WeView: Knack

Knack was set up to be a new generation PlayStation mascot. Following in the footsteps of Crash, Ratchet and even Sackboy, he was a loveable creature, though the game was perhaps anything but loveable.

It’s perhaps one of the most average things I’ve ever played, and despite one or two brilliant sections and some great particle effects as Knack grew from a creature made from a few relics to a colossal beast made of thousands, the game was marred with lots of repetition and generally poor gameplay, along with a side helping of bad environment textures.

It was such a shame too, as there was a genuine basis for something decent, or even fantastic here. The central mechanic worked well, and if difficulties hadn’t been so strange – easy was too easy, normal was hard, and hard was one hit KOs – it would’ve and could’ve been a big hit with the kids.

I reviewed the game, and scored it 5/10, concluding:

Knack is a game with some solid core mechanics which cry out for a bit more polish and a lot more variety in the gameplay. While changing size is truly amazing, it doesn’t bring enough in the table to make the lengthy game fun, and it becomes quite tired after the halfway mark.

There’s some great design here, but it’s joined by some poor choices and visuals. While children may have a blast, the difficulty and controls are a bit strange, as if they weren’t designed with them in mind but everything else was. It’s just utterly average and repetitive, despite there being an underlying potential for something superb.

I do hope Knack comes back in some shape or form, and they make a more distinct and fun platformer which doesn’t feel outdated or generally poor. If his potential is realised, a great new wave of 3D platformers could be begin. And we all want that.

But what did you think of the game? I can imagine this splitting opinion – there will be those who hated it but others may have found genuine enjoyment in Knack’s debut, perhaps not worrying about the repetitive nature.

So, just leave a comment below, with a paragraph or two about the game. Then, add a Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It rating on the end, and if you get your comment in before Sunday afternoon then we might include it in next week’s Verdict round-up.

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20 Comments

  1. Utterly ridicuous check points. Fight through four waves of enemies, die at the end, have to fight through the same four waves again. Also ridiculously difficult despite it being aimed at kids. Sorry to say but Avoid it.

    • Valid point about the Difficulty, but I find most kids are better at games than me anyway…..;o)

  2. I agree with tc about the difficulty it seemed bizarre for a kids game.

    I generally could not get into this or even bear to continue playing it was just so dull, had they at least made decent trophies it may have spurred me on but even those were sporadic and stupid. Id just avoid it, theres little fun here.

  3. Knack was the game I got for my wife to play on the new shiny console. She played the most of it on her own with me dropping in to co-op on occasion.

    We thoroughly enjoyed it – I thought it was a great old school platform brawler. The bad press was very unfair.

  4. Really wasn’t impressed if I’m honest.

    It was shiny, yes, but the only reason I had it was due to it being in the only PlayStation 4 bundle available.

    Despite being aimed at young ‘uns I often found myself becoming frustrated at the difficulty spikes and harsh checkpoints.

    I’m not entirely pessimistic, however. It’s one of those games I will likely rediscover and play through again with the possibility of actually coming to like it. For that reason it’s a “Rent It” for me.

  5. I loved it 8/10 for me i completed it 5 times and got platinum and i’m 37

    • I agree. This is a classic example of old-school platforming action where you really need the patience to learn and adapt to enemy attack patterns. Once you are familiar with it the game is really no harder on the hard and very hard difficulties than it is on normal. The checkpoints are sometimes brutal but every time you die you keep your sunstone energy which powers up the super moves, and there is usually a fair bit of sunstone to collect soon after each checkpoint, so you never really get stuck. The story was aimed at the young at heart and was quite Pixar-ish. Really liked the voice acting too. Graphics were very impressive with the occasional frame rate dip. My only real complaint was with having to farm diamonds from chests. Took forever. I would easily recommend this game as a buy for fans of the older style unforgiving platformer, and at least a rent for everyone else.

  6. I played this through on hard and died that much just in the tutorial that I got the trophy for killing over 100 enemies, but once you realise that their is a knack (see what I did there) to killing enemies it became abit easy. I only died once fighting the final boss whereas the first boss I died numerous times resulting in a nearly broken DS4. I honestly couldn’t wait to finish it though, not because I loved playing it, for the complete opposite reason.

    I rented it and I’m glad I did. So if you are interested then rent it, or at least wait until it is about £10 to buy it.

  7. I played this though on my own and enjoyed it loved the ice cave level completed it then last weekend revisited it with my nephew went out and bought an extra DS4 so we could both play and he absolutely loved it! Giggled his little head off most of the way through it. I picked it up in PSN sale for £30 and it was worth every penny.

    Buy it

  8. Personally I loved it and it’s probably the best PS4 game I’ve played so far (Resogun taking a close second place).
    The visuals are nice and bright, the gameplay is challenging but fair and the bonus modes unlocked upon completion of the game have offered up a decent amount of longevity.
    My only personal gripe with the game is that collectibles don’t carry across difficulties. I was a bit tedious having to play through the game on normal a second time to unlock the final collectibles/Knack upgrades, before I could move onto a higher difficulty.

    Granted I am writing all of this as someone who bought the game for roughly £10. Had it bought it for £54.99 on launch day I might not have been as satisfied.

    BARGAIN BIN IT

  9. Picked it up as a swap for NFS Rivals but it was priced at £25 so I’ll use that as a price to base the review on.

    Looks decent enough, and some really nice environments (particularly liked the cities) but very samey enemies and some of the levels felt they went on just a bit longer than they should have done, with the same tricks being repeated.

    Loved the world the game was set in, and Knack was a likeable enough character. The game ends with a definite set up for a sequel and if they price it sensibly I’d be tempted just to see where the story goes.

    Hated the way you’d have to replay multiple times to unlock everything and get the platinum.

    Nice companion app on the App store – Knacks Quest or something. Tied to in-game rewards so it encourages you to play.

    Overall, a nice enough game with nothing standing out as unique, and definitely didn’t seem to be next gen.

    Bargain bin it.

  10. By the sounds of things (going on comments so far), they should have just dropped the ‘n’ & called it Kack.

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