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Knack Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA 2013

Publisher:

SCEA

Developer:

SCE Japan Studio

Number Of Players:

1-2

Genre:

Action

Release Date:

November 15, 2013

Amid the onslaught of new technology, filled with fancy graphics, enhanced AI and more realistic interactive experiences, one may find some old-fashioned solace in Knack. Officially, the first PlayStation 4 game to be unveiled during the February PlayStation Meeting was created by Mark Cerny, who also happens to be the lead system architect for Sony’s new console. With the help of the internal Japan studio, he has created a game that reminds us of a time when the primary intent of all video games was essentially the same: Fun.

Of course, that’s a relative term and one could argue that he or she will have more fun playing Killzone: Shadow Fall. So perhaps the whimsical charm, family-friendly style, and accessibility of Knack is more of an homage to innocence than the simplified nature of the word “fun.” Featuring easy controls, a cohesive and interesting narrative, and a diverse set of challenges, the game isn’t specifically designed for any one group. No, it’s for everyone, from the veteran die-hard gamer to anyone who’s curious and picks up a controller for the first time.

It’s also important to remember that Cerny helped deliver Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, two of the most beloved characters in video game history. The franchises in question consisted of extremely well-conceived action platforming titles, so you have to assume he knows what he’s doing. The main character is fittingly called “Knack” and he’s out to defend humans from the rampaging Goblins. Knack himself is difficult to describe; he’s an animated figure that appears to be a blend of various machine parts and other gadgets. Highly creative, at the very least.

What’s cool about him is that he actually grows and shrinks based on the Relics he locates. These Relics can appear when an enemy is destroyed, or they can be found hiding in the environment (part of which is destructible). The bigger Knack gets, the stronger and more powerful he becomes, and the more damage he can inflict and withstand. He’ll also be able to face tougher foes, which get increasingly difficult as a stage progresses. Goblin tanks and helicopters await if Knack grows big enough! Relics also serve another important purpose- keeping Knack’s health up.

You will also find other collectibles that fill other energy meters, which will allow the unique main character to unleash damaging special moves on large groups of opponents. Obviously, these are best saved for when Knack is greatly outnumbered, so use such attacks wisely. The controls should be plenty accessible and it’ll simply be a matter of exploring the colorful landscape, finding Relics and other special items, and taking out as many Goblins as you can. There will be some strategy in how you approach the battles, though, so it’s not all about jamming on buttons.

The only problem that Knack may encounter is that it doesn’t really have a big-time “wow” factor. In fact, based on the footage and media we’ve seen this far, it doesn’t seem to be utilizing much of the PS4’s power. Therefore, it may be scorned when compared to the likes of Shadow Fall and DriveClub. Still, maybe that’s okay because Knack is almost like a reprieve; a breath of fresh air or rather, a breath of air from a bygone era. For plenty of fun that will make you smile, for a title that absolutely anyone could enjoy, Knack definitely has the goods.

7/22/2013 Ben Dutka

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Comments (15 posts)

darxed
Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 10:55:02 PM
Reply

Well, I'm all for it. I'm getting a little tired of the brooding anti-hero stories that seem to be plaguing every form of entertainment nowadays. Not everything has to be serious, dark and moody. I'll still have to see some reviews but if It turns out good (and given Cerny's and Sony's pedigree with these kind of games, I have no reason to doubt It'll come out good) these will be one of the first games I buy for the PS4, when I manage to save enough to get it that is.

(Just saw the contest... sucks to not live in the US sometimes)

Last edited by darxed on 7/22/2013 10:55:24 PM

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homura
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 12:01:29 AM
Reply

Actually this interest me more than Killzone: Shadow Fall and Infamous: Second Son. The human character designs reminds me of Osamu Tezuka's style of animation which I adore because of the simplicity of it that captures young kids heart but within that simplicity hides a magnificent and brilliant story telling that can be appreciated by an adult (see Metropolis). And based on the trailer that I've seen, Knack can be like that (I hope), a fun whimsical game with a beautiful story. Definitely on my list.

By the way my PS3 is back and alive again. The Last Of Us at last. Oh I still need to get Ni No Kuni.

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JROD0823
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 12:31:54 AM
Reply

I've had an on again/off again relationship with platformers over the years, but I would like to give Knack a try sometime next year.

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Wyatt
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 1:16:13 AM
Reply

My brother is going crazy for this. He was a big fan of Crash Bandicoot back in the day, and he looks forward to any game that takes from that. This is his most anticipated game for the PS4. I can see the love, I mean, I liked Spyro a lot, but he's almost crazy for it!

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Kiryu
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 2:03:28 AM
Reply

EASY? This game is a comeback of HARD Playstation Classics

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 10:17:56 AM

No, it isn't. That's not the word on the street at all.

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daus26
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 6:07:36 AM
Reply

I guess I'm one of the few that is impressed by the visuals. It's not realistic or eye popping, but to me, it actually looks like the first console game that can actually pass off as a 3D animated film. Ratchet and Clank for the PS3 came close, but this one is much more appealing imo.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 12:19:47 PM
Reply

I've played through so many AAA games, got to the credits, and they almost always have a 'Special Thanks' for this guy. Not gunna lie and say I'm super-stoked for this game cause I aint, but he could make it awesome.

You can see how they can make some interesting gameplay when he can shrink and grow at will. Hopefully they can fit a tight narrative around it, because without it, I don't think platformers have a chance next-gen; we've moved beyond the mario, sonic and crash bandicoot days.

Who knows, this could be what kickstarts a new kind of platformer craze, like those days.

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Shams
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 5:42:29 PM
Reply

Can't wait for Knack. The R&C future series were among my favorite games on the ps3, and this seems like the closest thing to it. Cerny is a Russian-Jewish name. Knack seems to be inspired by the Yiddish tale of Golem (A frankenstein type protector of the Jewish people against their enemies).

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Ludicrous_Liam
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 6:16:45 PM

Oh god yeah, I remember there was a film based on that. It's one of those lost films from like the early 1900's.

Clever thinking :D

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thedaini
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 7:15:13 PM
Reply

Like you said in your other article, Ben. Sony Japan is "insane people with strange ideas". I honestly didn't give this a second thought, but seeing the trailer I really like what they're doing. It looks like they built an Animated film feel into the game. I'll have to pay closer attention to it now.

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Akuma07
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 @ 9:14:56 PM
Reply

It's an innocent game for innocent fun.

Something we lack heavily in the current world of FPS's.

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Jumpinbeans
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 @ 2:41:47 AM
Reply

Ordered this as its something different and looks interesting.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 @ 3:28:38 AM
Reply

i have to say this looks like fun reminds me of the days of old with crash, jak and rachet and i really feel like not just me but everyone is missing out on wat i think will be a great fun for all ages game and quiet honestly i is a breath of fresh air away from all the FPS's sign for me there is just too many and they hav emade my gaming bland i'm even less interested in my fav FPS battlefied, just on a side note i think that this cud kick start a platform revive in some form or another cos quite frankly we have a FPS genre oversatuation atm and i'm not only bored of it as i said but sick of it there ain't enough genre variety it's like they think slapping FPS into every game will make it sell i say no just no, i think the whole industry will suffer if it ends up like that but hey idk if i'm the only one but i'll get bored of a hobby ilove 'gaming' if thats all they have to offer
anyway

happy gaming =)

Last edited by PlatformGamerNZ on 7/24/2013 3:29:11 AM

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PlatformGamerNZ
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 @ 4:55:42 AM
Reply

oh and when it says 1-2 players as i said in the driveclub thing i hope it means some splitscreen cosi'mdying for some decent split screen apart from motor storm/LBP and some of the COD's

happy gaming =)

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