Figment 2: Creed Valley Review
The original Figment from Danish developer Bedtime Digital arrived as a burst of refreshing air in 2017, a psuedo-isometric puzzle adventure that tackled mature themes of depression and trauma, while also featuring great original songs sung by its bosses. Five and a half years later, Figment 2: Creed Valley looks to offer more of the same quirky charms.
The first game introduced us to Dusty, our player character who was a manifestation of interior courage, solving puzzles and swinging his wooden sword at troublesome worries – also embodied as cutesy enemies. Dusty is accompanied by Piper, an endlessly enthusiastic bird who helps to keep him motivated and offers advice. Both of these heroes return in the sequel, but there is actually some interesting character development as Dusty must come to terms with the idea that not all problems can be solved through conflict. This arc is a welcome one and helps to prevent Figment 2 from feeling like a retread of the original.
The bright and colourful cartoon aesthetic returns here, too, with the background still full of interactive elements that make an assortment of musical sounds. The soundtrack is also good, although I didn’t find the boss music as memorable this time around – possibly just because it was such a novel approach first time around.
Rather than the dark themes of the first game, the story here is somewhat more mundane. Your character is stressed from trying to juggle work and family time, especially as he is about to take on an expensive mortgage for a new house. This results in family arguments and unhappiness, as the increased responsibility means he has squashed his ability to have fun. It’s a storyline that many adults will clearly relate to, as we find ourselves caught in the burdens of reality. Dusty and Piper find themselves facing a new nightmare – a two headed Jester who has broken the moral compass and must be stopped.
Progress in Figment 2 requires a mixture of combat encounters in a traditional arena format and puzzles, largely involving shifting platforms and moving batteries between switches. These puzzles are well designed, but aren’t anything particularly new and don’t really offer much of a challenge. The main highlight for me was a maze level about half way through where you have to memorise a route and then fly on a book between stages. If you choose the wrong direction, you have to restart from the beginning. This isn’t as arduous as it might sound, as the sections are pretty short.
Combat is nice and responsive, but you only really have a swing and a roll at your disposal. This means that battles become somewhat repetitive after a while – especially since there are only a handful of enemy types to confront. Boss encounters with the Jester (and he is the only boss you’ll meet) are better and require a degree of strategy to pass without being frustrating. It is pretty clear that the main focus here is the narrative and to be honest, that’s fine. Not every game should aspire to be a punishing Souls-like. Figment 2 is confident in its own skin and just wants to tell you a story about personal growth and finding balance.