Update: As a quick edit, we've been informed that although all races were initially A to B, they have since added traditional circuit races. Just so all you racing fans know. ;)
Off-road racers have been very successful this generation, what with the likes of excellent titles like Pure and the increasingly great MotorStorm franchise. For those of you who enjoy flying high, hard-hitting tracks, and mind-bending speed, you might just have to try nail’d when it hits shelves in October. Loaded with a heavy dose of attitude and style, Deep Silver’s ATV racer seems to have a lot going for it. First and foremost is the sense of height we’ve gathered from various media of the game; you will commonly launch yourself off sheer cliffs hundreds of feet in the air, and you’ll even be able to extend your airtime. At the same time, you can’t focus entirely on flying through the air and performing tricks, as it is indeed a race and if you spend too much cavorting amongst the clouds, you’ll likely lose. It’s one of those balancing acts where you’ll have to choose between breathtaking fun and serious, focused racing.
The speed really appears to be crazy, so you’re going to have to bite the bullet, learn the track, and stay on your vehicle. Multiple modes will offer different looks at various tracks and landscapes, and you can challenge yourself in the Time Trial mode by taking on the developers. That’s right; the ghosts in this mode are based on the best laps turned by the guys in the studio, so…prepare to lose a few times. Furthermore, if you grow tired of your ATV, you can always switch to an MX bike and as you might expect, the bike is more nimble but also more susceptible. If you smack into someone else while competing on the MX, you’ll likely end up with a faceful of mud. If you opt for the ATV, you may have to watch helplessly as a bike outmaneuvers you in certain respects, but you can still revel in your solidarity. Oh, and remember to respect your environment, especially where jumps are concerned… What tree…? Oh, that tree.
See, there are trees and stuff in Yosemite National Park, which is where you’ll be. Some of the tracks may seem to be in a fictional, more extreme version of the park, but we can live with such creative liberties. But due to that “extreme” nature, you may want to lay off the boost button until you become familiar with any given track. The races in the game are point-to-point rather than the traditional lap-counting formula; so in other words, you start here and the first to get over there wins. There will be plenty of shortcuts and optional routes, too, so be on the lookout for those; just bear in mind that some are better suited to the ATV while others are better negotiated with the MX bike. You’ll really have to be eagle-eyed about looking, though, as the developers won’t be including any sort of map for the races. There are so many shortcuts, that would apparently be too confusing. Makes sense.
If you want to have some fun online, you can race with up to eleven other players (the same number of racers in the single-player mode), and of course, you can expect plenty of customization options for your rides. Oh, and don't forget about that awesome soundtrack; the heavy metal should be awfully fitting. If you’re not quite familiar with Techland, they gave us the solid shooter, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood and actually, they’ll be using the same engine for the game in question here. nail’d will be ready to hit the dirt on October 12 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. If you just couldn’t get enough of Pure last year, this one might need to be near the top of your priority list. Let’s just hope they get those physics right, ‘cuz a loose, unreliable control mechanic just ruins any racing game, you know?
8/12/2010 Ben Dutka