nail’d review

by Alex Morgen on December 1, 2010

in Game Review Bits, Sony PlayStation News Bits, Xbox News Bits

nail'd (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)


Available for: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Game Developer: Techland
Game Publisher: Deep Silver
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Official Website:

4.25 out of 5 stars
4.25 out of 5

Review Summary:
offers a rocking, fast-paced arcade racing experience. Off-road race tracks are wild and thrilling rides, with some of the most insane tracks you’ve probably ever raced on. Gameplay is fairly forgiving, as nail’d isn’t about precision racing, but it brings bold new fun to the racing genre. If you are looking for a racing game that delivers breckneck speed, extreme air, and thrashing gameplay, nail’d is your ride.

nail’d review

Tired of racing games that demand perfectionist drifts, careful taps of the accelerator and unforgiving cornering? Count me in. I want to take off and sail from cliffs, hug the tunnel wall of an oncoming train, and wheel-stomp racers. Throw in some hard rocking music and a hot emblazoned skull paint job on my ATV for good measure, and I’m ready to tear it up. nail’d allows players to revel in racing fun and fantasy, and pull off stunts impossible to do in real life. It is a refreshing new arcade racing game with the absolute craziest racing tracks. Ready for breakneck speeds and high flying jumps?

[Watch a nail’d gameplay video clip below, or here.]

Players can get acclimated to the racing mayhem of nail’d with a brief tutorial. The speedy tutorial shows the core mechanics of racing, which is pretty straightforward: accelerate, brake/reverse, steering and downforce control, and boosting. Players can boost (aka nitro) by flying through flaming hoops, knocking other players off the track, landing huge jumps and more. nail’d allows players to select from ATVs or motocross bikes. Vehicles can be fairly customized to player’s preference. If you want an ATV that handles better while airborne or want a better boost ability or acceleration, you can customize it as you please. Stats that are affected include: steering on the ground, steering in the air, boost regeneration, boost capacity, acceleration and boost acceleration. There are six main vehicle parts that can be customized which affect those performance factors: body, exhaust, engine, handlebars, shocks, and wheels. Parts can be custom painted and the body can feature a design of choice. So players can really create a unique looking and performing ATV or motocross bike, all while keeping a fair playing balance in online races.

[Watch a nail’d gameplay video clip below, or here.]

Four gameplay modes are featured in nail’d: Simple Race (first to the finish), Time Challenge (race through timed checkpoints), Stunt Challenge (achieve boost feats to earn points), Boost Madness (unlimited turbo for some super speedy racing) and Free Race (multiplayer timed challenges, set by players). A main single player campaign Tournament is also included, which will take many hours to complete on its own. Playing through the Tournament mode unlocks additional vehicle parts, paint jobs and rider clothing. It also gives the player bragging rights online. The player’s performance is tracked for a leaderboard rating. Leaderboards are also broken down by region, track and race type as well.

[Watch a nail’d gameplay video clip below, or here.]

There are fourteen different tracks included in nail’d. Included in the retail package of nail’d is a code for 4 additional bonus tracks (a little incentive to buy the game new rather than rent or buy used). Racing tracks in nail’d are varied and are hands down the most exciting and twisting tracks I’ve raced on. There are many alternate paths. Oh, and there is plenty of air. Jump from ramps and glide over hot air balloons, trains, boats and wind turbines. Just watch those blades. True to its title, nail’d delivers on its name. Anticipate collisions. Hard ones. The crashes are not spectacular (I didn’t know if some crashes resulted in my entrails flying or random machinery spewing out), nor are the character models super. The only time I really had to look at my racer in detail was on the customize screen. But, hey, this is about the furious racing, right? Adding to the adrenaline rush of racing the tracks is some cranking heavy metal music by Slipknot, Queens of the Stone Age, Rise Against, and more. There are also exclusive performances of “Decimator” by Wayne Static of Static-X and Raymond Herrera of Fear Factory and Arkaea. A strong soundtrack accompaniment to the intense trigger clutching races. Yes, I induced trigger-finger swelling.

[Watch a nail’d gameplay video clip below, or here.]

With the amount of turns, sometimes vertical, it can be tough to orient yourself at high speeds. Strategically placed guide arrows provide a cue to where you should be headed. Those cues aren’t there all the time, so anticipate full-on collisions. Luckily, the developers respawn the player slightly ahead of the crash point, allowing for manageable recovery in the race. nail’d is fairly forgiving on colliding into obstacles and other racers, as well as giving you credit for boosts when you probably didn’t earn it. As forgiving as nail’d may be, the Time Attack mode against the developer’s ghosts really put racers to the test on how well they know the tracks.

Multiplayer racing allows for up to 12 players online or multiplayer via system link. Players can set the gameplay type and set “mutators,” which allow modifiers like unlimited boost or no collisions. Another bonus mode included with the retail DLC code is “Detonator,” which puts a bomb on the back of a player’s ride. Players must score boosts to get rid of the bomb. It’s a unique and pretty intense multiplayer mode. Sometimes the player doesn’t have much of a chance, depending where on the track they are. No boost opportunities around = boom. The only noticeable difference for online races was the respawn time was slightly longer than in the single-player races.

[Watch a nail’d Detonator gameplay video clip below, or here.]

If you don’t like getting punished for putting the pedal to the metal, nail’d is for you. The environments are varied, tracks are twisted, the sense of speed is intense, and the soundtrack amps up the excitement. Rarely do players get a chance to have such unrestrained fun at racing. nail’d is a frenetic arcade racing game that offers something new to a game genre stacked with way too many sequels.


Thanks to Deep Silver and SouthPeak Games for making this review possible!

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