To put it bluntly, “Knack” is receiving quite a lot of criticism with regards to its gameplay and overall art style. For all intents and purposes it would seem that many people have built this title up in their minds as something that will completely revolutionize the gaming world, only to be left disappointed when they actually came face to face with it. Needless to say, Knack is something of a throwback platformer – the sort of game that really isn’t meant to challenge your hand-eye coordination or puzzle-solving abilities. In all honesty it would seem as though this title was created to demonstrate the PS4’s ability to render complex networks of individual objects (like those that comprise our main character’s body).
Arguably, Sony was probably more interested in creating a new IP that’s visually appealing as well as relatively simple enough for younger children to play through. Given that most people who bought a PS4 are in fact, most likely adults, it’s no surprise that Knack has been met with underwhelming applause. For those unaware, Knack (our in-game character) is basically a military experiment that was devised in an attempt to thwart advances by rogue goblins. Part of our hero’s strength lies in its ability to absorb new powers and increase its overall size, turning it into a more formidable adversary. Of course as you progress through the game, you begin to learn more about what’s really going on…
Criticize the game all you want, but you can’t deny that Knack is visually spectacular, especially for a relatively straight-forward platformer. Without a doubt the most intriguing aspect of this title is the design of the main character itself, which is essentially composed of various smaller pieces. The amazing thing here is that we aren’t just seeing a static model that changes as you progress through the game; instead, each piece that’s added to Knack is actually rendered individually. Naturally, this means that pieces go flying away when you’re struck by an enemy.
Most of the criticism that gamers seem to have for “Knack” falls squarely on its gameplay, which isn’t actually that bad. For starters, this is a fairly linear game (you are basically treated to a highly scripted experience where there’s very little exploration), but then again, that was the intention all along. There really aren’t that many surprises – you basically brawl your way across each stage / area, facing enemies which really aren’t that hard to dispatch.
The bottom line is that “Knack” is a light-hearted platformer which hearkens back to the days when the genre was the central focus point of any new system. These days of course, open world games and rabid first-person shooters are the rulers of the roost, and titles like this are generally relegated to “curiosity” status. Nevertheless, “Knack” does have a few things going for it and those who are in the mood for something different and leisurely will certainly find it to be entertaining.