KNACK REVIEW

This game was developed by SCE Japan Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2013, and is only available on the Play Station 4. Knack was the very first game I played on this console, and the graphics are certainly impressive. If you like Ratchet & Clank type games, this should perk your interest.

Knack is an easygoing game with a pretty cool concept. You play as the creature “Knack”, a Frankenstein-like monster invented by a scientist in the attempt to create a weapon against a band of evil goblins. Knack can collect ancient artifacts along his journey to upgrade his hit points, as well as his size & strength. Therefore the more exploring you do, the bigger and stronger you get. You can also use some of these artifacts to open mysterious doors or power different power sources. Knack is pretty adorable in his smallest form, and becomes totally ferocious and downright unstoppable when he is in his larger form.

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Things You’ll Like

As the game progresses, Knack learns the ability to absorb different elements into his body along with the artifacts. He can take in ice, metal & other substances to provide him with new abilities and make himself stronger. A bit like the Infamous games if you think about, but pretty cool nonetheless. He can also collect these yellow sun-stones along the journey, which allow him to perform special attacks such as blasting a circle around himself to take out enemies. As he collects more pieces and elements, his body becomes literally a bunch of floating stones, which in the cut scenes are pretty impressive in an artistic sense.

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I really like the whole ability to grow your character in this game. I’ve never played a game quite like this one, so it definitely gets brownie points for individuality. Almost like a Super Mario game there are advantages to being small Knack, like fitting through small tunnels & cracks, and of course being the large version of Knack means you can take down smaller enemies with ease. You can find artifacts in secret caves, in treasure boxes, and even in walls.

Things You Won’t Like

This feels like a pretty youthful game, yet it is quite difficult! Especially when you play as small Knack, if you get hit once or twice, you’re dead. Difficult & complex? Yes. Frustrating, uh…yeah! This means you are repeating sections over and over and over again, and after the third or fourth time I was just getting fed up with it.

This is definitely a linear style game, if it was old it would be a retro side-scroller, but it takes that to a more three-dimensional level as you can run in all four directions. However you have almost no options to really explore outside the main path other than a few cracked walls here and there. I’d love a bit more diversity in the setting, that’s for sure, and I think this lack of any open world exploration is a real hindrance for this game.

Plot is….meh. It starts out as a simple conflict against a band of goblins, but later on becomes a much bigger and more complex fight. Other than Knack, the characters are not really very original & I found myself actually skipping through a lot of the cut scenes (trust me there are a lot of them) on my first play-through of the game. So I figure that’s a bad sign, right?

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Verdict

I’m going to compare this game to my review of Watchdogs. It has a totally unique and creative concept, but the follow through was completely lacking. This game is sort of mindless & can be enjoyable in short spurts, but it feels like a slight letdown every time I play it. It always reminds me of Ratchet & Clank games, except without the range of interesting weapons, interesting plot & diverse soundtrack. The main character is pretty interesting and the graphics are beautiful, but that’s about it.

5.5/10