On 7 May 2020, Microsoft introduced the new generation of consoles with a gameplay showcase featuring a wide range of games planned for the Xbox Series X – and Bright Memory: Infinity, the first game shown during this presentation. Now, more than two years later — and half a year after the PC version came out — Bright Memory: Infinity has arrived on consoles. Given its prominent place in that original showcase, I thought we needed to see it here at Digital Foundry. On the face of it, it’s actually a “next-gen only” exclusive — you can’t play the game on PS4 or Xbox One consoles — which makes the launch of the Nintendo Switch version all the more interesting.
Bright Memory: Infinite is a fast-paced first-person shooter that combines snappy gunplay with sword-fighting melee. It’s not a long game, but what’s here is solid and reasonably well executed—it almost recalls Shadow Warrior’s 2013 reboot, albeit with a more focused, linear level design. Plus, if you’re playing on the latest console, Bright promises memory Infinite 120Hz output and support for ray traced reflections, though not simultaneously.
Where it surprises the most, perhaps, is in its development history. Bright Memory: Infinity is a showpiece title that could offer modern development tools when in the right hands – you see, most of the development duties on the game were performed by one person. In making the game, Infinite was built using Unreal Engine 4 with additional support software and Quixel assets to speed up development time. That doesn’t mean it’s entirely a solo project – cast, composers and voice actors were required to perfect the game, but considering the quality of the presentation, it’s an impressive feat.
Bright Memory: Infinite is a fascinating title in terms of its development story — and how its various versions compare.
Bright Memory: Infinite launched on PC and it’s interesting to see the agreements made to transition to consoles – also required for the PS5 and Series X – and perhaps inevitably, it mainly deals with ray tracing. The PC version includes Nvidia’s Restyre Global Illumination feature that allows for realistic bounce lighting, ray trace AO and shadows, and far stronger reflections. The environments also get additional detail but the reflections are probably the most important difference. The PC version features dramatically higher resolution reflections and more surfaces – including those with more rigid materials – take advantage of them. Even in scenes with clear puddles, the console versions lack the high resolution, accurate reflections available on the PC.
That said, I think the console version still looks good on its own merits, though there’s a clear pecking order between the different builds, with the Xbox Series X offering higher resolution and more consistent performance than the PS5, While the Series S essentially lags behind both (lack of both 120Hz and RT support) with the Switch being massively lagging behind the others.
For top-end consoles, RT features are limited to images and the resolution of these images is relatively low, but it’s a match between the two machines. Compared to the standard screen-space solution, RT Reflections significantly improves image quality mainly due to the sheer amount of water present in the game – you’ll spend a lot of time walking through rivers and lakes and RT implementations, while Not perfect, eliminates those typical SSR artifacts.
Ray tracing is sharp on both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, with RT reflections stonework and multiple bodies of water looking more accurate and solid.
In terms of image quality, the Xbox Series X comes out on top with both a default mode and a ray tracing mode that targets the full 2160p and surprisingly, it holds the resolution most of the time. The PS5 also targets this, but it seems to drop below 4K if you look closely, causing a slight loss in overall clarity. The more significant difference is visible when using the game’s higher frame-rate mode. The Xbox Series X seems to stick to its 1440p target most often while the PS5 often drops to 80 percent of this value causing a further loss of clarity. Compared to both the Xbox Series S and Switch, both the Xbox Series S and Switch feature only one display mode but at least all versions allow for adjustment of both scene and motion blur, which is certainly nice.
The Xbox Series S targets 1440p — but, in the vast majority of cases, you’ll find that resolution hangs between 80 and 90 percent of 1440p. On the Switch, the game aims for 1080p and 720p in dock and portable modes, respectively, but generally drops to about 80 percent of these targets during our random samples. It’s faster than your typical Unreal-based Switch game, though, so that’s all I’ll say. In this sense, the Switch version is extremely attractive in terms of its visual make-up – the game required major sacrifices to pull it off on Nintendo’s portable hardware.
The Switch works very well as a bright, crisp portable experience – but inconsistent frame-pacing at 30fps is disappointing, even though the overall performance level remains close to 30fps.
Right from the start, it’s clear that many cinematic effects, such as depth of field, are back on the Switch. Lights are drawn from the scene, textures are low resolution and everything looks simple. That said, the game retains most of its visual identity and it plays at 30fps. Taking a closer look during gameplay, even more effects are eliminated, with motion blur being selectively done and massively reducing overall visual complexity. This is PC on low-to-low settings. Textures, reflections, foliage, lighting, particles and more are all reduced in quality, but as a portable experience, I’d argue it holds up. Image quality is sharper than usual and motion blur remains throughout most sequences, though still optional. This is both underwhelming to all other versions of the game, yet surprisingly playable and impressive given the Switch’s hardware limitations.
Performance-wise, the Switch’s 30fps is married at 30fps by inconsistent frame-pacing which is disappointing, but looking at the console, the Xbox Series X is the best-performing version of the bunch. In its default mode, the results are uneven – it’s very stable. When ray tracing is enabled, performance is almost as good – most sequences manage to reach 60 frames per second throughout the game, as in the default mode though there is some slight degradation through gameplay. Then we have 120Hz mode and that’s even more amazing – it’s extremely stable. Same occasional hiccups but that’s effectively a solid 120 frames per second for a very responsive game. Xbox Series S? Think of its single non-RT 60Hz gaming mode as being virtually identical to the Series X, just at a lower resolution.
Performance on the Xbox Series and PS5 is good in 60Hz mode, although Sony consoles have more problems maintaining 120fps in 120Hz mode. The VRR cleans it up, but it’s running at a lower resolution here as well than the Series X.
PS5? Normal and RT modes are pretty much the same as the Xbox version, with both delivering 60 frames per second most of the time, within only minor hiccups. Heavy scenes can sometimes drop in RT mode, but that’s good. There are issues with 120Hz mode where issues start popping up on the PS5, though – it’s not as stable as the Xbox, although the VRR clears it up well. It’s worth pointing out that to access 120Hz mode at all, you’ll need to pop into the PS5’s system menu, and in the game presets area, select Display. Failing to do so means that 120Hz display support never starts.
So, is Bright Memory: Infinite worth a look? It’s a bit tricky and it needs full context of the game to really appreciate it. Primarily developed by just one person, this game is inspirational. It airs the Supernatural Valley concept but applies to Triple-A game development. It aspires to deliver a triple-A experience and even looks and feels like an AAA shooter. In some respects, but it doesn’t quite pull it off—which is okay, honestly, it’s still good fun.
Fast Memory: Infinite is also a fast game – it clocks in under two hours, costs $20USD or around £15 depending on the format – yet its developer worked years of his life to make it . was it worth it? It’s not something I can answer, but it’s definitely something to consider when consuming your next video game, especially if your next purchase is for a small team or even one person. done by Releases like this definitely ask you to think about the build process. What I will say here is that the developer has done a great job producing a simple, streamlined little game and if you like what you see here, you might like to check it out.