Video gaming
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more

Indie game Bright Memory looks worse after replacing stolen art

Creator replaced enemy models downloaded from pirate software sites

Video gaming
This article originally appeared on ABACUS
Remember that Chinese indie game that looked like Dark Souls crossed with Titanfall? The one developed by one guy, who admitted that he used graphical  assets from pirated software sites?
The game is  Bright Memory Ep1, and it finally replaced the previously unlicensed assets with new ones.

So instead of fighting a pack of humongous, demented dire wolves... we ran into a pack of sleepy lion chimeras in the updated version. The game simply doesn't look as good anymore.

A quick refresher: Bright Memory Ep1 is an FPS title, where you fight as a soldier with exoskeleton trying to gun down monsters and super soldiers. Besides shooting with guns, you also wield a blade. And there are skills to upgrade like freezing time and EMP blasts to aid you in combat.

This indie title left many gamers with a great impression because it looks cool and it’s fun to play. Also, the game is said to be developed by just one person: Zeng “FYQD” Xiancheng. It ended up making quite a bit of money on Steam, reportedly selling more than 192,000 copies.

But the game also has notable similarities with a bunch of other games, like Titanfall. And that's when it landed itself in a bunch of hot water, after Zeng admitted that he used stolen assets. He later promised to use the money he made to replace the stolen art and hire more people.

Those unlicensed assets have now been replaced. So what's different about the game?

For starters, the gigantic white wolf in the game has now been replaced by a not-so-intimidating chimera. While the 3D model has definitely changed, they haven't modified the animation enough to give it the same scare factor: While the original intro scene for this monster has it howling and baring its fangs, the new one just sorta half-yawns, with tiny teeth barely visible. And it's now got some... wings? Fins? Instead of a wild beast, it looks like someone's making a lion play dress-up.

On the left: ANGRY! On the right: Sleepy.

Another example of a prominent change is with the final boss. In the updated version, the Chinese god Xingtian has had a lot of cool design features stripped away, like the giant metallic halo worn on his back. The final boss ends up looking a lot blander and less majestic.

Without the halo and the fangs, the monster on the right looks just like a lump of meat.

Some of the music in the game has also been removed. While its loading scenes used to feature a quite memorable, melodic tune, now these scenes are completely muted, and we're not sure why.

Even though these changes are purely cosmetic, I've found myself liking this game a little less on my third playthrough. Beyond that the stealing felt a little gross, the new artwork just wasn't very good. I know this game costs just US$7, but considering there's only 40 minutes of content, every little bit counts -- and in this case, it's leaving a poor impression.

If you want to find out more about Bright Memory Ep1, check out our full stream here!

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.