While the game has improved visually since its initial unveiling, Knack has been criticised for looking a little, well, bland. Despite being pitched as the PlayStation 4’s answer to Crash Bandicoot, the next generation exclusive lacks the personality that made the Naughty Dog developed favourite an instant classic. That may be because the release has been designed with an international audience in mind, as game director Mark Cerny explained in an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine.
“If you have a character like we used to make back in the day – Crash, Jak, Ratchet, Spyro, and Sonic – those tend to look like American characters, or Japanese characters,” he said. “They have a country of origin. That means that in some countries it’s going to feel like something foreign coming in. We wanted something that was a bit more international in feel.”
The team at Japan Studio ultimately decided to build the character around a special effect, which is, of course, his ability to grow depending on the objects that he absorbs from the environment. “As it turns out, that was quite difficult to implement,” continued Cerny. “It took about a year and a half to get from that concept to the character of Knack that you see today.”
We understand the approach behind the decision, but we can’t help but feel that the game’s ended up looking a little too vanilla as a result. We actually don’t have an issue with the protagonist per se, but the rest of the cast look like the kind of characters that you’d find in a hastily produced kids cartoon. What are your thoughts on the game’s art style? Let us know in the comments section below.