Hands-on With Knack for the PlayStation 4

In a world filled with strategy games and complex first-person shooters, it’s great to be able to just sit down and whack-a-foe for fun.  Knack is a linear adventure game with a hack-and-slash feel to it, and a simplicity that will provide a great ‘pick up and go’ game for players everywhere. While at E3, I had the chance to pick up a controller for a hands-on playthrough of the game, and was able to see what it’s like to smash my way through Knack’s city streets, fighting Goblins at every turn!  If you have already heard about this title, and were hoping to get your hands on it for your PlayStation 3, then you may be disappointed, as there has been no confirmation that this title will be released on the current console.  Created by SCEE, Knack is set to be released on the PlayStation 4.


Knack is about a world in which mankind is fighting a battle against a species of Goblins who have decided to make Earth their new conquest.  One clever human doctor has discovered a way to use ancient relics to bind elements together, creating an animate object with its own consciousness!  The doctor believes that this creature will be instrumental in winning the war against the Goblins.  He names his creation (our playable character) Knack.

Knack begins as a little metallic-looking character, but as he travels along, he can break down certain pieces of metal, or relics, to make him bigger and stronger.  While he can transform into his former self at any time, as Knack grows larger, he also begins to turn into a huge monster.  This unique-looking upgrade is comprised of little bits and pieces of metal floating around his original body.

KnackWhile there was a set path to follow in Knack, it felt as if I were roaming the city streets freely.  Unless I was uncovering a side area containing a hidden Item (like a Sunstone Batter Pack, which adds an additional Super Move worth of energy when three are collected),  I didn’t feel like I was being pigeon-holed into strictly linear gameplay.

As I was playing, I came across various types of Goblins, with thick green or yellow skin and giant tusks, who all carried different types of weapons.  At times, I encountered a Goblin with a gigantic hammer that stunned Knack when it smashed against the ground, or Goblins with guns that shot acidic purple goop.  There was even a Goblin driving a gigantic mech that had flail ends for hands.

Players will have a small selection of ways to defeat their foes: a basic hit attack, jump and attack, or a Super Move.  The Super Move can be activated using the square and circle buttons on your controller.  In the example that I saw, Knack creates a whirlwind of flying metal with his body and uses it to whip his enemies into oblivion.

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If you have ever watched the movie Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001), you’ll be familiar with the graphics in this game.  The computer-animated and cartoony characters are set against a background full of very bright colour contrasts, and there is an almost rubbery feel to objects.  This game’s appearance is something that will appeal to children as well as adults.

KnackThis cartoony, three-dimensional hack-n-slash game is something that people will be able to play with practically any age group around, and yet, Knack still retains a great deal of entertainment value.  No official release date has been set, but you can keep up-to-date with any official new information on the PlayStation website.


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June 27, 2013 - 12:52 pm