Knack 2 is a platformer beat ’em up, developed by Japan Studio. It was published by Sony for release in September 2017 for PS4.
Knack 2 starts off right in the middle of the action. The second you load it up and hit “new game”, you’re right in the thick of an invasion from killer robots in the city of Newhaven. What’re they doing here? Can Knack save the city? Where did they come from!? Well all that you’re told is that Lucas, Knacks best friend, is the cause of all this madness and chaos. But what happened? Well for that, the game jumps back in time by six months.
The story kept me entertained throughout the whole course of my 11 hour run. It was fun, it was silly, and it got a touch dark. I mean really dark. But at first it feels very fun! Knack, Lucas, and his Uncle Ryder are exploring a site that is known for a battlefield during the “Crystal Wars”. There they find killer robots! But when they all start activating, they start to look into what is going on, and why they’re activating after being dormant for so long.
The way the story played out, felt very Indiana Jones to me. Maybe it was due in part to exploring a lot of ruins in the first half of the game. I even asked others if it was weird to feel that way…they said yes. The story unfortunately is mostly kept to cutscenes. As you explore the levels, there’s not much dialogue to go with what’s happening. You may hear a line or two now and again, but I wanted more. It felt like it truly held the story back without it. Or maybe I’m just so used to characters talking between each other as you’re walking through a forest, wondering what secrets are lurking inside.
The villain even came as a shock to me, as to who it truly was, as they’re not revealed until you’re almost done with the game. Then the methods they employ are truly dark for a family game. The game even pulled the rug out from under me at one point. I thought I was done, but I still had plenty of chapters to go. Which I was more than okay with. The one thing oddly annoyed me though, is really silly in all honesty. The game technically takes place through a 9 month time span. But not once does the appearance of one of the main characters change. His hair doesn’t grow, his clothes don’t change even though they get stranded for months! I was a bit taken back that they didn’t change their looks a little!
The game is a fun, linear beat ’em up. But even on Normal difficulty it doesn’t hold back. I died, again and again and again. Sometimes I was surprised I even made it through an encounter. You of course have all your basic moves. A punch, a kick, and an area of effect belly flop. But throughout the game you find yourself getting new abilities. From the ability to grab enemies and pull them towards you, to having to use a specific heavy attack to be able to break an enemies guard. I was surprised it got so diverse. There’s even a skill tree you can put points into. Once you finish one tree, the next one opens. Though these were simple little upgrades, in the long run, they really helped. Like being able to do my guard breaking punch faster. Or having a quicker recovery time from my block. I really enjoyed trying to decide which ones I should get first.
The game is surprisingly filled with QTEs (Quick Time Events) but these aren’t really used in a bad way. The game sometimes sets up really amazing, high octane cutscenes that come with these. So you’re always entertained, and it keeps it fun. Do some people really hate QTEs? Yes of course, but for me it depends how they’re utilized. When you’re not running down the streets, growing into a giant 25 foot behemoth, you get to pilot some really fun vehicles at specific parts of the game. Like a tank for example. I was so excited to roll through a chapter with this, as it was such a change up in the gameplay department. There’s even another really fun part, but I don’t wanna necessarily spoil it for anyone.
As you pass through each level, you get to find secret chests too. This was fun seeing if I could spot them all. When you open one, you get a randomly generated item, or you could take what your PSN friends took from that chest. You get to either get different variants of Knack, which to be honest I never fiddled around with. Or you can get little items that you can equip that have various functions. Like being able to see the enemies health bars. Or getting a noise alert when you’re near a hidden chest. I didn’t have most of these built till near the end of the game, but I still got to enjoy the benefits of them, and you can either keep them on, or take them off if they annoy you too much!
- Fun QTE Sections
- A Lot Of Gameplay Elements
- Driving A Tank!
- Not Much Mid Level Dialogue
- Characters Appearance Don’t Change
I loved everything about this game. From the story to the gameplay to the unlockables. I do wish there was a bit more mid level dialogue to add to the atmosphere, and the characters looks changed throughout the course of the game, but it is what it is. It’s also very dark for a family game. Some people might find it strange in all honesty. One day I can dream that they make a Knack 3. I highly recommend playing this.
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Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Japan Studio
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £17.99/€19.99 Europe / $29.99 North America
Trophy Information: 56. 1 / 2 / 5 / 48