Tuesday 25 September 2018

Knack successor feels dated and without identity

While the puzzles in Knack 2 are rewarding and fun, they don't offer up much of a challenge.
While the puzzles in Knack 2 are rewarding and fun, they don't offer up much of a challenge.

By Chris Hayes - Game Review

Knack was one of those games that you play through once and then forget about immediately. I wish that I could say that Knack 2 represents total redemption for SIE Japan Studios but the mildly-awaited sequel, while still a fun and serviceable game, doesn't blow my socks off in the way that the premise might suggest. At least I'll actually remember playing this one.

The core of Knack 2 is essentially the same as its predecessor. The protagonist, Knack, is able to gather relics in order to grow in size, gaining strength and lessening vulnerability. Gaining or shedding relics can see Knack adjust his proportions to be as small as a door or grow in size to a 20-foot leviathan. It's an enjoyable and unique ability and is a key part in Knack 2's platforming, puzzle solving and the discovering of the many hidden secrets around Knack's world.

While the puzzles in Knack 2 are rewarding and fun, they don't offer up the same challenge in games such as Portal or The Talos Principle. Many of the puzzles involves playing with Knack's ability to change not only his size but also the types of materials he can incorporate into himself. Ice and iron can be taken into Knack, giving him special abilities that diversify the puzzle mechanics.

My one main gripe with Knack is that it is very one-dimensional. The fact that the camera control is left entirely up to the computer means that my experience of the game is the same as everybody else who plays. The entire game is a totally prescribed, linear experience that feels a little bland. Between the camera, the humdrum story and the dated, inconsistent graphics, Knack 2 feel like it is crying out for individuality.

Thankfully, the one aspect of the game that allows for some creative flair is the combat. Over the course of the game, your ability list will expand considerably. Knack can learn to body slam, hook enemies and a vast array of punches.

As far as overall difficulty goes, Knack 2 falls in somewhat similar territory to the Ratchet & Clank series, although I wouldn't outright call Knack 2 a children's game. Being completely honest, I'm not sure who Knack 2 is actually being marketed to. I'm not even sure what miracle came about that caused another one of these games to actually be made.

Knack 2 isn't a terrible game but it isn't one that I would go out of my way to buy. A serviceable and sometimes fun title that borrows so much from so many other games that it ends up feeling dated and without identity.


Knack 2

PS4 / Xbox One

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