Game-Locke Review #3 Knack

knack-listing-thumb-01-ps4-us-06nov14Alright after a few months of no reviews, due to problems with my busy schedule i’m finally back for another Game-Locke review. This time we’ll be looking at a game fresh from our new system, in which we play all of it on our twitch channel (Ninjamaster227) to it’s entirety, and than we review it. The game in question of course is the ps4 exclusive game Knack.

Background information:

Knack is a 3d platforming beat ’em up game exclusive to Sony’s playstation 4 console. It was brought to us by the same creators behind another playstation exclusive “Gravity Rush”. Released in the US back in 2013 and later in 2014 for Japan, Knack was one the few select launch titles for the than new Playstation 4 console. It was designed to take aspects from other games like crash Bandicoot, God of War, and etc. to give it’s own unique feel and gameplay.

Gameplay:

From a third person camera angle, the player controls the title character “Knack” past a collection of straight forward start to finish levels. Each linear level is filled with obstacles, enemies knack must defeat (armored humans, robots, goblins, creatures, traps, etc), puzzles, and hidden caves with items that can upgrade Knack or improve Co-op play. Like some past Sony titles the player only controls Knack only, the camera actually follows knack instead in a combination of 2.5D angles and third person view.

Their are many levels in Knack each with its own objectives and requirements that drive the story of the game. The environments themselves are truly awe inspiring featuring several brightly colored surroundings. One thing the game does well is find a balance between looking rather cartoonish, and appearing sleekly and clean in high definition (a good early example of what the ps4 was capable of at the time).

Combat in the game consists of a rather simple brawling mechanic. You jump, dodge, punch, aerial slam, and unleash power attacks from storable power items called “sunstones” found throughout every single level. You also replenish your health by finding relics the many gold trinkets that make up Knack’s golem like body. Relics can also increase your health, while also increasing Knack’s size.

The game does feature in offline co-op story mode you can play with a friend, in which they play as a metal robot version of knack, and can create relics for you to use.

Plot:

The story is rather simple, your basic good guy vs bad guy scenario. You play as Knack a golem like creature comprised up of a collection of relics coming together to make a humanoid shape. You are the result of a Dr. Vargas spending years researching and experimenting on relics binding them into one self aware mind known as Knack. Knack can take in other relics to grow from a few feet tall into a massive, hulking beast. It’s up to you now to deal with and end a war started by a goblin chief named Gundahar (who totally does “not” look like loki from the avengers). As you begin to unravel the goblins war machine newer threats begin to emerge.

Pros:

  1. The game finds that balance of cartoonish and stunning graphics
  2. Attention to detail in some areas (like how the bigger Knack gets the proportionately smaller everything else gets, and detailed skeletal structure for Knack with size)
  3. Knack himself they do a rather good job at “pushing” knack into being his own person and questioning orders from his “Creator”

Cons:

  1. Their isn’t really a story at all and what is their is really weak (leaves a lot of unanswered questions)
  2. It can’t decide who it wants the actual bad guy of the game to be, theirs three and because of this your not able to get invested properly in any of them.
  3. Combat gets a bit clunky and buggy at time (dodging half the time will not help you avoid damage)
  4. Checkpoints are terrible in this game
  5. The final boss fight can be a cheap unbalanced punishment instead of a satisfying finale

Final Verdict:

Despite its problems Knack was a great game to show off what the playstation was capable of right out of the gate, and remains one of my favorites on the ps4…but it’s not perfect their are definitely parts that could have been done so much better that really drag the game down. Keeping all that in mind we give this game a 6.5/10