Nail'd ReviewMark Ainsworth
With all the adrenaline filled dirty racers centered around ATV's or otherwise such as PURE, Motorstorm and FUEL, it begs the question what exactly Nail'd fetches to the table to make it worthwhile. All the expected features are here in the form of a campaign mode set around tournaments, simple free races, customization and of course multiplayer. Yet again I must say that all these features are now run of the mill so there's not exactly any bonus points won here.
Contrary to my opening statement there may be those of you thinking well there's loads of FPS games that aren't unique and they do okay' and you'd be right. Uniqueness and innovation isn't the goal here, fun is. That isn't to say Nail'd has nothing original to its name as it does try to stamp its own mark on you. The first time you notice this is upon cranking up the campaign portion of the game. It's standard fair here, there are multiple tournaments that you must work your way through and unlock to complete the game. You'll be competing in standard races to point challenge races.
The gameplay is obviously going to make or break the title and it's a little strange. Nail'd gives the finger to real life and all of its physics in order to do whatever it wants to make you go "Awesome!" and it works at first but doesn't have the holding depth. When racing along the ground the handling is ridiculous in the sense that it isn't there due to it being to perfect. It's one of those games where you can pull a 90 degree turn but not lose any speed and it sucks away any challenge in the races. When not sliding around the floor you are instead being thrown into over the top crazy heights and drops. The game lets you handle mid air for tricks and to brace yourself for a decent enough landing to continue. It may seem like a small amount of gameplay features, but that's really it for Nail'd and it's a shame. Sure you have a boost bar if you drive well but as I say it's impossible to not drive well as the game is just too easy. It feels like the game is calling out to be put in an arcade, which is where it actually wants to live.
Aside from a slightly drab tournament-based single player component there is the online which has a small amount of holding power. There's no competitive feeling and even when you win you don't exactly feel satisfied but rather just oh..okay'. The lack of features or twist on the tried and true just doesn't do enough to make you come back for more and after a few races you'll be quickly done with the multiplayer on offer here. It may seem like I've skimmed over this aspect but really that's just how little you can expect to find from Nail'd's online offering.
One thing the game has flowing for it are its looks. While boosting 'round the courses and flying through the air you want to be able to admire the view on the long drop down and for the most part you can. The vistas are inspired by a certain madness and I find myself often wondering how the this track came to be or what world everyone in Nail'd must live in if this is all fine and dandy. Some jumps you'll hit then find yourself dodging out of the way of blimps and hot air balloons or on one jump you just literally freefall down the side of a mountain range (a seriously high one at that). I have to say though that the game gets confused on these jumps, I found myself crashing in strange ways and strange in the sense that I'd just get respawned for no apparent reason.
All in all the one thing I found myself asking when playing this and consequently finishing it up was why Nail'd has come to exist. Developer Techland had previously handled the Call of Juarez games and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood was leagues better than this fairly average ATV racer so why they jumped from western shooter to a relatively harder market is beyond me. Nevertheless diehard fans of this genre should lap it up as you'll find some enjoyment here and at one point when boosting over a cliff with Re-Education by Rise Against blaring it was hard not to feel badass. For the rest of you though you can safely move along there's nothing to see here.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.