Knack (video game)

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Knack
Knack
European PlayStation 4 box art
Developer(s) SCE Japan Studio
Publisher(s) Sony Computer Entertainment
Director(s) Mark Cerny
Producer(s) Yusuke Watanabe
Artist(s) Yoshiaki Yamaguchi
Writer(s) Mark Cerny
Composer(s) Matthew Margeson, Wataru Hokoyama
Platform(s) PlayStation 4
Release date(s)
  • NA November 15, 2013
  • EU November 29, 2013
  • JP February 22, 2014
Genre(s) Platformer, beat 'em up
Mode(s) Single-player, co-op
Distribution Blu-ray Disc, download

Knack (ナック Nakku?) is a 2013 platforming beat 'em up video game developed by SCE Japan Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment in cooperation with game director Mark Cerny for the PlayStation 4 video game console, for which it is a launch title. It was officially announced by Cerny on February 20, 2013 during PlayStation Meeting 2013 in New York City. The game was released on November 15, 2013 in North America, November 29, 2013 in Europe, and February 22, 2014 in Japan. The game is bundled with the PlayStation 4 console in Japan.

Upon release, Knack was met with a mixed critical response; reviewers praised the game's original concept and ideas, but criticized the gameplay, combat and story.

Gameplay[edit]

Typical gameplay screenshot of Knack.

Knack has a skill that allows him to incorporate ice, metal and other substances into his body, giving him new abilities from level to level. Game director Mark Cerny describes the gameplay as "a little bit like Crash Bandicoot, and a little bit like Katamari Damacy," with "a touch of God of War in there."[1]


Plot[edit]

War has been brought against mankind by a resurgent species known as Goblins, led by Gundahar. A human doctor, who is named Vargas, reveals Knack. Dr. Vargas, who studied ancient relics from a long lost civilization for many years, finally found a way to bind them together and give them consciousness. The result was Knack, a creature with mysterious powers. For example, he can incorporate more relics into his body as he finds them, which allows him to transform from a three-foot tall creature into a gigantic wrecking machine. The doctor believes that Knack will be an invaluable asset in the war against the Goblins, until it becomes clear that an even greater danger is posed by elements of the human community.

Development[edit]

Knack's Quest[edit]

To promote the launch of the game, Sony Computer Entertainment and Japan Studio released a free mobile game called Knack's Quest on November 6, 2013. The game is a tile-matching puzzle video game for iOS and Android devices. The game allows connectivity with players' PlayStation Network accounts to unlock special relics within the main game.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 58.09% (52 reviews)[2]
Metacritic 54/100 (83 reviews)[3]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 7/10[4]
Eurogamer 4/10[5]
Game Informer 8.25/10[6]
GamesRadar 2.5/5 stars[7]
GameSpot 4/10[8]
GameTrailers 5.0/10[9]
IGN 5.9/10[10]

Knack has received mixed critical reception, with aggregate review websites GameRankings and Metacritic assigning scores of 58.09% and 54/100, respectively.[2][3]

Steve Butts of IGN gave the game a 5.9 praising the concept and the hero but criticizing the gameplay and the story by saying "Knack '​s shifting size is a great idea that never really grows into anything substantial".[10] Tom McShea of GameSpot gave the game a poor rating of 4.0 praising some elements of the game, but also criticizing the story and the gameplay.[8] Eurogamer gave Knack 4/10, criticising the lack of depth in gameplay and the checkpoint balancing.[5]

On the other hand, Game Informer '​s Matt Helgeson gave the game an 8.25/10, stating that it's "not the most innovative or the most visually dazzling game. This won't be the one you put in to show off your new console to your friends. However, when you're done with the prettied-up versions of the big franchises, you'll find yourself wanting to return to Knack. It's got charm and heart, and offers a whole lot of good gameplay. Ultimately, that's still what's important - no matter which generation we're in."[6] The Financial Post '​s Chad Sapieha tells that "even with its not-quite-fully-delivered-upon promise – [Knack] may still be worth picking up." and gave it a 7.5/10.[11]

Destructoid's Dale North gave it a 7/10 and calls it "A fun romp, and definitely worth a play. It's easy to pick up, a joy to look at, and and some of the boss battles are pretty great. My recommendation is that you take it in smaller doses, or try out the drop-in/drop-out cooperative play, which will definitely help when the going gets tough."[4] VentureBeat's McKinley Noble also gave Knack a 70 out of 100, calling it "a solid adventure with some surprising care put into a lot of elements that most games take for granted," but lamenting the game's limited combat, linear gameplay, and shallow technical polish.[12] In Japan, Famitsu scored the game 28/40 in its PlayStation 4 launch issue in February of 2014.[13] Knack sold 322,083 copies on its first two days on sale in Japan as a pack-in game.[14]

Sony's Shuhei Yoshida expressed disappointment at the Knack '​s critical reception, hoping the game would receive scores in the mid-70s. However, he emphasised that Knack was "not the type of game reviewers would score high for the launch of a next-gen system" and instead, the game was a message that the PlayStation 4 was "not just trying to cater only to the hardcore."[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mark Cerny (2013-02-20). "Knack – A Brand New Platformer for PlayStation 4". US PlayStation Blog. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  2. ^ a b "Knack for PlayStation 4". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Knack for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b North, Dale (November 13, 2013). "Review: Knack". Destructoid. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Bramwell, Tom (November 13, 2013). "Knack review". Eurogamer. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Helgeson, Matt (November 13, 2013). "Bringing Old-School Platforming To Next-Gen". Game Informer. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  7. ^ Cooper, Hollander (November 13, 2013). "Knack review". GamesRadar. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b McShea, Tom (November 13, 2013). "Knack Review". GameSpot. CBC Interactive. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Knack Review". GameTrailers. November 13, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Butts, Steve (November 13, 2013). "Knack Review". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ Sapieha, Chad (November 13, 2013). "PS4’s Family-friendly Knack is a good start with room to grow". Financial Post. Postmedia Network. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  12. ^ Noble, McKinley (November 13, 2013). "PS4 platformer Knack is a fun adventure that fails to think big (review)". VentureBeat. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Famitsu Does The Expected, Scores PS4 Launch Titles Highly". PSLS. February 13, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ Ashcraft, Brian (26 February 2014). "The biggest selling PS4 game during the console's first two days out in Japan?". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  15. ^ James Brightman (2013-11-14). "PS4: "The beginning of a new era of PlayStation"". Gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 

External links[edit]