Genre: Extreme ATV/Motocross Racing
Consoles: PS3 (Reviewed), PC and Xbox 360
Publisher/Developer: Southpeak Interactive/Techland
Release Date: November 30, 2010 -USA/February 4, 2011-Europe
nail’d is an intense, jet fueled ride of ATV madness that has an identity crisis. It can’t decide weather to be a flight simulator or an ATV racer. As far as identity problems go, this is not a crisis, but rather, it is a magnificent, adrenaline filled journey with mind bending curves, 90 degree inclines, and jumps that reach the edges of the sky. Not to mention the fact that this recipe for incredibleness is complemented with some great controls, graphics and music. Although this not a Gran Turismo for sure, it nails the arcade formula and you will have to suspend any feelings of disbelief in order to enjoy the game. That really should not be a problem though, as the terrain races by so fast that you will be having too much fun trying to keep up. It is really a shame, then, that there are some serious faults in the design of the game.
First off, there is just a simple lack of depth. There may be a few challenges that require doing “tricks” or meeting other milestones. However, most of the time, these modes lack any real flavor. These “tricks” are also hardly able to be classified as tricks. The most hardcore your gonna get is popping a wheelie or hitting a landing perfectly. The biggest rewards you will get for doing something cool is either an extra segment of boost or pop-up graphic saying you got a fan. Of course, racing around the track and trying to beat the very competitive artificial intelligence is satisfying, but it just does not seem like enough content.
One other feature missing is the lack of any feedback based on road type. Mud feels the same as snow and snow feels like sand. Usually, mud will have you slide and sand will bog the car down. But in nail’d there did not seem to be a difference. Granted, many arcade racing titles don’t have this feature, but nail’d incorporated a control that allows you press down on the analog stick when you go over different types of terrain. That is kinda pointless if it never really matters what kind of road type there is.
But there is one area where the game’s original idea really comes into play. Since you get to fly so high into the air, the developer apparently decided physics had no place in the game at all. So not only are you able to steer and glide your transportation, you can take on some of the most insane shortcuts ever. For example, helicopters carrying open-ended bridges. Or maybe jumping on a train, driving on top of it and then managing to leap off is more your style. That sense of open world racing is a really neat gameplay idea. Once you start nailing the track, it is really fun getting the groove, and just being able to sit back with your finger on the boost and taking crazy high jumps a sublime experience.
However, the collision detection is unreliable. Once, I missed a jump but I was able to rebound off a train, hit the boost gate and clear the jump into first place. Mostly, though, I was subjected to grazing a hot air balloon and then exploding into a gazillion pieces. Unfortunately, many times the game would decide I had gone out of bounds and respawn me. This is most aggravating, as many times the game would have track markers or other signs that would indicate a shortcut. Reading that type of hint and acting on it is one of the most exhilarating parts of video games. But being deceptively thrown off course and dying for no reason is the worst thing in this game. Especially when it takes quite awhile to actually get back to the race.
Speaking of glitches, there are many besides the collision detection problem. But they are mainly relegated to the annoying but not quite game breaking kind. To illustrate, I barely hit the front of an ATV against a platform. Instead of respawning, my bike disappeared and I was left with my character crouched over like they were still riding. A surreal and humorous experience, it was lengthened by the fact that I could still drive without my ride.
Graphics and Audio
Techland has been at the forefront of the graphics race for awhile now and this game proves that they know their stuff. Snowy environments, lush forests and construction yards are just some of the awe inspiring tracks you will zip around in. And these beautiful set pieces open up into some really cool aeronautical views.
Licensed rock is the order of the day for nail’d and you will be treated to Slipknot and Rise Against, as well as a variety of other musicians. Sure, it may not be the newest rock on the block, but it is still enjoyable. Other than the music though, there really isn’t that much to say about the sound effects and audio in the game. No characters speak, except for the crows on the power lines, and the engine sounds are generic. But the terrific gameplay will soften the impact of the disappointment of that.
Like many games, nail’d has some serious flaws. No real depth, annoying glitches and broken collision detection are a few. But you should really give it a try for yourself, as you will absolutely love getting nail’d in this game. (Yes, that had to be done.)
nail’d is a great game that will you going off such humongous, gigantic, ridiculous jumps, you will can bounce off hot air balloons and glide around corners. It may sound insane, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. Topping it all off is the online system that has support for 12. nail’d still has a lot of room to grow, and I would love to see what they could do in future titles.
I give nail’d: