The sequel to 2017’s indie hit Figment is finally available and once again will lead you deep within your thoughts and opinions, occasionally delving into emotions and convictions that will make you question things. Figment 2: Creed Valley is incredibly hard to label; a game that both plays like an action-adventure at heart and has a huge heart, pulling your heartstrings as you roam the confines of the mind in search for the lost courage. It’s a remarkable but short trip that deserves to be experienced by everyone who loves testing their action and puzzle skills, with the company of some genius tunes.
Dusty and Piper are the amazing duo that embarks on this surreal journey into the mind of a married man with a young daughter, Inside Out style. Fighting nightmares, trying to overcome fear, and solving mysteries to strike a healthy life balance is key. Comparable It Takes Two in the way that it aims for human emotions and beliefs, it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Hazelight’s brilliant co-op adventure, but it’s a terrific companion for players in search of games that will make them… feel. Feel good, feel sad, feel entertained, feel challenged… It goes through several motions during the five hours or so that it takes to reach the conclusion.
Figment 2 is a very musical game, with some sequences and especially boss battles that are attached to the music. In some sense, there’s a musical background to the game, as you cross piano bridges and find some NPCs who will start singing, with an overall quality that will make you smile and often sing along. It starts fast and furious with the Black Metal Boar and doesn’t let go from there, although it can be accused of repeating a few boss fights here and there.
Striking a great balance between action and puzzle-solving, Figment 2 will ask courageous Dusty to swing his wood sword at most enemies and challenges, while Birdie is his open-minded and sometimes naïve counterpart. The duo is constantly chatting and wondering about the state of mind of this overworked and detached family man, with Piper even attempting to discuss some philosophical assumptions, which are readily dismissed by the bold but closed-minded Dusty.
Speaking of closed-minded, you will often find triggers to switch between this state and the open-mind state. Besides some noticeable changes to the environment, changes block or open paths and will make you think how you should act to move into new territory. You’ll often stumble upon other puzzle types, including moving platforms, colored batteries to plug, or a whole level of riddles called the Ethics Maze. This is where you’ll be testing various types of skills, from musical notes to matching pairs, fighting bosses, assembling stone engravings, timing your moves through spikes, and three rounds of moving across a stone path based on the clues. The game does drag a bit here, with the book flights and the occasional mind block, but it’s enjoyable, and the following section is quite brilliant.
After some work, this is where you’ll meet the Choir of Discarded Opinions, a bunch of misfits that were discarded to the forgotten side of the mind. Opinions are recurrent NPCs in Figment 2 and have a firm belief on what they advocate – unless you switch from closed-minded to open-minded, as mentioned above – no matter the legitimacy. This choir will sing a beautiful tune about popular misconceptions or doubtful personal preferences, including looking good with a moustache, pineapple on pizza, the healing power of crystals, driving without seatbelts being for the weak, among many other often hilarious statements in song version, even if you agree with them or not – and there will be people who will entirely miss the point of the satire.
Elementary, My Dear Dusty
Showing that Figment 2 isn’t a one-trick pony, there’s a deductive segment where Dusty and Piper investigate a crime scene – no, there’s no murder, but a significant bump to the head. Looking around for potential weapons, suspects, and the time of day when the crime was committed, you will fiddle around with your clues until you submit your guess. It’s elaborate, chatting with the suspect Opinions is brief but always fun, and another nice way of surprising the player.
The open-minded bird Piper will be controllable for a brief section, one that may hit you hard on the emotional scale, depending on your empathy for the events. Delivering full-blown emotional quests is something that some games attempt to, but Figment 2 almost hits all the right notes.
Unexpectedly, there's a two-player cooperative mode where the second player controls Piper. Now, the bird can attack enemies as well, so if you have a friend or loved one nearby and want to experiment this surprisingly but very interesting addition, definitely dive into it as a true duo.
Voice acting is of consistently high quality; some of the songs are brilliantly tied up to the gameplay and quite a joy to listen to, and the whole game permeates quality. You will feel attached to the main characters, perhaps relate to the struggle of the man whose mind is at the center of the adventure, and shed a tear or two at the end, which unfortunately comes sooner than later. But the ride was entirely worth it.
Figment 2: Creed Valley may not represent a huge step forward from the first game, but more time exploring the corners of the mind is always a great thing. Polished, inventive, emotional, and entertaining, it’s a game that doesn’t conform to a single genre and yet feels like a genuinely solid package. Any player that wants their games with equal doses of emotions and humor should absolutely give this one a go; as for the rest of you… don’t be closed-minded, dive in and enjoy a wonderful journey.
- Amazing musical score and boss battles
- The Choir of Discarded Opinions should become a classic
- Gameplay is polished and very diverse
- Two-player co-op mode to live the story with a friend
- Some boss character reuse
- It’s not extremely short, but ends sooner than we want it to