nail’d Review


nail’d is not concerned with deep customization, detailed specifications, or the long road to… well, anything. The developers at Techland seem to understand that these things are secondary to what makes a good racing game. Sometimes, we just want to go fast and fly high, and that’s exactly what this new offroad ATV/MTX racer lets players do… in the most extreme of ways. For anyone who’s interested in white-knuckle, adrenaline-pumping action, this is one wild ride you won’t want to miss.

What sets nail’d apart is the game’s dedication to speed, big air, and the rush of the race. The sense that players are traveling at what one might refer to as break-neck speeds is conveyed very well via narrow, congested tracks, frequent changes of direction (as well as severe changes in altitude), a regularly mud- and water-splattered camera, and visual effects that work to tunnel players’ vision ever forward and center-screen. A healthy dose of nitro boosts adds to the intensity of the race, especially considering how generous the game is with its reserves and replenishment. Oh, and let’s not forget getting nail’d, a.k.a. crashing and burning in spectacular fashion.


Throughout each of the game’s 14 (18 with the free DLC) curved, convoluted, and multi-branched tracks, opportunities to re-up on boost power are plentiful thanks to fiery slalom gates and stunt rings, as well as more than a dozen “boost feats,” which are like mini achievements that add nitro fuel to your racing fire. Examples of boost feats are things like wrecking an opponent, sticking a perfect landing, riding a wheelie, driving a flawless segment of the track, or even getting nail’d multiple times in a row.

The game includes a single-player Tournament mode that runs players through almost 50 races, unlocking new events, parts, and costumes as they conquer each contest, but this is clearly not the game’s primary focus. The progression is straightforward and the vehicle and rider customization is fairly rudimentary, with each added part decreasing one or two of the six stats while increasing others. This maintains the balance expected from an arcade racer, and keeps time spent customizing at a minimum. This is no Gran Turismo 5. It’s not about detailed specifications, extensive custom tuning, or spending hours upon hours working one’s way up to that dream car and mega cash flow; it’s about the visceral appeal of each individual race.


The game’s Go Off-Road and multiplayer modes are likely where players will spend much of their time after the single-player career is over. Those who have no desire to swap bike parts may even skip that portion of the game entirely, as all of the tracks are unlocked from the outset, which is great, considering the relatively low track count. In either of the aforementioned modes, players can compete in Simple, Stunt Challenge, Boost Madness, or Detonator races. The winner of Stunt Challenge is determined by points earned from completing feats, with slower racers losing points the longer it takes them to finish, Boost Madness gives all involved unlimited nitro fuel, and Detonator is like playing hot potato with a bomb — perform a feat to pass it on. Multiplayer allows up to 12 players at once, and there is of course a Time Attack mode for solo racers.

Visually, nail’d is quite impressive. Loosely based on Arizona, Greece, Yosemite National Park, and the Andes Mountains, every track offers up plenty of pretty vistas for players to enjoy while plummeting from skyscraper-equivalent heights. The multi-path design of each course not only adds to the scenery, but also provides functional variety, making each race a little more unique and keeping things fresh, even within the same areas.

The simple verdict regarding nail’d is that the game is a blast to play. It may not be the be-all, end-all, ultimate driving experience, and it may not provide tons of content or incentive beyond the thrill of the race, but it is a damn fine racer for anyone who wants to go fast and fly high. If that’s you, go get nail’d.

4 out of 5


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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