After the Playstation 4 Event back in February, I was amazed by the fact that Sony were actually going back to their roots and develop a game which closely resembles the early platform-adventure titles from the PSOne Era. As a self-proclaimed lover of the platform – adventure genre, I couldn’t resist sinking my teeth in Knack, and was expecting a lot from the game. Unfortunately for Mark Cerny, the title was critically panned and battered by the public, and even though I was unsure whether or not to believe these claims, there was always a shred of doubt if this game would live up to my expectations.
Audio and Video: Just like any of the Sony titles, I wasn’t surprised by the good sound quality represented in the game. I was however disappointed by the crappy voice overs of the characters in the game. I mean who the fudge, came up with the thick idea of giving Knack a Stallone Voice. I mean what the fudge! The voice doesn’t match the character design at all. The only way they could have made it worst is if Schwarzenegger did the voice over. The visual aspect of the game failed to amaze me; There was nothing that could set this game apart from a late Playstation 3 title. I think I was more impressed by Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus’ visuals than Knack’s. The environments are too linear, and the level design is average at best. There is also a lot of time wasting with the useless cut scenes and slow motion melees; I mean why the hell would you implement a cut scene of knack jumping over a chest high wall, might as well have one with him picking his underwear from his ass crack.
Gameplay: Gameplay is pretty straight forward; Simple platforming and button mashing combat. I must admit, that the game is pretty hard in its core, but rather than challenging the game comes off as frustrating, mainly because of the crappy checkpoint system. I still don’t understand why checkpoints are set so far apart from each other. It’s like the game is trying to punishing you by playing it some more. This problem is also reflected in the save system, which is even worst. Knack is simply not a game you would play when having half an hour to spare. You simply have to sit down and play it through in one sitting, unless you don’t mind playing 20 minute segments over and over again. The fact that this game has a fixed camera is also a huge problem, in my opinion. Mind you, the camera system is good, but I would rather have control over it in this kind of setting.
Personal Experience: As much as I wanted this game to be good, I was extremely disappointed by this title. Knack is a very good example of everything that one does not want in a platform game. All the fastidious and annoying things Cerny promised to eliminate with the PS4, he featured on the first game he directed. The bad aspects of the game simply over shadow ever last shred of good this game has, and unless major changes are done, I really doubt this franchise has a future.
Overall Rating: 5/10
Written By: Matthew C.