It has already been 4 years since the first part of Knack came to the Playstation. Back then more of a tech demo on the power of the Playstation 4 in terms of particle information but less of a truly immersive and innovative game. Now Knack 2 comes to the console and we are curious if the gameplay has improved. Because we know all too well by now what the Playstation 4 can do, and even the next generation of consoles is already in the starting blocks. So Knack 2 must definitely deliver more than the first part.
If you have played the first part, you will know exactly what you are getting into in the second part. Knack can absorb materials into his body to grow and of course become stronger. The bigger the boy, the harder the blows that are dealt out. In the same way, apart from his basic building blocks, there are other elements that Knack can integrate into his body. From ice to glass there is a lot and gives the giant new abilities. No matter if you become invisible with it or sometimes even immune to lasers. The variety is given and makes consistently fun.
Of course Knack can make himself small again instantaneously by simply throwing a bunch of his particles away. This secures access to new level parts, some puzzles can be solved easier and you progress through the storyline. When it’s enough with the little Knack again, a single button press is enough and Knack sucks in the surrounding parts to grow again. So far so good – we already know all this from the first part.
Just like the gameplay. Because typical for a platform game you don’t just have to kill enemies, you have to find a way through the levels to get to them at all. Exactly for this you need first of all all abilities of Knack and of course also a little fingertip feeling in the Jump’n’Run. Over chasms, moving platforms, traps, levers and everything else you can imagine it goes through the levels. What the second part definitely does a bit better than the first one. Because the variety is more given, the puzzles remain somehow fresher and not too repetitive. Of course, moving platforms and jumping adventures are scattered throughout the game – but they are not the only hurdles you have to overcome. Again and again there are other puzzles interspersed which give the whole game a fresher character and in any case make the game more fun to play.
Knack gets of course in this game again a skill tree with which you can improve the strength and attacks of his character. This is not very different customizable, because new corners of the skill tree unlock only when the first is worked off. With this, you don’t necessarily need a lot of skill tree fiddling to level Knack up to his best self, but you can at least customize his skills and enhancements a bit to your own fighting style.
Story and characters
In the first part the story around Knack was rather lukewarm than really interesting. Unfortunately, this has hardly changed in the second part as well. The story plot remains rather shallow and also the characters that are introduced are more uninteresting than really exciting. Unfortunately this doesn’t only apply to the story and all the people around you, but also to Knack himself. Because unfortunately the little or big particle hero doesn’t become more than your game character. Which is a pity, because a game sometimes also lives very much from the personal relation to the character. Here, unfortunately, this is hardly the case – which is a pity. Because a little bit deeper storyline wouldn’t hurt the game in any case.
The real innovations – Co-op
What’s really new in Knack 2 is the co-op mode! Because now you can run together through the world and beat up on enemies. This is quite fun – but not always.
During the "story" or puzzle parts of the level, co-op is rather boring and possibly a bit annoying. Because here it’s all about precision, timing and above all that you can see the whole screen yourself. However, when a second Knack hangs around on the screen, this can sometimes be perceived as annoying. In addition, the tasks don’t change, which means all puzzles can still be solved alone. And if one of the two Knacks ever fails a part, he can easily warp to his partner and thus jump the hurdles. An ideal co-op variant together with younger and inexperienced players but otherwise not necessarily exciting.
Funny, however, is the common fight against opponents. Not only that suddenly pleasant and entertaining chaos reigns on the screen when two Knacks beat up on the opponents – here there are also really advantages from the gameplay in pairs. Because there are own co-op moves that you can explore only here and they are really fun. No matter if you kick the other Knack into the opponents or "machine-gun-like" shoot its particles at the opponents. Here you have really thought of something that is fun in a co-op game!
Knack 2 is more or less unfortunately only a first part with a co-op mode that is only in places more fun. Not much has been done in the combat or the story depth of the series and so unfortunately the gameplay is rather lukewarm. Knack 2 is varied in terms of its puzzles and combat parts and thus definitely playable but the real stick holder it is unfortunately not. Even those who have played the game and want to try the Time Challenge or the NewGame+ again will have fun with it, but there is no real improvement to the first part.
If you like platformers, Knack is certainly fun and the game is also perfect for beginners or younger players. For the real gamer Knack offers hardly any challenges or innovations that really make you curious. If you take on Knack 2, you should definitely look for a partner for the combat scenes. Because that’s when you get the best fun out of the game!