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Preview: Nail'd Hands on
Posted 01 August 2010 - 12:55 AM
Imagine hurtling down a rail track at break-neck speeds or narrowly avoiding spinning saw mills in ATVs and on dirt bikes as you try to beat your opponents, maybe hitching a lift on top of a train as you go and you have some idea of what to expect from Nail’d. On Friday I had the chance to get some hands on time with the game and the first thing you notice is just how fast this game is, it’s as if it is on turbo boost all the time.
Nail’d is an adrenalin fuelled off-road racing game which not only uses quick actions but also strategic planning to get through the different terrains and obstacles of each track avoiding cleverly placed trains, ski lifts, barriers, trees and other opponents on your race to the finish line, in fact it’s very hard to avoid these obstacles, they have been placed so you will crash into more than one of these as you make your way round the track and the wide tracks allow for speed, finding yourself in a different place from where you were heading and launching yourself off the many ramps along the way, it also includes aerial manoeuvres too.
The demo I played featured two tracks, Rail Track and Saw Mill, both had jumps, obstacles and turns which required quick reflexes to complete the course and hopefully take the victory. Rail Track as the name suggests includes train tracks and trains which are speeding along, but the clever thing here is that you can use these trains to gain an advantage by landing your ATV/ dirt bike on them and riding on top of them, Saw Mill featured giant spinning saws, which was quite amusing when you hit them. These are just two of the fourteen tracks available when the game is released in a few months’ time, which will also include short cuts and alternate routes on vertical terrain. The demo gave away some of the other tracks and terrains we were to expect from the loading screens, dessert type terrain, water themed and mountain themed, areas such as Yosemite National Park and the Hoover Dam. Our demonstrator explained that the water splashes looked very good as they splashed on the screen; I can believe that as the game although only 50%/60% finished already looked fairly polished bar a few glitches.
Nail’d seems to be mostly about the racing and going as fast as you can knocking out or nailing your opponents along the way (hence Nail’d), but there are also things to master in mid-air, turning the wheels before you land and a boost button for even more speed, useful to propel yourself off the ramps and though the fiery hoops. The boost is important to gain an advantage over the A.I.
It’s obvious Nail’d has been built to be picked up and played without too much fiddling with setups and tuning as you find in simulation games and the emphasis with Nail’d is to be able to pick up the pad and get into the action, although the loading screens give you tips to use there really is no need for a tutorial as once you start it all falls into place. Nail’d’s emphasis therefore is on speed and fun rather than trying to be realistic and complicated.
The ATVs/ dirt bikes and riders can be customised with pre-set decals and paint jobs allowing for individuality when it comes to multiplayer and you can unlock parts like new wheels and new ATVs/ dirt bikes as you win races.
The career mode is called Tournament Mode, which was unavailable in the demo and will take you through each track and area on the map, unlocking new tracks, areas and parts for your ATV/ dirt bike as you go through, other modes include the one which we were playing which was called Freestyle, a Quick Mode and of course Nail’d will contain multiplayer modes on Xbox Live. It is perhaps the multiplayer mode which will give length to this game, with up to twelve players in the lobby, leader boards and the promise of online tournaments Nail’d does have a bright future.
The sound effects and sound track deserve a mention as well. You get the impression a train really is thundering down the track and can hear the ‘whoops’ from the A.I as they shoot past or are behind you. The soundtrack is Metal to go with the speed of the game, with groups such as Slipknot, Queens of the Stone Age, Backyard Babies, Rise Against, American Sixgun, Aggressive Chill, and Slaves on Dope, plus three dedicated "nail'd" songs: "Count for Something", "Through Walls of Flame" (sung by Jamey Jasta), and "Decimator" (vocals by Wayne Static). All lyrics were specially written for the game.
This is not the first racing game Techland have developed, they also developed Xpand Rally and Xpand Rally Xtreme for the PC, but to us Xbox 360 users maybe they are better known for Call of Juarez 2 - Bound In Blood.
So have Techland Nail’d it? Well if you enjoy the speed and adrenaline of a fast paced arcade game which is geared up for ultimate top speeds then this one is for you. A demo is planned to be released shortly before launch, estimated end of August/September, check out our full review later on.
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