March 9, 2023
God knows how many times money has caused arguments in my life. While I’ve never assigned myself to believing it is the route of all evil, it’s certainly hard not to have your life revolve around it. Bills that need paying constantly, having enough to provide for yourself and your family, and surviving with the cost of basic human rights escalating every single day puts so much pressure on us, it becomes far from healthy. Figment 2: Creed Valley couldn’t have come at a better time, and while playing through it, I was constantly reminded of what really matters in life, and how to try not to forget about the simplest of joys.
In Figment 2: Creed Valley, you play as Dusty, an embodiment of the mind’s courage. Accompanied by his best friend Piper, it is your job to rid the mind of nightmares who’s job it is to cast doubt and torment for the person afflicted by them. In this case, it is a man who’s constantly worrying about providing for his family at the real cost of what the reason is for his need to support his wife and child in the first place. Told through cutscenes and memories you can watch by collecting pink memory shards, you’ll start to see how his problems are affecting his relationship with his family, and how things used to be before his financial worries started to take hold.
In terms of Figment 2: Creed Valley’s gameplay, it’s rather simple. The difficulty never overwhelms, but there’s still plenty to enjoy in solving environmental puzzles as you traverse the mind fighting these nightmares. These can be as simple as hitting buttons to move platforms, finding friends to help you lift objects, and acquiring items to trade with other characters for pieces of a puzzle. One of the best layered puzzles within my journey was a trip to the Ethics Maze. It consisted of various stages filled with small puzzles and encounters with enemies.
One such puzzle saw me having to match melodies. Another had me matching various sets of pairs of coloured globes, and another had me flipping over books until I found the right pattern so they’d all turn over. Once I followed a particular route, I then had to pass over blocks with a certain puzzle hinted at in a riddle, before fighting a tougher enemy at the end. In the middle of this elaborate maze, I bumped into my favourite section of the game, and it was a surprisingly deep moment featuring a choir of chubby and fluffy fellows who were the embodiment of opinions.
The place in question was at the bottom of the Ethics Maze where discarded opinions dwelled. Not only was the song they were singing catchy, they would sing lines like, ‘climate change won’t affect me,’ ‘I can drive as it’s only my fifth beer,’ and ‘real men shouldn’t cry.’ There’s a hell of a lot of thought gone into the puzzles in Figment 2: Creed Valley, but also how the mind is represented through its aesthetic and the characters you encounter. Another level that impressed me was one where you could hit switches to change from an open mind to a closed one.
Here, new paths would open up and the environment’s colour palette would change. Not only that, but platforms would move and opinions would change their tune, allowing you to progress further forwards. These kind of ideas are present all the way through, and it was such a pleasure taking in the beauty of the visuals and how the mind came to life through striking design choices. Seeing how Bedtime Digital Games brought the mind to life in a whole manner of ways not only improves on the original, it offers more unique ways to experience their engaging story.
Its fundamental approach to combat and traversal sometimes got a bit repetitive, but thanks to a wide variety of puzzles, I was never bored. It’s challenge takes a step back in favour of presenting an important story with an even more important message, and I applaud the developers for doing so in a way that can be enjoyed by a younger generation with little life experience, and those of us that know all too well how managing finances can be a tough part of adult life. It may not appeal to everyone, especially those who want a tougher challenge, but I personally adored how charming Figment 2: Creed Valley is, and how the mind is represented through its design and vibrant colour palette.
Great ideas in representing the mind
Combat can be repetitive
Lacking a real challenge
Figment 2: Creed Valley is not only an improvement on the original, but it tells a wonderful story that reminds you what really matters.