There’s no better way to give a game an almost mythical reputation than to let everyone know that it was made by a single person. It goes without saying that making a video game takes a lot of work in multiple fields, which is why solo-developed games will almost always be preceded by their reputation.
It can go two ways: a solo-developed game could turn out to be a low-quality project that reflects the minimal team behind it (in the worst cases it could even be a cash-grab asset flip), or it could turn out to be the product of a lone, herculean effort that eventually results in a modern masterpiece. The most popular examples would be Minecraft and Stardew Valley, but you’ve also probably heard of other great solo efforts like Undertale, Fez, and Papers, Please.
With so many great solo-developed games on the market, the idea that a one-man team can’t make a great game is a thing of the past. But while solo projects are becoming more and more popular, few if any at all have tried to compete with the scale of bigger budget, triple-A games, and that’s exactly what Bright Memory seems to be going for.
Bright Memory is a first-person shooter/hack-and-slash hybrid developed by one-man team Zeng Xiancheng, also known as FYQD Studio. It was released on Steam in March 2020, and the game was basically a short tech demo that showed off its flashy gun and sword mechanics, combined with a few superpowers, all set in a dystopian world with a dash of Chinese mythology.
Despite the game’s short length, it served as decent proof of concept especially considering it was a solo effort. At times it played like a futuristic FPS, while its sword combat was more reminiscent of games like Devil May Cry and Shadow Warrior. The addition of superpowers like telekinesis and slowing down time also gave the game a more fantastical touch along the lines of Control or even Overwatch. Sure, the whole game lasted about an hour, but the gameplay experience was on-par with double or triple-A game standards.
As a short demo, Bright Memory definitely did its job of showing off the game’s potential and generating hype for an eventual full release. After over a year since Bright Memory first launched on Steam, its full version, Bright Memory: Infinite has finally been announced with a tentative 2021 release date.
The new trailer shows off a more polished version of the game as well as new enemies, new environments, and new mechanics that even includes the ability to drive a car in first-person view, Forza style. If there’s anything to be wary about, it might be that the game seems to be trying too many things at once, but that’s also what makes up a lot of its allure. Who doesn’t want to experience several genres in one game? It’s rare to have a game that comes with all these mechanics, and even more rare for such a game to be made by one person.
If you’re interested in checking out Bright Memory or its eventual full version, you can purchase the game on Steam for just ₱289.95. Owners of the original Bright Memory on PC will be able to download Infinite completely for free. While the game is also planned for release on Xbox consoles, the full version will be sold separately from the original game, although owners of the original game on Xbox will receive a discount for Infinite.
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