What it lacks in depth, Nail'd makes up for with fast-paced arcade-style gameplay that's ridiculous in the best sense of the word.
- Fast-paced, high-octane gameplay
- Insane, creative tracks
- Doesn't take itself too seriously
- Not very deep
- Some songs repeat far too often
- Multiplayer is bare bones
In today’s world of video games, it seems like every game tries to be bigger, better and more ambitious than every other game. Publishers aren’t content to have a successful game, they want a product that breaks records across all forms of entertainment. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see games like Nail’d. It’s a game that won’t appeal to everyone, and publisher Deep Silver knows it; however, the players who like Nail’d will really like it, and with good cause.
The concept behind Nail’d is simple: it’s a MX/ATV racing game that’s faster, crazier and wilder than any other game in the off-road racing genre. It’s the Burnout Paradise of off-road games, in that the chaos is just as much fun as the actual driving.
The controls are simply steering, gas, brake and boost, but you’ll barely ever use them in their traditional capacity. It’s a game about going fast, taking huge jumps, weaving though hairpin turns and coming in first.
From the start, both the ATV and MX bike move at blistering speeds, but that wasn’t fast enough for developer Techland. Completing certain challenges during a race fills your boost meter, which naturally allows you to drive even faster.
Some of these challenges are fun and tricky, such as crushing a rival while landing a jump. But most of them are as simple as driving through a gate or jumping through a ring. Fortunately, the tracks in Nail’d are so wild it makes searching out these gates seem more exciting.
Flying High Again
There have been plenty of racing games that claimed to be the fastest ride in town, and pure speed alone isn’t enough to make a game compelling. What makes Nail’d work is the brilliance of its tracks, which are, in a word, insane. Even the tamest Nail’d track is too wild to be included in any other racer – they’re twisting Möbius Strips filled with alternate paths, multi-story jumps and deadly hazards.
Doubling back on themselves more times than a politician’s promise, these are race courses that simply couldn’t exist in the real world, and that’s what makes them so much fun. Over the course of the game’s tournament mode you’ll race across a ruined dam, through a crashed zeppelin and go over jumps that force you to dodge through fields of hot air balloons and the spinning blades of wind turbines. Realistic? Definitely not. Entertaining? Absolutely.
The Finish Line
While the core gameplay in Nail’d is a good deal of fun, the game isn’t without its flaws, many of which are just downright silly. In the tournament mode you can only see which races are unlocked, not which ones you’ve completed or how you fared in them. As the elaborate tracks are recycled for various events, it’s an obvious oversight.
Multiplayer is bare-bones, offering up the same events as the single-player game (which itself doesn’t have a ton of variety). With tracks that are so nuts, it would have been nice to see more creativity go into the modes around them.
Complaints aside, there’s a great foundation for creating a franchise around Nail’d. The gameplay is simple and direct, the track design is great and the number of events on the disc is impressive. With a little more polish and more game types, the Nail’d series could carve out a niche in the gaming world. If you like over-the-top, fast-paced racing, then Nail’d could very well be the game for you.