E3 2013 Preview: Knack
One of the longest lines at this year’s E3 is for the PS4 game, Knack, from Mark Cerny, the mind behind pretty much every single Playstation platformer IP in the last decade.
In Knack, you control a robot in his war against the Goblins. Knack was built with the ability to grow in size from collecting parts found in the game world. He can grow to become the size of a building, or disassemble himself at the push of a button and use his smaller robotic form to get by traps and into vents that his larger, robotic form wouldn’t be able to fit through.
The controls were very simple — X to jump, Square to attack and R1 (I believe), to disassemble and reassemble. You use the right thumbstick to dash and avoid enemy attacks. The controls were very fluid and even though this is running on new hardware, it has a very old school feel to it.
Punching red boxes releases more parts that automatically attach to you and increase your size. Yellow cones give you more energy. The game levels seem pretty linear. Go from point A to point B and smash everything in-between.
Inside, I had to sneak by areas that had red lasers blocking my path. I quickly disassembled, walked underneath the lasers, hit the switch to deactivate them, then reassembled and went on my way. Sometimes I had to use my smaller form to go into vents and sneak into other rooms.
There are 60 secret rooms in Knack. Find these rooms and you’ll find items. What do you do with these items? Trade them with others who have played before you so you can assemble a complete part. It’s a cool way to trade items and see if the piece you have will help another player. Each complete part gives you a power increase in various areas, like stronger hits, better defense, etc.
After beating up some robots and goblins I then went into an ice level. This was cool because not only was the world different, so was Knack. Knack’s robotic form had changed to adapt to the environment around him. Here you can see him standing on the left ready to jump down and take out a goblin. Form of a giant icicle!
Back in the city, I noticed my form was enormous. Not sure if that’s the demo jumping you around different levels or not. There was a funny cut scene where you’re running down the street and people are freaking out at your size and running away in a panic. My enemies were a lot larger too. I fought tanks, giant robots and threw some cars at helicopters in order to take them out.
Knack was pretty fun. I have a feeling the game world gets even bigger as you increase in size. Why not go Katamari on us and make him as big as humanly possible, where you get to fight guys the size of Voltron? The potential is there, so we’ll have to wait and see what they do with it when it. One last note — Knack will also be playable on the Vita via remote-play.