The original Knack was a launch title for the PS4 but apart from being a visually rich game, it didn’t have much going for it. So, it was a surprise that a sequel for the game was greenlit and we have to say that it was a pleasant surprise. Knack 2 is no ‘Ratchet and Clank’ or ‘Jak and Daxter’ when it comes to the world of platforming games on Sony’s console, but it does bring interesting elements in the form of local co-op and changes in level design based on the difficulty which can be a lot of fun.
Kicking things off with the gameplay, if you’ve played the first game you’ll feel right at home. The controls are straightforward and just like God of War, you don’t have control over the camera. This can be good in a way as the camera can focus on clues when a puzzle is presented to you and also get in real close for those cinematic blows. On the other hand, there are times when the camera angle is off and may cause frustration. There are times when the camera will purposely avoid showing you a particular corner of the screen where a secret is hidden. Knack has the standard heavy and light attacks with some special attacks thrown into the mix. There is also a skill tree which helps unlock Knack’s combat abilities.
Knack also has the ability to use different special power-ups that you gain during the course of the game. These power-ups can be used during combat as well as puzzle solving. One thing that’s great about Knack is that some levels change based on the difficulty level you are playing at. If you are playing on easy, then some tougher platforming sections vanish from the game. This is a nice touch if you have someone very young or new to gaming and you want them to have fun rather than go through the rigmarole of trial and error. It’s a small touch that will help novice players enjoy the game and adds some replay value for experienced gamers.
Another aspect of the gameplay which I enjoyed is the local co-op. It’s fun especially if you have children or smaller siblings in the house and want to have a family gaming session.
Overall, the gameplay is the best part about Knack 2 and it’s the only reason you’ll progress from level to level.
There is very little to go by as far as the story is concerned. You have the High Goblins that have resurrected robots which can destroy cities and are powered by ancient technologies. You have the usual plot twists and turns with some teenage romance thrown into the mix and it all plays out like a Saturday morning cartoon that will keep kids entertained. The voice acting is on the same lines.
When it comes to the graphics, there are a number of modes at Knack 2’s disposal if you are a PS4 Pro owner. By default, the game gives you the checkerboard rendered 4K mode. But if you have a 1080p TV, then you may want to opt for the high-frame-rate mode which keeps the resolution at 1080p but gives you a near locked 60fps experience. The 1080p 60fps mode is the best way to enjoy the game.
Needless to say, Knack 2 is a beautiful looking game. It isn’t as good as a Pixar movie or the Ratchet and Clank game on the PS4 but it’s very close. The game is littered with vibrant colours and cartoony animations which do justice to it.
We played the game on high frame rate mode and it feels like the framerate goes down to the locked 30fps during quick time events and cutscenes. This can be jarring at first but it’s something you get used to. The quick time events are used in combat as well as some puzzles.
The voice acting in the game is exactly what you’d expect from a game targeted at kids. A lot of times I was reminded of an episode of Scooby-Doo where Fred and the gang start stating the obvious to bring you up to speed and ensure you got all the plot twists and that’s exactly what happens in Knack 2.
When it comes to lifespan, you can beat the game in under 12 hours and completionists can add a couple more hours to find all the unlockables and power-ups.
Knack 2: Verdict
Overall, Knack 2 is a fun game, especially for the younger audience. The change in difficulty affects the levels too which is a nice touch for gamers new to the platforming genre. If you like playing video games with kids at home then Knack 2 is a nice addition to your collection thanks to the local co-op.
|Developer: SIE Japan Studio
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PS4 and PS4 Pro
Price: Rs. 2,750
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