You'd be forgiven for thinking that Knack, as the Playstation 4's OTHER exclusive launch title (i.e. the one that isn't a Killzone game), would have to be something pretty special. Bearing a passing resemblance to Sackboy from the LittleBigPlanet games, you play as Knack, a creature that was discovered, or perhaps created, by The Doctor, and together you go through several different types of areas – city, mountains, caves, etc – as you fight off trolls and monsters who want to use Knack's special abilities for their own evil ends.
You see, Knack has the ability to grow from two feet to two hundred feet, depending on how much of a special, magical material he has in his possession. Also, the materials can change depending on his surroundings, switching from flaming logs to giants rocks to glass and ice. While all of this sounds pretty great, there is actually very little involvement to go along with it. You don't get much a choice in how big or small Knack should be, or what he should be made of. Instead, each level dictates those decisions to you, and what's left in your control is a pretty basic run, jump and punch game.
Perhaps suffering too much from launch title disappointment, Knack certainly doesn't feel like something that Playstation 4 owners would use to show off their shiny new console. The visuals are fine, but feel like they could've been easily handled by the PS3, while the gameplay is kind of fun in a kill-a-few-hours kind of way, this feels more like a beefed up indie game than a massive, in-house blockbuster.
Also, while it feels like it's aimed at kids, the story to do with amassing secret weapons and displacing entire races will fly right over their heads, and the game itself teeters on the too-difficult side for the young ‘uns to properly enjoy.
Overall, this feels like a missed opportunity, filled with potential and scope that could possibly be remedied should Sony decide to go with a Knack 2. Fingers crossed.
Developer: Sony Japan
Platforms: Playstation 4
Genre: Platform, Beat ‘em up
Presentation: 3 out of 5
Gameplay: 3 out of 5
Replay: 2 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5