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Hands-on: Getting Nail'd never hurt so good

12:00 PM on 08.12.2010 // Tara Long

[Publisher's note: Meet our new previews editor, Tara Long. On her first day at the job, she already filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Destructoid. Please join us in giving her an inappropriate welcome. -Niero]

Ever since I was old enough to play Cruis’n USA in the waiting room of my dentist’s office, I have fond memories of crashing my Chevy Camaro though a line of school buses and watching it erupt into flames in front of a beautiful Arizona sunset. Yep, 1996 and I had some good times together. And yet, it may surprise you to learn that I’ve never been a huge fan of racing games. Maybe it’s the lack of a Y chromosome, but lurking somewhere deep within my genetics is a natural propensity to suck at driving. It’s science. And up until a week ago, I’d made peace with this fact.

Then I got my hands on Deep Silver’s newest arcade-style racer, Nail’d. Genetics be damned, this lives up to all the hype and more. It’s a visually stunning, fast-paced game whose charm lies in the complete and utter lack of sense it makes. In a sentence, it makes physics its bitch. And if you’re anywhere near as ADD as I am, you’re in luck, because constant stimulation is the name of the game with this one. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you after Nail’d bends you over and sensory overloads all over your face.

Nail’d (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC) 
Developer: Techland 
Publisher: Deep Silver 
To be released: October 5, 2010

Still not getting it? No problem, let’s put on our brainstorming underwear and suspend reality for a moment. You’re flying through the Andes Mountains at 140 miles an hour, snow-covered trees racing past either side of you in a blur. A thousand feet ahead lies a ramp, immediately behind which is a 2000-foot drop-off. Two seconds later, your wheels leave the platform and you’re suspended in thin air, free-falling over a giant lake half a mile below. The front wheels of your ATV just barely graze the edge of the cliff as you escape certain death by mere fractions of a second. You stabilize yourself and get back on the road just in time to slide past the finish line, as flocks of women approach you offering congratulatory blowjobs on your crushing victory. I may have made that last part up, but you get my point. To put it bluntly, this game takes the word 'extreme' to the XTREME.

A handful of exciting features have been added since the last time we previewed Nail'd. Single-player mode offers your typical Tournament and Quick Event style races, as well as a nifty new Time Attack mode which helps you gradually improve your time by racing against the ghost of a developer or even yourself. Multiplayer mode allows you to play against your friends locally or online with up to 12 players, and scores are tallied on both a universal and state-wide scale, in case you’ve ever wondered how you stack up against other drivers in Vermont or wherever the hell you’re from. The scoreboard even keeps track of your total time spent in the air.

The only obvious omission is the lack of character customization features, which the developers promise will be added before the release date. Apart from that, Techland’s Chrome4 engine did a great job of creating surprisingly realistic terrain with 16 tracks to choose from, spread out among four different locales: Arizona, The Andes, Yosemite National Park, and Greece. All 16 tracks are available from the get-go so you don’t have to unlock them and Techland does plan to release DLC tracks in the future. The incentive to keep your score up lies in unlocking new customization features for your bike, allowing you to one-up your opponents with something other than sheer force of will.

Players also have the option of choosing between custom bikes or ATVS, the latter of which provides a marginal increase in control at the expense of a slightly slower speed. It looks intimidating at first, but is surprisingly easy to grasp once you throw yourself into the game. And because logic doesn’t exist in this world, speed is the number one priority for players. Your success in this game hinges not on points, but on your ability to harness the power of the turbo boost, which replenishes itself when players complete various obstacles like popping wheelies or flying through rings of fire.

The game even has something called Boost Madness mode, wherein each player has an infinite supply of “boost juice,” as I call it. Add on top of that a bitchin' soundtrack and you've got a solid game in the works. Perhaps the most appealing quality, however, which Jim Sterling also favored in his hands-on time at E3, is the surprising amount of control you have over your vehicle, even while flying through the air. Steering in this game appears to be far less sensitive than that in similar style racers, allowing you to focus on something other than not bursting into flames every time you round a corner.

In short, make sure you’ve got a pile of diapers handy, because Nail’d is set to release on October 5 and it’s safe to say you’ll shit bricks. If you’re already a fan of racing games, I suspect you’ll have even more to be pumped about with this one. Its lightning-fast speed and non-stop, in-your-face action differentiate it from any other racer on the market right now and ensure there’s never a boring second, making it a great game for even the classiest of parties. And word to the wise, don’t be surprised if your hands are a little sore after a few rounds. It’s all part of the Nail’d experience.

(That’s what she said.)

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