Plainly put, Knack is a terrible game and a disgrace to all action platformers. While the PS4’s hardware capabilities do give Knack a unique beauty, the game does not offer much else. In fact, Knack is a prime example of why graphics should not be the primary focus when developing a PlayStation exclusive title. Shortly after playing the first few chapters of the game, it becomes abundantly clear that Knack uses a barrage of colorful graphics and beautiful scenery to mask a slew of shortcomings.
Although Knack’s campaign does have a few exhilarating action sequences that put your platforming and button-mashing skills to the test, these instances are few and far between and not worth wait. The game lacks compelling character and story development, additionally by demanding multiple playthroughs it becomes a chore to play. To sum it up, the biggest flaw is that the game is tedious and difficult.
Knack’s storyline is lackluster and piece milled. Although the plot begins as a Civil War story between humans and goblins, it abruptly transitions into a bland treasure hunt, with an evil scientist, Dr. Viktor, seeing Knack as a tool to unlock a secret door that is believed to hold a powerful weapon. Unfortunately, the main characters hinder the story even further by being poorly developed and one-dimensional. Perhaps if these issues would have been addressed initially, and the developers were given more time to develop the story and characters, the game may have had the potential to tell a fantastic story. However, the cliché, predictable nature of the plot impedes the storyline from being compelling. Honestly, as the game’s main protagonists, Knack is very bland and only shows personality in the most exciting parts of the campaign when he is ravaging an area as an unstoppable giant. The game’s main antagonist, Dr. Viktor is equally as bland; making you hate him for all the wrong reasons. Aside from the fact that he is not as compelling as his two evil sidekicks Katrina and Gundahar, Dr. Viktor’s poorly written dialogue further contributes to the unstructured plot making the in-game cut scenes absolute torture to watch.
The biggest issue with the game is that it simply too difficult and unrewarding. While the platforming sections are not too difficult, the fixed camera that trails Knack is often set at odd angles making the judgment of distances from platform to platform extremely challenging and frustrating. Additionally, the enemies are too strong and hit too hard, which makes defeating them on the hardest difficultly setting virtually impossible. Unfortunately, there is also no way to change the difficulty level once selected and you have begun your initial playthrough. So, if you are one of those players who want to earn the silver trophy for completing the game on hard, you will be forced to play the post-game content on hard. Sadly, the game’s intense difficulty is not the only challenge in your way of earning the platinum trophy. After completing the game on hard, you are given the grueling task of spending another playthrough to complete the game on very hard while trying to find all 68 collectibles scattered throughout the game. Bluntly put, accomplishing this goal is almost impossible, and it is much easier to play the game on the easiest difficult setting for the sole purpose of obtaining on the collectibles – one of the most monotonous task in the game. The collectibles in the game that can be anything from a gadget which gives Knack a tactical advantage in the game, or a crystal relic which gives Knack the ability to unlock a special costume that boosts his overall stats. The goal of obtaining all the collectibles is especially tedious, because you are not guaranteed to receive the item you desire, as all item pickups are randomly generated. In other words, this means that you will have to spend multiple playthroughs to acquire all the necessary collectibles.
Ultimately, the combination of a terrible story and a ridiculously frustrating gameplay experience makes Knack an absolute waste of your money and sanity. With that being said, if you are in the mood to punish yourself by playing a God-awful dreadful mess of a game then Knack is the game for you. However, your best bet is to invest your money on a better PlayStation Store markup, and save yourself the agony for having this debacle pollute your PlayStation’s trophy case forever.