Being honest, Knack was a launch game that needed way more time in development, the game had solid ideas, but lacked execution of them and sadly it was just boring, so the announcement of a second game, well it surprised a lot of people, having played a good portion of it at E3, I walked away impressed.
When I picked up the controller, the first thing that I noticed was that there was second controller sitting down next to it and thankfully, one of the blokes from PlayStation was on hand to play through with me and explain more about what the team wanted to do with the sequel. As with all these events, anything story based I tend to skip over, two reasons, one I would only get a snippet of the story and two, it’s so loud hearing things is a problem, but what I did hear sounds interesting.
Knack’s biggest issue last time was that the platforming controls were just not as tight as they could have been, which when your game is primarily a platformer, that’s not a good thing. This time around however, the platforming is a lot tighter and more responsive and when you add in a second player, things become even better. When you are making jumps, some of which require some very specific timing, if you miss, if your partner is across the gap, you can just warp to them, perhaps even nicer, especially if you are playing with younger players, they can just warp right to you and not even attempt to make that jump.
The platforming sections that I got to play in the E3 build were quite tricky, so the warp feature is going to be something that comes in handy, but while Knack 2 is a platformer, there are still combat elements in the game. The basics of combat feel almost identical to that of the first title, which was not too bad, but again, given that the game here is built around the idea of co-op it makes more sense to attack with your friend. Both players can attack enemies on their own, which can help thin down the herd so to speak, but if you combine your attacks, they are way more damaging and impressive. The best example I can give is when one player stands behind the other and shoots parts of themselves at the enemy, if you do this on your own, the attack can deal some damage, but not a lot, when you use your partner, the attack picks up the little pieces that make up your Knack, as well as other stones and such of the ground and deal significantly more damage.
Working with a partner though is not required, the entire game can be played on your own and with lots of exploration to be done, players will find plenty to keep them occupied. Knack 2 seems to have taken all the criticisms of the first game to heart and the team have built something solid here, while there is still a little more development time to go, things are looking good for the sequel.