Goblins are invading the Earth and the planet’s savior is a magical creature made of sparkly things. That’s the concept of Knack, which is developed by Sony’s Japan Studio and Mark Cerny, lead architect on the PlayStation 4.
I played Knack at E3 and the the game started with goblins shooting purple goo at Knack. His main attacks are punches so you have to close distance. Knack borrows the right analog stick evade controls from God of War, so you can flick the stick left or right to weave towards a goblin. Once you’re in range it takes about three hits to defeat it. Also like God of War, Knack uses a fixed camera.
Knack is entirely composed of relic pieces and if a goblin hits Knack he drops some relics. You can see holes on Knack where relics should be and blue electricity zapping between missing parts. When Knack loses relics he becomes weaker. The size of Knack’s life bar shrinks and he does less damage. Throughout the stage, there are machines you can smash to get more relics. Picking up relics increases the amount of damage he does and increases his size. After collecting two stashes of relics, Knack only needed to hit a goblin once to defeat it. Goblins riding mecha still took a couple of hits to defeat even when Knack grew to about the same size. Knack also has special attacks like a turning into a tornado that’s proportional to his size and a super move tied to yellow crystals you can smash.
The E3 demo also had an indoor area where you need to drop all of your relics to sneak past lasers. This makes Knack tiny and drops his life bar down to one hit. After passing through the lasers you can reclaim the relics and grow back in size.
Knack starts out around three meters tall, but can grow up to 30 meters. It’s kind of like playing Katamari Damacy, but instead of rolling things up with a giant ball you’re beating them up.
Knack has gadgets and crystal relics hidden in sixty secret rooms spread out in the game. Crystal relics unlock other forms like Vampire Knack and Diamond Knack. Gadgets are rare items that you need to assemble by finding different parts. Knack has a social element that lets players share parts found by their friends.
Knack is a PlayStation 4 launch title in North America.