Nail'd is developer Deep Silver's upcoming first foray into offroad racing games and puts you in the saddle of an ATV quad racer or MX motorcross bike. Developed with the same light regard for realism as Blackrock Studios' Pure, the developers behind the game regard the laws of physics as mere suggestions rather than focus on preposterous jumps and unadulterated speed. We saw a pre-alpha build of the game last week, and while we're still hesitant on how the game will set itself apart from its competition, there's no doubt that the aim for pure speed has been successful.
The game is still early in production--it's due for release in the fourth quarter of 2010--and we got to see a trio of tracks from the game's Yosemite environment. All three tracks were run in the great outdoors of Yosemite National Park, though the artists at Deep Silver have taken some extreme liberties with the park's features. Players will zip along courses that are full of hairpin turns, massive elevation changes, and jumps the likes of which would scare the pants off of your average stunt driver. These extreme design elements are bolstered by an admirable frame rate that held together even with liberal use of the boost button, which looks to be a major part of gameplay.
All races in nail'd are point-to-point races. Producers told us that the tracks in the game will have lots of side paths and shortcuts, some of which will be more obvious than others. Some paths will be optimized for bikes while others will be better suited for the ATV bikes. It also seems like there will be a lot of trial and error when it comes to finding the more hidden shortcuts. Because the alternate paths are so plentiful, the game won't use a minimap because, as producers explained, it would be too visually confusing to be of much use.
Nail'd is being developed by Techland, known for 2009's Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, and the game will be running on the same engine as that Western-themed shooter. The game will support 12 racers in both single and multiplayer modes. It will also have a robust customization system that will let you tweak your rider and your vehicle. SouthPeak didn't go into too much detail on exactly how customization it works, but we do know that you'll be able to unlock items that will be specific to the mode you're playing--a good incentive to try out the online multiplayer if you'd otherwise avoid it. In addition, the game will feature leaderboards that will let you compare your best lap times with players from all over the world--SouthPeak said the developers are experimenting with seeing how granular they can get with their leaderboards. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to compare your Yosemite score with people in the same town as you…or perhaps your next door neighbor?
Raw speed was probably the best feature in the early build we saw of nail'd, and we're hoping the game will live up to its already impressive pace when it's eventually released. You'll only be riding MX bikes and ATVs in nail'd, which brings up this question: Can its list of game modes and fun factor make up for its limited roster of vehicles? We didn't get a chance to play nail'd so we'll have to answer that question at a later date. Look for more coverage of nail'd in the coming months.