As part of the E3 Extravaganza, Sony Entertainment set up a quiet little room for European and Australasian media to get hands on time with the latest and greatest they have to offer, away from the madness on the main E3 floor.
While there, in the serene (well... everything's relative) locale, I played four levels of Knack, which also gave me my first hands on with a PS4 controller. (And I liked it!)
To move our hero Knack, you use the left control stick to walk around, and the right control stick gives you a quick burst of speed to avoid enemy attacks. Buttons allow you to interact with the environment, and get to the all important smashing!
Knack was described to me as a Crash Bandicoot for the next generation. Knack was created by struggling humans to save them from the invading goblin-looking horde, and he has special abilities. He gets bigger by ‘picking up’ elements around him. When he’s bigger (and this can be as big as a building) he isn’t very quick, or maneuverable, but when he hits things, they stay hit. When he’s little, in his “crystalline” form, having shed all the layers of relics from his armour, he can slip through small spaces, and is invisible to laser alarm systems, allowing him to open up areas for his human friends to access.
In the icy level I played, smashing stalagmites in the environment made the ice crystals attach to Knack’s body, providing a protective armour, allowing him more protection against enemies.
Playing through it was quite reminiscent of the good old days of Crash Bandicoot, even though he doesn’t really resemble our furry friend other than the fact that he walks on two legs. The rollicking way he runs and the smashing was very familiar though.
Yellow sun crystals can be found around the streets that power up special attacks, such as a shockwave type boom, that wipes out all the enemies around you. More smashing can be enjoyed by breaking up the red relic boxes scattered around the map, which are the parts you can use to make yourself bigger and bigger.
Knack was great fun to play, and will be released on the launch of the PS4.
The Good: Loads of fun, and different too
The Bad: Tugging at the heart strings by comparing it to Crash Bandicoot
The Ugly: Might be overlooked in favor of dudebro titles