A number of ATV games have hit the market in the recent years. From PURE, the off-road racer with insane stunts, to MX vs. ATV Reflex which mapped trick controls to each joystick. Nail’d forgoes any sort of trick system and instead heavily focuses on absolute, blistering speed.
If I was to compare Nail’d to an everyday experience, it would have to be an insane roller coaster ride with as many twists, turns and drops to make your head spin. From the moment you press on the gas on your duo or quad-wheeled piece of machinery, the sense of speed will seem downright overwhelming to say the least, and is complemented by the heavy hitting soundtrack consisting of heavy metal bands like Slipknot, Aggressive Chill, and Rise Against.
The Tournament mode acts as your career, and has you taking on races in Arizona, the Andes, Yosemite, and Greece. Besides standard races, there are also stunt races which awards points for gaining the lead quick, launching off huge jumps and landing successfully or passing through fiery gates that grant bonus boost. There are also standard races with two different modifiers, one granting a never ending supply of boost, and one that eliminates any and all racer collisions. The choices are slim, but the focus here is supposed to be on the racing anyway.
Both the ATV’s and dirt bikes have incredibly tight controls. Even while going at full speed, you will never have to let off the gas. It takes some getting used to, especially if you’re used to other ATV games, but as soon as you realize you can take that incredibly steep corner at full speed, you will find yourself grinning with satisfaction. This doesn’t mean that the courses should be taken lightly. There are more than enough hazards on each track to turn your vehicle into an exploding mess.
When not planted on the ground, you’ll find yourself gliding in the air as Nail’d has some of the most impressive courses to date. Every track (and I mean every) is like a different roller coaster ride, with massive jumps, riding on the side of dams, dodging oncoming trains, as well as multiple routes that usually end up leading to even crazier routes. You know the course design is insane when you have a high flying blimp directing you which way the course continues, or when a plane flies right underneath you.
It’s these high flying moments that had me wishing for inclusion of stunts. The rest of the game is so fast paced that stunts would be downright impossible, but it’s the times when you’re gliding in the air for a good four seconds, that I always found myself wanting to pull of a death defying trick, and then land it successfully to gain a massive increase in boost.
For those who wish to display their skills of mastering speed can take the races online, with up to 12 people racing at the same time. The multiplayer was responsive with no amount of lag, and fairly compensates players who crash by respawning them a just a bit ahead of where they initially exploded. The fun part is knowing that you're racing against opponents who are just as susceptible to crashing as you are, and gives it that extra competitive edge.
Though Nail’d might not offer a deep career mode, or crazy over the top stunts, it nails an incredible sense of speed and has out of this world courses that might have you reaching for the nearest altitude sickness pills.
[Reviewed on Xbox 360]