A surprising bit of news on PS4 launch title Knack has surfaced on the official PlayStation Blog.
There, SCEA Associate Product Manager Nick Accordino shows us the cartoon-platformer's latest trailer, which shows off a two-player co-op mode that puts the second player (using either a DualShock 4 or PS Vita) in control of Robo Knack. The diminutive sidekick has a few of the same moves as Knack, but an important difference is that Robo Knock can both heal Knack and offer parts to fuel his growth.
According to Accordino, this mode fits Japan Studio's goal of making Knack accessible to first-time gamers when played on the Easy difficulty setting. There, a first-time player can pick up a second controller or PS Vita and drop-in to the game to help out in a rather low-risk manner.
Yet despite its accessibility, Knack's deeper systems become clearer as we move closer to launch. Take, for example, the treasure rooms. Over 60 in total, the treasure rooms are hidden behind doors or walls that can be smashed, burned, or destroyed in other ways. Some will be well-hidden. Others, less so. Regardless, each treasure room has one thing in common: a treasure chest. These chests contain random loot, from rare Crystal Relics to Gadget parts. The former comes in different varieties (rubies, diamonds, etc.), and with enough of one type, you'll unlock a different version of Knack--with different abilities and/or combat stats--to use after your first playthrough.
Gadget parts, meanwhile, accumulate to form Gadgets that add gameplay wrinkles. Each Gadget will require three to seven appropriate parts to construct, and the eight Gadgets you can make run the gamut from Combo Meter--attack strength goes up with consecutive kills without taking damage--to the Harvester, which gathers Sunstones from fallen enemies.
If that wasn't enough, every chest you open offers a choice: take the part or Crystal Relic offered, or choose one that a PSN friend has found in the same room.
Frankly, I haven't been too interested in Knack in the weeks leading up to launch--but the loot drops and social functions described above have piqued my interest. I'm skeptical that Knack can capture the incredibly imaginative energy of nostalgic PlayStation platformers like Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, but I'll reserve judgement until I can play it for myself--I feel keen to play it now more than ever.
And don't forget about Knack's Quest, the official Knack mobile app that launched for iOS this week. It's coming to Android "soon," and hopefully before the PS4 launch.