Well, who expected this to happen? The sequel to the underwhelming PS4’s launch game, Knack 2 is finally here and it seems to be a much improved game. Featuring an on the fly co-op mode along with refinded combat mechanics, larger and varied environments, decent puzzles and a big emphasis on platforming, Knack 2 makes a strong case for being one of the best platformers available on the PS4. And surprisingly, it also seems to be in the running for the game that best utilizes the PS4 Pro’s hardware.
The original Knack was led by Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the PS4. However, at the game’s launch, many were surprised that Knack didn’t really pushed the PlayStation 4’s limits. We mean a game led by the person who was behind the architecture of the PS4, should be a graphical splendour, right? Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be and Knack suffered from serious frame rate issues including an unlocked frame rate that distracted the gameplay experience.
However, Knack 2 is a different beast all together. On the base PS4 version, Knack 2 runs at a native 1920 X 1080 resolution. The developers have included the option to run the game at a locked 30 frames per second or at an unlocked frame rate. Running the game in unlocked frame rates can result into an experience which may or may not be appreciated by players but in case of Knack 2, an unlocked frame rate results in a rather jarred experience. On the base PS4, we prefer to play the game at a locked 30 frames per second and it suits the game really well due to the quick platforming actions involved.
However, the PS4 Pro version is where you should be playing Knack 2. The game offers two modes: a higher frame rate mode and a higher resolution mode. In the higher resolution mode, the game runs at 3200 X 1800 using a checkerboard technique on a 4KTV. In the higher frame rate mode, the game scales down to a native 1080p image buffer but the result is an almost locked 60 frames per second which is a huge win compared to the original Knack. If you are playing on a 1080p TV, PS4 Pro will supersample the image buffer resulting into a better looking game compared to the 1080p image buffer on the base PS4.
In short, Knack 2 on the PS4 essentially caters to every type of gamer out there. If you want a higher resolution mode, you can lock the frame rate to 30fps and enjoy a 3200X1800 image buffer. If you are the type that enjoys higher frame rates, simply switch over to the higher frame rate mode for an almost flawless 60 frames per second experience. If you are a base PS4 owner, lock your frame rate to 30 and enjoy a full HD image.
Knack 2’s brilliant support for all platforms puts it in the group of some great games that support PS4 Pro in meaningful ways. These include the likes of Shadow of Mordor, Final Fantasy 15, The Surge and a few others. Unfortunately, this line-up is rather small and Knack 2 is yet another reminder that most developers won’t care to go the extra mile and add meaningful benefits to the iterative hardware version of their games.