In 2021, FYQD unleashed Bright Memory Infinite on the PC (you can read our full review of the game here). I was impressed with the game’s tightly paced campaign that combined satisfying fire fights with engaging melee combat. It was also one of the most visually striking games to ever grace the PC. If you had the right hardware, Bright Memory could look better than real life. One year later, you can now play Bright Memory Infinite on the PS5, Xbox Series S | X and… the Nintendo Switch?
Upon hearing this announcement, I was left scratching my head. How do you get a game like this running on the Switch, when the minimal system requirements for the PC release exceed the original PS4 and Xbox One? Let alone, the Nintendo Switch. Come along and join me as we investigate how the developers pulled off the greatest miracle since the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Upon booting up the game on the Switch, my initial impressions were quite positive. Motion controls are present and current. While the FOV and motion blur can be tweaked to suit your preference. Furthermore, every DLC costume and weapon skin from the original PC release is included at no extra charge. Curiously, the developers have included the option to turn off the Vertical Sync. But the option doesn’t work since Nintendo mandates that every Switch game has this graphics technology fully engaged.
Unsurprisingly, texture quality takes a major hit when compared to the game running on a high-end PC. Shadow resolution and lighting are also pared back with ambient occlusion being eliminated entirely.
However, the character models are still recognisable and look superb. While environmental detail is similar to the original PC release albeit with lower quality textures and a reduced polygon count. Incredibly, no content has been cut from this conversion with every set piece (including the spectacular mid-flight skirmish) surviving the transition to Nintendo’s hybrid console.
On the positive side, the reduction of texture quality has decreased the game’s data footprint and only takes up 1.8GB of storage space. The loading times for each stage lasts around 30 seconds. Unfortunately, dying forces the player to sit through another lengthy loading screen before regaining control.
When using the Switch in portable mode, the resolution of the game is typically around 600p. Thankfully, the HUD is always rendered at 720p with Unreal’s temporal anti-aliasing cleaning up the edges. Upon putting the Switch in the dock, the rendering resolution jumps up to 900p with the HUD being presented at 1080p. With many Switch releases running at sub-HD resolutions, it’s refreshing to see a Switch game delivering high quality visuals at this fidelity. When played on a 1080p TV, Bright Memory’s presentation holds up well on the big screen.
However, it becomes obvious that the developers had to rely on reconstruction techniques to pull off these incredible visuals on the Switch. When you start playing the game, the stippling artifacts (pictured below) associated with reconstruction techniques are going to rear their ugly head. The motion blur can help hide these artifacts to a degree, but you’re still going to notice them from time to time.
Like the visuals, performance isn’t perfect. Bright Memory Infinite aims for 30fps, but the framerate drops to the mid-20s when the action heats up. It never approaches unplayable territory, but the low framerates combined with the controller lag are difficult to ignore in a fast-paced shooter.
Bright Memory Infinite on the Switch is an extremely impressive port. The original PC release has minimal requirements that exceed any other game that has been ported to Nintendo’s hybrid system. The fact that FYQD managed to get this game running on the Switch is nothing short of a miracle. But the low framerates and sluggish controls makes it difficult to enjoy this game on the Switch. I can only recommend this port if you don’t own a high-end PC or any machines from Nintendo’s rivals.