Knack is an inoffensive, if overly challenging, platformer that falls just short in Sony's move to next-gen.
How did it come to this? Knack is basically a risible film tie-in without a film to recommend it.
The story is simple-yet-charming and the characters are all very obvious in their roles but make them no less likeable. However, the lack of innovation in the controls department on a new console in an exclusive game, the lack of any online multiplayer longevity and noticeable frame-rate drops make this a tough one to justify buying at full price. Thankfully, now it isn't necessary to worry about that as, at time of writing, it is very easily found for a much lower price and, thus, well worth a play through.
Knack's enjoyable enough in its own right but it's undeniably as straight down the middle as you can get, unwavering in its commitment to the average. Not much comes across as particularly awful, but then again nothing in it's all that great. Those expecting a platforming adventure in a vein similar to Crash Bandicoot would do well to steer well clear.
The chapters are so long, they become tedious, even on the surprisingly vicious "Normal" difficulty setting. The challenge of the game could be a draw, but when coupled with the nonsensical morass of Knack's fantasy, there's no good reason to keep pushing forward. Without a clear center, Cerny's game feels as hollow and vulnerable as its hero, a pile of disparate parts all too ready to crumble at a moment's notice.
Knack is definitely a walk down memory lane and ironically the old school gaming mechanics used by Japan Studio work quite well on the PS4. However for a next-gen title, there is something lacking in the game and although the graphics do look nice, I was expecting a little more "wow" when it comes to the graphical abilities of this next-gen console, including some whacky new gameplay modes. However even though Knack didn't deliver on these two categories, there is something uniquely refreshing about this game that is quite addictive and very enjoyable, provided you don't get caught in a bout of controller rage.
Knack is a new-age throwback to a time when you could get away with telling stupid, fun stories about mascots beating up goblins in a simple, three-button brawler. It's also a fine showcase for the PS4's horsepower that doesn't paint its world primarily in grey and brown.
Knack is a great game that is full of nostalgia and old school gameplay. However its mediocre story telling and main character's voice acting stop it from achieving perfection.
With all this said though, Knack is a game you need to have. I say "have" because you will want to keep playing Knack. Much like Jak & Daxter, which I have gone back and played numerous times since originally completing, Knack has that same allure. It is an accomplishment not many games can tout. If you picked up the PlayStation 4, you owe it to yourself to pick this game up: You owe it to the kid inside you and the friends you know who don't know how to have fun anymore. Knack may not be the most revolutionary game, but it is yet another promise from team Sony for what the company plans to achieve with the PS4. A promise I am glad I experienced. You will be too.
Knack may well get a lot of flak for not seeming to be a "true" next gen game, but what it is is a lot of fun, and those who are nostalgic for the likes of Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter should at least try it out as Knack follows along their path faithfully.