port that wasn’t really fully optimised or designed as a console experience.

These rough edges continued into the game itself, with its visuals looking decidedly rough. Textures were often flat and murky, props were relatively sparse and nothing looked particularly good. And while there was the odd interesting bit thrown in here and there, the game’s environments largely felt generic and uninteresting. What didn’t help is the game never felt like it was quite running at a stable framerate, with what felt like hitches and drops as its more bombastic moments occurred. Its not exactly what I was hoping for from Bright Memory on Xbox Series X.

Where the game did start to feel at home was in its combat sections. Always hectic, the game throws waves of enemies at you in a series of ever-escalating combat arenas. With a pistol, automatic rifle, shotgun and light blade at your disposal, its up to you to fell these enemies as quickly as possible, all the while increasing your score. There’s little variety in the game’s enemies, even considering the fact that I was able to complete a playthrough in 29 minutes, but the weapons all feel so fun to use that it doesn’t matter. Unloading shotgun shells into my foes, before hitting them with an EMP to disable them and then slicing them with my light blade felt rewarding, and better yet, fun. The game’s bosses do feel somewhat like bullet sponges though, which dampens what should be the most interesting fights of the game.

While there are plenty of rough edges and frustrations here, these are all somewhat balanced out by the cost of Bright Memory on Xbox Series X; AU$11.95. You’re not exactly breaking the bank by buying it and it is an interesting little experience to have, even if you don’t end up being a fan of it. If you’re looking for a weird, new FPS to have some fun with on launch day, you can certainly do worse than picking this up.

Bright Memory was reviewed on Xbox Series X with a review copy provided by the publisher. The game is also available on PC.


- Combat mechanics feel responsive
- Short length means it's easy to replay
- Only costs AU$11.95


- Environments look rough
- Platforming sections are frustrating
- Little enemy variety
- Story is vague and non-sensical

Overall Score: