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EB Expo 2013: Knack Hands On

by William Schwartz

knack

Every generation that comes around people talk about how Pixar or Dreamworks now have to compete with the increasing graphical fidelity of games consoles. Knack is the next-generation’s “threat” to Shrek and its ilk, with beautiful presentation and family friendly themes and a fun but basic gameplay experience for all ages.

Knack’s demo at the EB Expo featured quite a few levels from different portions of the game and showed off Knack’s small and large forms, as well as some of his elemental abilities and weaknesses as he absorbed some nearby wood and was set promptly set on fire by his enemies.

The gameplay was a mix of simple brawling and platforming in the demo, with the majority of the time spent performing Knack’s jump attack and then following up with some fisticuffs while avoiding the odd projectile. Knack’s larger form is able to pick up cars and tanks and throw them at other enemies as you would expect. The game also frequently switches between a dynamic third person camera when outside and fixed perspectives in tight spaces to give a nice cinema like presentation.

While it generally ran fast and looked beautiful, the physics simulation involving the innumerable small models on screen did visibly slow down just a small amount when the physics simulations became more complex.

The graphical presentation and gameplay combined make Knack a very pleasant title sure to compete well with other family friendly titles in that space, as well as being a good showcase of the PlayStation 4’s graphical horsepower.

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