PS4 Review: Knack

Is this a platformer of knackered ideas?

Knack is a platformer from the mind of Mark Cerny, mind of Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter and Uncharted in which you play as a small hero called Knack who stands at just 3ft tall but with the power of relics can grow up to around 10 times that size as he takes on the new found Goblin threat. The game itself looks like something taken from a DreamWorks/Pixar film with the adorably cute Knack at the helm.
The story isn’t anything that special, but it does enough to get you to the end of the game. One thing that will put you off Knack is its difficulty which is quite high; I personally got slaughtered even on Normal by a group of a few enemies. They can pull off a range of attacks like throwing grenades, fire arrows and can be any size even if you are tiny, which is rough since you barely have any health when small and a few hits will finish you.

The formula is simple as you push forward through areas of enemies till the next, there isn’t a whole lot of exploring to do with the exception of the odd hidden area for upgrades to Knack’s abilities which vary but do require a lot of resources to pull off the really good moves. Trophy hunters should be prepared for a rather lengthy and tough journey along with plenty of playthoughs to grind for rare gems to upgrade Knack.
There is co-op drop in/drop-out play as well as time attack and coliseum attack modes to help flesh out the game, but after beating it there isn’t any real reason to come back to it other than cleaning up the remaining trophies. It’s a shame that the game is linear and almost frowns on exploring with fixed camera angles, you can’t use the right analog stick to move it but instead it’s used to make Knack dodge attacks.

Seeing as it’s a game that is for 7+ you think it’d be a bit easier for younger gamers, but it is brutal at times…at least until you upgrade Knack fully. It’s a bit off-putting which is bizarre for a platformer, sure they are meant to be challenging in areas…but to have it that hard will certainly put some gamers off. The visual style is great though and like I said looks like something from DreamWorks or Pixar and while the story isn’t the most original, it does more than enough to entertain you along the way.

The Verdict

While it may not have been the must-have platformer that the PS4 needed, Knack is still a good enough experience that makes good use of the hardware. The difficulty will be off-putting to younger gamers and trophy hunters will need to put a lot of time into it to get the platinum, but other than that I would definitely recommend it as one of the better launch titles.