Preview – Knack

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With the release of the 2 next generation consoles looming ever closer, both platforms are eager to show off what they can do. Knack is one of Sony’s Playstation 4 launch titles and it claims to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Playstation series ‘Crash Bandicoot’. Can Knack live up to the high standards Sony has set for it?

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Knack follows the story of a robot built to be used as a weapon, while this robot starts off little you can collect shards of stuff that add to him, increasing his size. This growth is primarily used to vary the gameplay, but actually serves as a pretty good particle physics demo to show off the capabilities of the PS4, with knack having number of abilities that show off just what they can do with it. From whirlwinds of particles to particle explosions, it really does do a good job of flaunting what the system is capable of. It does all this while maintaining a solid frame rate and actually quite pretty visuals. The game is a lush palette of colour and the enemies are all well detailed and interesting.

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Knack’s weak point seems to be it’s gameplay, the combat controls feel wooly at best, even though the actual platforming is spot on. It may just be the fact that I hadn’t gotten the hang of the combat, but the melee attacks seemed to have really odd timing. Most frustrating of all was the air homing attack which had the most pitiful range, making it mostly useless, yet still the most effective way of despatching enemies. The platforming was a complete antithesis of this though, Knack has very precise jumps, and it was a great feeling to be able to zip round the levels at a pace with no bad controls hindering your performance.

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I think I will probably give Knack a go when I do get my hands on a Playstation 4. What I did get to play was enjoyable, if a little frustrating. I get the feeling that the game will become a lot easier once you get to grips with how the combat controls. Overall this is definitely one of the Playstation 4 launch titles to consider, just don’t get too frustrated to begin with!

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