Nail’d Hands On Impressions

by on September 7, 2010

This past Sunday, the GodisaGeek team were invited to Silverstone to attend TRAX, so we could have a look at Techland’s off-road arcade racer, Nail’d. For those who are unaware, TRAX is the UK’s annual performance car event where petrol-heads all over Britain get together to talk performance upgrades and drool over exotic cars.

Deep Silver were using this event to promote Nail’d with an ATV stunt show where 12 of the UK’s leading QRA Quad racers demonstrated their unbelievable skills and stunts. More importantly though, there was also a chance to get hands on with the game itself.

As modest F1 fans it was nice to get a chance to sample the Silvertone track and walk down the paddock where drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso do their thing on a yearly basis, but we were here for Nail’d. So, what did we make of it?

[singlepic id=119 w=320 h=240 float=left]Nail’d slots nicely into the off-road arcade racing genre alongside titles such as Pure and Motorstorm. Everything about the game screams “arcade racer”, from the over the top handling model to the insane jumps and stunts which, at basic level, make the game quite enjoyable.

The game forgoes complex controls or mechanics in favour of supplying fast paced action and multiple track paths. It seems that if you want to be taking that gold medal home at the end of each race you need to know your tracks. Of the very limited amount of tracks available all of them had multiple routes to take, both on the horizontal and vertical plain. It is up to the player to choose which route will provide the quickest way to the finish line while building boost meter.

You’ll be boosting around quite a bit to get over that ominous canyon, leaping that moving freight train or, in our case, into the side of mountains (hey, it was fun to do). From what we noticed your boost meter fills up from completing insane jumps over, into and around certain parts of the track. We’re not sure why they were there, but jumping through the many “fiery” rings placed throughout each track will also earn you boost. Probably best not to question such a design decision in a game of this nature!

[singlepic id=120 w=320 h=240 float=right]The game affords you the ability to control your ATV (there were no dirt bikes in the demo) in the air as well as on solid ground. Minute changes to your vehicles direction mid-flight can mean the difference between a safe landing and breaking your neck as you plough face first into the dirt. We have no problem with this except for the fact that the ATV’s in the game seemed posses a severely twitchy handling model. Something as simple as travelling in a straight line seems to require the tiniest adjustments on a constant basis, which is not something we like to see in an arcade racer. However, we did seem to adapt eventually so it could be just a case of giving the handling time to grow on you.

Only the quick race feature was playable in this demo, but the final release will include competitive multiplayer (up to 12 players) and a track creator.

Nail’d seems to be shaping up to be a decent off-road aracde racer and will probably provide players enough fun to warrant a purchase, but with a plethora of great titles coming our way this October it might have a tough time fighting for a podium spot.

Nail’d is due for release October 19th in North America and October 22nd in Europe.


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