Sony executives decided that for the promotion of the new PlayStation 4 gaming console in 2013 the audience needs a quality platformer. So the light came adventure game Knack, which, among other things, was to demonstrate the computing power of modern at the time of iron thanks to a remarkable physical model and bright graphics in the spirit of CG-cartoons. Unfortunately the game did not fire and was sufficiently cool met by critics. That's why the announcement of the sequel instilled in the hearts of many the hope that the developers will do serious work on the mistakes of the original. The game Knack II comes out today, and I as always hasten to share with you its detailed review.
The game: The game: Platform: PlayStation 4
Genre: Action, Platformer
Release Date: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Sony Interactive Entertainment
The SIE Japan Studio
The leading architect of the Sony PlayStation 4 console Mark Sörni answers for the development of both games of the Knack series. This man ate not one dog on platformers, because in the past he was the producer of such a notorious series as Crash Bandicoot . In addition, he was able to work with the games series Spyro the Dragon, Jack and Daxter, Ratchet & Clank and many others. Already if someone and entrust the development of a new platformer for the PS4, then only to him. The first pancake was a lump, but Mark decided not to give up and in the sequel Knack to be rehabilitated before the fans of platformers and game critics. Looking ahead, I will say that it turned out well for him, but the developers still could not solve all the problems.
The serious drawback of the original game was a frankly weak script. The plot of the sequel to Marc Surney was helped to invent Marianna Kravchuk, famous for writing scripts for the God of War series, and also participating in the creation of such hits as L.A. Noire, Watch Dogs, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and many others. History, although it has become more profound and elaborated, is still not perceived as a serious work. The script is reminiscent of numerous children's cartoons, which are abounded in channels like Nickelodeon. However, given that the game was created primarily for the younger audience – it can not be attributed to the minuses of the game. After all, children from Knack II will definitely be delighted.
Who is this Nek? Dr. Vargas has for many years studied the mysterious relics left over from ancient civilizations. During the experiments he managed to connect these relics together and breathe life into them. To everyone's surprise, the resulting creature has acquired intelligence. The creators decided to call him Nek. Nek is able to build into his body the relics he finds, or to drop them, thereby freely changing his size. Thanks to this useful skill, he can at any second turn from a giant machine for destruction into a tiny creature capable of squeezing into narrow passages where no one can climb. Let me remind you that in the game of 2013 Nek together with his friends saved the world of people from attacking the race of treacherous goblins.
In the sequel to the main character and his team faces a new danger. It is unclear where the combat robots come from, attack populations of people around the world. Who is behind all these attacks? Are not we old friends from the first game? The team of heroes has to pass many tests to find out the terrible truth about what is happening. They will visit the snow-capped mountains, green forests, large megacities, dark mines, sun-drenched deserts, gloomy ancient ruins and other interesting locations filled with enemies and treasures. The game Knack II is divided into 15 long enough chapters, each of which contains several levels. The game takes about 15 hours. And given that developers offer you four levels of difficulty, you can stretch the pleasure for a much longer time. By the way, depending on the chosen complexity, the player will be offered different routes of passage of some levels.
We need to pay tribute to the developers, in which the game became a couple of goals above the original, so it's in a variety of gameplay. I will be extremely honest with you: the first Knack was monotonous to the horror. Fortunately, the sequel does not cease to entertain the player for a second. The study of perfectly designed levels alternates with fights, and the solution of puzzles interspersed with chic cut-scenes and spectacularly delivered QTE-inserts. The puzzles, although simple (do not forget about the target audience of the game), but very exciting. Changing the size of Nek is played out by developers in all possible ways. The protagonist can for some time draw in itself metal, ice or crystal relics, which radically changes its interaction in the surrounding world. Metallic Nek has an incredible impact force, ice is capable of freezing opponents and some mechanisms, and the crystal safely bypasses laser security systems.
The combat system has been seriously reworked since the first game. Collecting shining spheres of energy, dropping out of defeated opponents or found in chests, Nek will be able to get many additional combat techniques. The game first offers us a skill tree, divided into four main categories, each of which contains several useful abilities. So, for example, you can increase the power of strikes, learn new techniques and combo chains, accelerate evasion from enemy attacks, improve the ability to repel attacks and much, much more. Some skills you will not get through pumping, but at certain points in the game, according to the story. For example, so Nek will receive a particularly powerful blow, easily breaking through enemy shields, the ability to attract enemies to him and even launch a stunning boomerang into his opponents.
Each game level contains a lot of secrets and hiding places, which are not so easy to detect. The most common way to get to such places is by reducing Nek to its original size. In some cases, you will have to solve a puzzle involving the activation of various mechanisms or the movement of blocks. The hidden chests contain not only extra experience, but also valuable details, from which Nek can collect for himself extremely useful in battle gadgets. For example, a pulsed emitter that creates a deafening wave, a teleporter that saves the main character from falling into the abyss and other useful devices. To create each gadget you will need a few specific details, so try not to miss any treasure chest on your way. A total of these chests in the game are hidden about a hundred.
Visually, the game got prettier. It still resembles a quality CG-cartoon, bright and attractive just enough to interest the children's audience. On this, in fact, and stressed the authors. The sequel has full support for the updated PlayStation 4 Pro console, which allows you to run the game in 4K resolution and with support for the HDR color range. But most of all me personally in the games of the Knack series was always admired by the physical model. First, Nek himself is a walking particle system. The character consists of hundreds of individual relic parts that form his body. They crumble from it or form its body by pressing the appropriate button. Moreover, each relic lives its own life, which creates a very unusual effect. The same can be said about the advanced system of destruction, which allows Nek to wreak havoc on the levels.
At the very beginning the game will offer you to choose not only the complexity, but also the mode of passage: single or cooperative. Your friend or family member at any time will be able to join the passage in the form of a second Nek alternative blue. To do this, just connect the second DualShock 4 gamepad to the console and make yourself comfortable on your favorite couch. This opportunity was present in the original game, but the sequel offers you and your partner much more variety and fun, why Knack II can be safely recommended to fans of cooperative entertainment. Separately, I would like to praise the revolutionary system of tips, caused by pressing the cross D-Pad, if the player is stuck and does not know what to do next. The game consistently shows him the arrows and various symbols, where to go, jump, what to press, how to activate the mechanisms. For small players, such a system is simply irreplaceable. I have never seen anything like this in video games.
Something Knack II still remains at the level of not the most successful first game. I'm talking about flat characters, funny humor and not always appropriate pathos. The ever-aching teenager Lucas starts annoying literally after half an hour of passage. The characters of Knack II are so refined that sometimes it becomes uncomfortable. Jokes of the level "I have someone behind me?" Were good about 20 years ago, but not in the video game of 2017. Heroes are constantly trying to make themselves stand-up comedians, but everything turns out so bad that they are genuinely sorry. However, as I already wrote above, the game is designed for a children's audience. Just kids such a sense of humor and cliched characters may well come to mind. Let's hope that to the release of the third game of the series, developers will remember that adult gamers also play in the platformers.
- The game became noticeably more diverse and captivating than the original.
- Visually Knack 2 resembles the modern CG-cartoon.
- Magnificent integration of the physical model in the game process.
- The setting of some action scenes is really impressive.
- Fascinating puzzles related to the features of Nek.
- Complex system of development of abilities of the main character.
- A huge number of all sorts of hiding places and secrets.
- The game can be played in a cooperative mode with the child.
- Revolutionary system of tips for small players.
- It's amazing, but in the game I did not meet a single bug.
- The plot is still not able to interest the adult audience.
- Flat characters that do not cause empathy.
- An exhausted and completely not funny humor.
What do we have in the end? Knack II – a great game for a younger audience, which will not be a shame to go along with their children. For an adult player, it is unlikely to be a revelation, but the kids from her will be completely delighted. It's nice that the developers listened to the criticism of the original of 2013 and did a wonderful job of making mistakes. Very pleased with the presence in the game of smart system of tips, customizable complexity, accessible, but fascinating puzzles and wonderful bright graphics in the style of modern animated films. Even more pleasing is the noticeably increased variety of gameplay, improved combat system and posh setting. On the other hand, frustrating the weak plot, the lack of expressive characters and frankly uncomplimentary humor. It is very difficult to make a final evaluation of such a game, because adults always act as reviewers. And if you drop "adult claims" – we will have an exemplary entertainment for children. Knack II in my opinion fully deserves 8 points out of 10 .