A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bright Memory is a downloadable first-person shooter for Xbox Series X/S and Windows PCs. The gameplay's set in a sci-fi setting with a main character whose task is solving puzzles and fighting to save herself from groups of opponents. Players use a variety of guns, a sword, and some special abilities to kill lots of enemies. These enemies include humans, as well as strange creatures, and there's a lot of blood being spilled (though there's an option to turn off the blood). "S--t" is frequently used in dialogue.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
In BRIGHT MEMORY, a soldier named Shielia infiltrates a secret lab, only to accidentally create a chain reaction that transports her to an uncharted part of her planet populated by hostile creatures and strange natives. To protect herself from these threats, Shielia uses her guns, a sword, and her ability to shock people with an EMP blast to clear her way of incoming attacks. She'll he also have to use her grappling hook, her ability to jump, and her problem solving skills to make her way through the underground caves and dungeons that are full of large gaps, locked doors, and even some Indiana Jones-esque puzzles.
Is it any good?
Though it has some rather basic flaws, and is kind of mindless, this first-person sci-fi action game still manages to be fun if you don't take it seriously. Bright Memory is billed as the first game in a larger saga, which is why it's as short as it is inexpensive. A soldier named Shielia is transported to a somewhat primitive part of her world after she causes an accident in a secret lab. Armed with her guns, her sword, her grappling hook, and her ability to shock enemies into the air, she has to make her way to freedom by navigating her way through some dungeon-like environments full of weird creatures and enemy soldiers. What makes this somewhat different is its distinctly approach to its character designs, the overwrought dialog, and how it constantly grades your fighting skills. It really feels like what the people who made Devil May Cry would come up with if they were tasked with designing a Halo sequel.
Too bad it doesn’t work as well as that combination suggests. The button layout could be more intuitive, especially where your EMP attack is concerned, while the parts where you're jumping work as poorly here as, well, they always do in first-person games. Also, the game's proportions are out of whack. While Shielia's sword can deal some serious damage, the recharge time between uses is oddly long. Similarly, some enemies are disproportionately stronger than others, which makes some fights more frustrating than fun. And yet, despite these issues, Bright Memory's somewhat unique approach and frantic fights make this both compelling and challenging, and makes you eager to see what happens next.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Bright Memory affected by the fact that you're not only killing people, but you're killing strange creatures to survive? Do you feel differently about killing virtual humans than when you kill non-humans? Why do you suppose that is?
Do you think that Bright Memory needed to include sequences where you have to fight animals? Is it understandable that the animals attack you when you invade their homes? Does it seem like there could be a better way to handle this?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.