8.0 Overall Score

Written by on November 29, 2010 in

Nail’d from developer Techland and publisher Deep Silver takes the ATV and MTX racing game and injects it with pure adrenalin to the heart. Not only does the game earn a place at the table of other off-road bike racing, it clears the table and serves its own helping of whoop-ass. While Nail’d offers a thrill by the second, fly by the seats of the pants experience, it is not without its share of problems that may be a source of frustration for some more casual fans of the off-road racing genre.

Nail’d has a load of “Omigod” moments while racing. The tracks are well-designed to offer those moments in spades. What the game doesn’t offer is a whole lot of different racing environments. Players do get to race in Yosemite, Arizona, the Andes, and Greece. None of the environments are exact replicas but rather draw their inspiration from these awe-inspiring destinations. Each destination has three distinctive tracks as well. The designers do a good job in offering different racing experiences on each track making for rewarding game play. However, in a frenetic racing game like this in which maintaining high speeds on the vehicles in addition to tight controls, it is often undone by poor visual clues as to where to go and ease of finding oneself crashing if you land just outside the target area. Players will need to play maps a few times to memorize correct paths to improve their racing skills. However the look and feel of the maps in Nail’d are invigorating and should compel players to play the various maps again and again.

Nail’d has Tournament, Off-Road, and Multi-player modes that let the players decide how they want to engage the game and how much time they may have on their hands. The Tournament mode is your traditional climb up the racing ladder and rule the racing world that you see in a great many other racing games. As one progresses in the tournament, the races become more challenging and also longer, but there is some variety in what types of races the player will compete in. There is the traditional race to see who comes in first, but later matches have a Stuntman Challenge component where, in addition for the race for first, it is important to hit certain flaming rings, flaming goals and land Boost feats to gain more points than other players. Another type of race pits the player against the clock as they must hit flagged portions of the map before time runs out. In these timed races, players add additional time with their performance.

For those not wanting long game times that latter sections of the Tournament will take up, there is an Off-Road portion to the game in which players can choose what type of race they want to and then can have at it. In Off-Road mode the player can even choose how many AI racers to compete against as well. It’s a mode that is very nice to use to learn the maps, practice and then use those new skills to progress in Tournament move or dust real opponents in the multi-player.

The multi-player for Nail’d is loads of fun but does feel like the job was a wee bit rushed. The big problems are that the leader of the online room can not switch races from the lobby, but must instead back out and recreate a room. Also, players can not switch their vehicles or upgrades in the lobby and also must back out to the appropriate screen. That being said races do allow the host to have some control of what type of game they want to run, and once the game begins they do manage to run smoothly, but there were times that players got pinned to certain objects in areas of the map. It should be said there is nothing better than playing against your friends or enemies and either boosting past them or better yet causing them to crash in spectacular fashion. Players that have spent some time upgrading their vehicles will have a slight advantage but the real advantage is in knowing the ins and outs of the maps beforehand and knowing which route to take to hit boosts, perform stunts or fly past the other players. Up to an astounding twelve players can play in multi-player, and for the most part it runs well.

Adding to the fun is leaderboards that players can try to climb. These leaderboards reflect a whole host of various metrics like race times, total scores, how many boosts scores, and are track specific. For those wanting to prove themselves and impress their friends, the leaderboards are there for your delight. Sadly in a game that is so focused on competition there is no use of social media or online friend challenges to taunt those near and dear to you. It should also be mentioned that much like the Tony Hawk games of earlier years, Nail’d makes excellent use of a killer soundtrack to get the pulse going and to fire up players for some intense off-road racing. The game features tracks by artist such as Queens of the Stone Age, Slipknot, and Rise Against.  In addition, as players win races they will unlock vehicle upgrades, new suits for the rider, and paint jobs for their vehicles.  While the garage is fairly simple as compared to other racing games, it does allow for some player customizations.

While there aren’t many maps included in the game, they are extremely fun to play on. For those that buy the game new, there is DLC that adds a few tracks and a new multi-player game type called Demolition that amps of the racing panic up to eleven! One hopes that the developers will continue to support the game with paid or free DLC during the life of this game.

Nail’d is a solid racer that shines in a year that has produced some damn fine racing video games. The game could be compared to the popular off-road racing game Motorstorm. Really in hindsight, it is as if Disney’s Pure and Sony’s Motorstorm had a beautiful baby and they named it Nail’d. But make no mistake Nail’d will offer a run as to which game offers the most white-knuckle gaming experience this year.

A copy of Nail’d was received by The Married Gamers for the purpose of review and evaluation.


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Author: Chris Brown View all posts by

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