Shuhei Yoshida on Low PS4 Game Review Scores: “It’s Disappointing”, “I Was Hoping Knack Could Score in the Mid 70s”

November 14, 2013Written by Jason Dunning


It hasn’t been as great of a pre-launch for Sony as I assume they wanted, with PS4 units sent out early reportedly having issues, while launch titles Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall are sitting at 59 and 74 on Metacritic, respectively (our Anthony Severino recommends Shadow Fall as the game to show off the PS4’s power, though).

GI.Biz caught up with Shuhei Yoshida to discuss those lower-than-expected scores for Knack and Killzone:

Yeah, it’s disappointing to see some of the low scores. I haven’t spent enough time reading reviews, but I would characterize them as mixed. And with this launch there are lots of games coming out, so the media must be very busy going through the games quickly, and especially since the online functionality wasn’t ready until in the last couple days. So we have to look at how much time they spend on what aspect of the games and how that may be contributing to some of the lower scores. It’s disappointing but I don’t think it’s worrisome for the launch of the system.

I’ve played through all of our games, Killzone, Knack, and Resogun, and I totally enjoyed playing through these games. I’m now on my second run of Knack and Resogun at a higher difficulty – these games really grow on you when you play more. I’m very confident that once you purchase these games and play, you’ll be happy that you’ve done so.

With Mark Cerny being the PS4’s System Architect, Shuhei was asked if he was maybe spread too thin when it also came to working on Knack:

No, I don’t think that’s right. He spent maybe a quarter of his time during the development of Knack and in his position of giving creative direction and overseeing development, it was appropriate… He was in Japan every month for a week, working with the team, so the communication was very good.

The game wasn’t designed [to meet specific] review scores – I was hoping Knack could score in the mid 70s and last I checked it’s around 59-60, so I’m hoping it goes up. The game uses only three buttons to play, so it’s not the type of game reviewers would score high for the launch of a next-gen system. The game was targeted as what we call a second purchase; you know, people may purchase PS4 for Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed or Killzone, but if they also buy Knack, this is a game that you can play with your family or your significant other. It’s a message that as a platform we are not just trying to cater only to the hardcore, shooter audience – we are looking at all kinds of gamers – but Knack is a great game for core gamers as well because when you up the difficulty level it becomes a really tight, tense action brawler.

But the goal was to design it to be played by anyone, even someone who’s never played before. So it wasn’t aimed at high review scores, even though higher would be appreciated! Killzone is different – it’s definitely targeted to the core gaming audience and we’re still waiting on more reviews because some sites are saying they played single player but not enough multiplayer. So I’ll wait with my personal judgment until I read more reviews.

Shuhei continued to talk about Knack on Twitter by saying, “Knack is a kind of game that grows on you as you play more. The game is more fun with higher difficulty setting, too.”

Have some of the pre-launch reviews for Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall impacted your potential purchase? Are you glad to see Resogun getting such high reviews? Let us know in the comments below.