March 2022. Exactly at this time, I was struggling with Tunic, the adventure developed by Andrew Shouldice that earned second place on my personal list of the top 10 video games of 2022. It is almost unbelievable how, a year later, I find myself again holding in my hands another great title of comparable value, Figment 2: Creed Valley, once again distributed by the holy publisher ICO.
Along with the British publisher, we find. BedTime Digital Games, a Danish development studio, which returns with the sequel to its Figment to give us one of those touching experiences, which is striking in terms of its artistic compartment and graphic style (the images you will see as you scroll through the article speak for themselves), but above all for writing that makes each dialogue unique present in the game and each track, sung and performed so masterfully that you will feel like you are participating in an interactive musical.
In fact, Figment 2: Creed Valley possesses one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard in a video game, superb in its lyrics and overwhelming in its rhythm, which greatly enhances the involvement during the memorable boss fights (very few to be honest). The latter, however, were instrumental in bonding me even more to the touching message of a short but intense work, designed to be a DLC of the first chapter in 2017-one million copies sold-and then turned into a full-fledged sequel (read N3rdcore’s interview with the developers of Figment 2.).
Darkness won’t scare you anymore
You know the teddy bear that protects children, collapsed into a deep sleep, from the frightening monsters birthed in their minds? Well, the concept behind Figment 2: Creed Valley is exactly the same, the only difference is that instead of the plush toy we find the two protagonists of the adventure, Dusty and Piper, grappling with giant boars and wild clowns, ready to do anything to wreak havoc on the victim’s brain. It will only be through their heroic deeds that the darkness will no longer frighten us, reducing to dust all those anxieties that imprisoned the best version of ourselves.
The gameplay of Figment 2: Creed Valley revolves largely around well-designed and functional environmental puzzles and riddles to the narrative that will often require interacting with the surrounding environment. Each action, in fact, will clear the mind of fears and apprehensions thus allowing us to continue the adventure. The puzzles are meticulously constructed in such a way as to allow the player to venture deeper and deeper into the meanderings of the human psyche.
And by the time I thought I had seen all that Figment 2 had to offer, there it was. Dusty and Piper have to impersonate two cunning detectives. to get to the bottom of a tangled case that only the best Sherlock Holmes could solve: an opinion, the main inhabitants of our brains, has mysteriously been found lying unconscious on the ground, and the dynamic duo is therefore called upon to unearth the culprit of the misdeed. It changes the gameplay while still remaining anchored to the basic concept of puzzle solving: this time, however Will need to retrieve clues and evidence, such as the weapon used to knock out the poor unfortunate man and the time when the crime occurred to deduce the culprit and allow the village to regain its daily serenity.
Finally, there will be no shortage of fights, also very basic in mechanics (quick attack, dodge and roll plus jump shot), in which not much skill is required to cross the pitfalls and enemies (few) that will try to get in our way. However, despite the obvious but surmountable limitations of the combat system, the various moments when it is necessary to draw the wooden sword are quite hectic and even the most natural action, such as hitting missiles fired from a cannon to send them back to the sender or to direct them at a specific mob, manages to provide moments of genuine fun.
But in short, what is Figment 2: Creed Valley?
Figment 2: Creed Valley is a life lesson. Anyone can break down mentally and psychologically, but it is precisely in these moments that you have to get back up and follow that light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel, knowing also that you can count on an inseparable friendship that can help you get through the darkest and scariest moments.
The latest effort by BedTime Digital Games is a fairy tale with many reading levels, both childlike and mature at the same time and, like any tale of the genre, with a sweet happy ending. A narrative capable of Turning even an afternoon of heavy rain into a moment of happiness, spurring you to go outside into the fresh air to dance under the water, free, light, to the rhythm of a soundtrack written and played with the passion of those who love that wonderful medium called a video game.
Figment 2: Creed Valley made me dream and become a child again, when creativity is in its purest, untainted form and imagination has no limits.