By Joseph Leray
The first game announced for the recently-revealed PlayStation 4 was “Knack,” a platforming game developed by Japan Studios, Sony’s internal development team. The game is being directed by Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the PlayStation 4.
The official trailer shows off the game’s narrative elements as well as Knack’s ability to grow and shrink at will, turn invisible, and smash goblins with impunity. Knack’s ability to accrete junk parts and grow larger -- and then shed them to shrink back down -- reminds of Traveler’s Tales’ “LEGO” series, but I’m also sure that “Knack” was specifically designed to show off the PS4’s ability to render so many discrete items at once.
It’s interesting that, in a press conference designed to show off Sony’s cutting edge stuff, the first announced game harks back to the to relative ubiquity of mascot-based platformers on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2. Cerny is famous for creating “Marble Madness,” but he was also heavily involved in franchises like “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Crash Bandicoot,” “Spyro the Dragon,” “Ratchet and Clank,” and “Jak and Daxter” -- “Knack”’s vibrant art and animation and gameplay sensibilities are well within Cerny’s wheelhouse.
While no official release date has been announced, I’m assuming “Knack” will be a launch title for Sony’s new console, so expect to see it this Fall.