Nail’d is built upon a solid concept: think Motorstorm meets SSX. Polish developers Techland throw you screaming through the air at ludicrous speeds on your trusty ATV or dirt bike, dodging air balloons, geysers and boulders. Unfortunately, an idea for a game is only as good as its execution. With that said, what’s the Polish word for mediocre?
Nail’d launches you through various competitions across four different locales (woods, mountains, snow and dessert), each culminating in a world cup competition that will test both your skills and sadly, your patience.
You’ll spend a lot of time exploding in Nail’d and you’re not often sure why. While the controls are fair, the tracks are so poorly designed that you will find yourself struggling to find a path only to ramp in a boosting daze straight into a tree or a wall, which gets old fast. These boosts are afforded by what are called Boost Feats but disappointingly, there are no actual tricks, and these feats merely range from landing on all four wheels to driving fast; yes, driving fast. These design flaws really hold the game back from shining and the visuals do nothing to help.
Nail’d resembles a launch title with its blurry textures, brown world and disorienting choice of a fish-eye camera and although the soundtrack is solid, the in-game sound effects seem as though chosen by a child from MIDI samples and each is a world apart from the game. The one thing Nail’d does hammer on the head, however, is that glorious sense of speed. This might be the quickest game I have ever played and it will tear your nostrils as you fly closer to the sun like the ever foolish Icarus.
Beyond the respectable Tournament mode, there is the Off Road section where you can choose Quick Events, letting you customise a race, Time Attack, letting you race against the clock, and Custom Tournament, where you can build your very own, specifying course types, race types and modifiers, which is a great addition to the title. Garage Mode lets you customise your vehicle with unlocked parts and Online offers racing for up to 12 players with no impact to the sense of speed, which is a treat. Sadly though, there is no lobby here, and so you have to quit back to the main menu just to change tracks, which is frustrating.
As I mentioned at the start, Nail’d should be brilliant and, at moments, that potential shines through. The simple fact is that this is a racer that brings nothing new to the table nor offers anything that has not been done better elsewhere. This is a shame considering Techland are responsible for the solid Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood and the sumptuous looking Dead Island. What is the Polish word for mediocre? Kiepski.