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E3 2013: Knack

By
Posted on June 13, 2013 AT 05:00pm

Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer SCE Japan Studio
Platform PS4
Release Date Q4.2013
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

Knack is an action game based in a world that resembles our own, save for the fact that humanity is at war with a race of Goblins. The titular character is an adorable little construct with the ability to absorb substances like metal and ice into his body and reconfigure them into an extension of himself, enabling him to grow from his initial three-foot tall form into a massive, powerful creature capable of wrecking buildings and performing other such impressive feats.

The Verdict

Boy, was I ever underwhelmed by Knack. After seeing the debut trailer, I was really looking forward to a game that blended the crazy expansion mechanics of Katamari Damacy with some interesting combat mechanics. I figured I’d be changing size like mad, sucking up whatever was in my path, and taking great care to make sure I didn’t lose any of my component pieces to enemy attacks.

Instead, I got something that felt like a fancy tech demo with a little bit of game tacked on for good measure. Look at all these particles we can have onscreen at once! Also, you can punch a few goblins as you walk towards the end of the level. Growth was essentially limited to predetermined pickups, and combat was basically a simple attack, a dodge, and a super attack, with very little in the way of depth. There wasn’t even anything I’d properly term platforming or exploration, just a lot of walking down a narrow pathway until I reached the next encounter.

I was informed that a lot of the gameplay mechanics were specific to certain levels, and there would be times where I could cast off my massive body to fit through small openings or sneak around enemies, but none of that potential depth was even hinted at in the level I played. Until I know what the exact balance will be, I can’t say I’m too excited to head back in for another go.

Josh Harmon, Associate Editor
Josh Harmon picked up a controller when he was 3 years old—and he hasn't looked back since. This has made him particularly vulnerable to attacks from behind. He joined EGM as an intern following a brief-but-storied career on a number of small gaming blogs across the Internet. Follow him on Twitter @jorshy. Meet the rest of the crew.

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