By the end of our time together, I figure out that the answer to my question is on the screen, right in front of me. Knack 2 is a kind of reply to Knack. Almost everything that the critics — and, I suspect Cerny too — did not like about the first game has been tossed out or improved. Knack 2 looks to me like everything Knack was not.
If Polygon says it’s true, it must be. You heard it here first: Knack 2 is GOTY.
In my review of the first Knack, I wrote: “It’s not that I want to knock Knack. It’s a launch game. Launch games seldom offer more than what Knack offers. You get a game you can show off to friends. You get a game that hints at what new gaming hardware can do. You get a game that feels ready to be supplanted by a richer sequel.” Knack II appears to be that sequel. It’s less of a punchline and more of a success than I ever expected it to be.
hat a strange fate. Mechanically, Knack 2 is an adequate game that seems to have had money and effort and skill thrown its way. But in its aggressive charmlessness it only really serves to illustrate the point that games are not merely the sum total of their mechanics. A step forward, then, but I still wish Cerny had just asked for the macaroni.
Knack 2 is clearly more generous and polished than its predecessor, both in terms of graphics and gameplay mechanics, but it hasn’t radically changed and remains faithful to its roots. As a result, the game still does not compare well with Sony’s other exclusives, which are clearly in another league. Still, this sequel remains pleasant to play, with a co-op mode that may not be a game changer, but will allow you to share the experience with your kids. It is very unlikely you’ll find Knack 2 a lot more convincing if you didn’t enjoy the previous game, but those who had fun the first time most certainly will again, especially since platforming sequences are much more present now. Not a must-have by any means, but an entertaining ride that will keep you busy for a little while. We’ll see if the third episode hinted at at the end of the game will manage to be a little more surprising, but for that to happen, this second episode will have to prove its worth to the public and Sony’s officials.