Developer Techland built a worthy reputation on its two Call of Juarez Wild West shooters, which combined stunning scenery with subtle and engaging gameplay. Now, in complete contrast, it has created an insane off-road racer with some equally impressive scenery, but overly simplistic gameplay that values only one thing – speed.
You know as soon as the thrash metal soundtrack drowns out the roar of the engines that the emphasis in nail’d is going to be on the adrenaline rush, whether you’re on beefed-up quad bikes or dirt bikes.
There are 14 racetracks to choose from, ranging from the Andes mountains to Yosemite National Park, the Arizona desert and the Mediterranean. The buzz comes from hurtling down almost vertical drops while bouncing off airships, avoiding jumbo jets and speeding trains as you go, and twisting in mid-air to time your landing without wiping out.
Back to basics
The game’s control system and physics are rudimentary. Brakes are largely irrelevant, and the one-button boost is your only shot at overtaking opponents. Stunts are mostly confined to hitting flaming targets, swiping other riders out the way and managing your mid-air manoeuvring. It doesn’t matter too much if you misjudge your landing, either: to keep up the game’s pace, you simply re-spawn after crashing at a more accessible part of the track.
There’s an annoying inconsistency to what triggers a crash, too. Sliding too high up a train tunnel will kill you, but you can happily bounce off some canyon rocks with nothing but a minor pause. If you’re a fan of quad-bike favourite Pure, nail’d will seem like a jumpstart before the main event.
Company: Deep Silver