Knack is not the greatness you’re waiting for

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Kak

I got to get some hands-on with PlayStation 4 exclusive Knack earlier this year, and found the whole thing to be terribly dull. I was hoping that it was because my playthrough lacked context, and that the game would end up being as similarly charming as the similarly-styled Xbox 360 launch game Kameo. Reviews have hit the internet hard, and they’ve not been kind to poor old platformer.

While the game is rather pretty, it is also quite boring; a modern looking game that’s stuck in an era past. Here’s what the critics have had to say.

  • Eurogamer – 4/10: Knack isn’t the kind of game you’ll want to take home with your PlayStation 4. I’m all in favour of games that transport us back to the good old days of vibrant originality, but Knack simply doesn’t.
  • CVG – 6/10: From start to finish Knack feels like an overly-familiar platformer and, visuals aside, demonstrates little of the PlayStation 4’s full potential. There are fleeting moments when its campaign offers something unique, but these glimpses are imprisoned between unremarkable level design and mechanics which often creek with age.
  • Polygon – 6/10: Knack has too little going on over its 12 hour length. The core concepts are strong – it’s fun to watch Knack grow bigger and smash things. The incredible imagination promised by the dawn of new hardware is on display in Knack. But the moments of payoff come too infrequently to make plodding through another three dozen frustrating enemies any less tedious.
  • Destructoid – 7/10: It’s not the next blockbuster platformer you’d want out of a launch title, but you need a break from shooters or want something with some personality, Knack is worth a look.
  • IGN – 5.9: Playing Knack is like watching a dull movie on a plane – it’s tolerable if all you want is a way to pass the time, but it’s not something you’d seek out for its own sake. I finished in about 11 hours and, challenges, co-op, and secrets aside, there’s just not much here worth recommending
  • Joystiq – 1.5/5: Knack fails to capitalize on its own ideas and structure, and is successful only as a reminder of the shallow, punishing platformers from a time when we really cared about how many bits there were on your console.
  • Gamespot – 4: There’s not one element of Knack to rally around, to excite you. And without that special something, Knack crumbles just like its piecemeal protagonist.
  • Games Radar – 2.5/5: Knack doesn’t really do anything exceptionally well, and squanders your willingness to like it by constantly working against you.
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Knack is the launch game designed by the very man who designed the PlayStation 4 itself, Mark Cerny. Unlike the PlayStation 4 though, Knack just doesn’t sound very good at all.

Last Updated: November 14, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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