For some reason Knack 2 exists. Someone at Sony thought that this was the game, and the mascot that was worth putting more money and time into. I don’t want to start the review by whaling on Knack 2, because it’s not a bad game. However, it’s not a good game either. It’s biggest failure is its mediocrity.
Alright, before I go on any further, let me tell you what Knack 2 is. I know you don’t care, but this is how reviews work, so let’s get to it.
Knack 2, and the original Knack, is an action game with a bunch of platforming. The perspective switches from third person to side scrolling as needed, to facilitate the gameplay as it happens. You play as Knack, a creature made on tiny bits, that can grow to towering heights or shrink to a tiny size as and when the game needs you to do so in order to get further on in the game. You can beat down otherwise tougher enemies while you are larger in size, and traverse tiny spaces when you shrink down. None of this takes a lot of strategy, as the game has predefined sections for all of this.
The platforming is probably the best part of Knack, but only in comparison to everything else it has to offer. Controls feel tight, and levels are fun enough to make you want to get through them. You avoid traps and solve puzzles, all of which are designed well enough, but offers nothing really unique or interesting that makes you think that you’re playing a good game. Everything just works, and that’s it.
Same is the case with the combat. It works. You beat down enemies, using a few different attacks, and also gets a variety of shields that offer elemental powers, both defensive and offensive. There’s an upgrade tree you can invest in to learn new abilities and skills. It’s uncomplicated, and fun to engage with for a while, but has not much else to offer.
There’s a decent variety across levels, that goes from industrial factories to lush forests, but it never really shines in a way that most PS4 exclusives do. With so many particle effects happening on screen, I expected a much bigger spectacle. Sadly, the game never really delivers on that front, which is surprising for a Sony exclusive title that Mark Cerny himself worked on.
The one aspect of Knack 2 that can be fun for the most part is the co-op. It’s local only for now, but Knack 2 is definitely a much better experience when played with a friend alongside you. Come to think of it, I actually had a pretty good time playing with a friend, getting a little drunk and laughing at the rubbish story. And I forgot all about it the next day.
Knack 2 exists, and if you have nothing else to play, you could play Knack 2.