Knack On PS4 Is A Missed Opportunity
Knack has the distinctive honor of being the first ever PS4 game Sony officially revealed. When the game was first announced back in February, many people were impressed with its visuals. Now that the game is out, let's just say the game has good graphics and not much else.
Let's start off with the good news, and that is that Knack has some of the best graphics currently available on the PS4. Along with Killzone: Shadow Fall (another PS4 exclusive) and NBA 2K14, Knack shows what next-gen visuals should look like. The graphics of the game may not reach the heights of a Pixar film, but it looks just as good as any other 3D animated film from Dreamworks and the like. It is one of those games were graphics and cinematic's have been seamlessly fused together. If you have just bought a PS4, Knack is certainly one game you can show off to your friends.
The bad news however is that the actual gameplay itself is very boring and repetitive. Knack plays like a 2D side-scrolling beat-em-up rather than a 3D platform game. All you are doing in Knack is walking in a straight narrow path using the same moves over and over again defeating waves of bad guys. There is absolutely no variety to the gameplay at all, which makes the game a chore to play after a few hours of playing.
I think the main problem that lies within Knack is that the developer underestimated the intelligence of children these days. Yes, Knack is aimed for kids, but that does not mean the game shouldn't be challenging or provide some puzzle solving elements. I grew up playing Crash Bandicoot games in the '90s and they provided lots of challenges for me as a kid. Crash had to go through many obstacles and varied enemies that made the gameplay fresh and exciting throughout. As a kid, I found the games to be challenging but still fun. Knack on the other hand is just a linear experience that provides little enjoyment whatsoever.
I feel the game could have been so much more as the graphics really do show the potential of the PS4 hardware. The game might have been so much better if the levels were more open as in the Jak and Daxter games. I also feel that the game should have had more varied and challenging enemies. The enemies in this game are very weak and you only need to punch them three times each in order to defeat them. Knack does have special abilities that you can use, but it's rarely needed because punching enemies always does the trick.
Knack is a game that is probably best for very inexperienced gamers in my opinion. There is little thinking required to progress through the levels and most of the time you'll only be hitting two buttons. I was pressing "X" to jump and "Square" to punch and that's all you need to learn. If you've just bought a PS4 console and have someone in your family that rarely plays video games, Knack is the perfect title for them to try out.
Overall, Knack is a game that has excellent graphics and not much else. If there is to ever be a sequel, it should have bigger levels, more varied gameplay elements and smarter enemy A.I. If you're a gamer that wants something very easy, Knack is the game to get. If not, you're best waiting until a decent platform game arrives on the PS4.