Last month, West Coast correspondent Chris Park got a chance to sit down with Deep Silver and check out the publisher’s upcoming racer, Nail’d. The high-speed arcade racer from publisher Deep Silver and developer Techland is set for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in the fourth quarter of 2010. It features 1- to 12-player races, and it’s as much about getting vertical as it is getting to the finish line. Park reports…
Racing games have mostly taken a turn for intensely realistic gameplay, but sometimes playing an arcade racer is a welcome diversion. Deep Silver and Techland think the same thing, and will be releasing Nail’d during the fourth quarter of this year. I was given a chance to see a pre-alpha of the title, which included three tracks, and got a feel for what the game will bring to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC this winter.
Nail’d is an ATV and motocross racing game that throws away a lot of the fine-tuning that other racers have, and presents a throwback arcade racer. It’s not about weight distribution or brake caliper adjustments; it’s about getting from Point A to Point B in first place. That’s the first major difference of Nail’d; there aren’t any laps. It’s a simple goal of beating everyone to the finish. But even without laps, I was surprised to watch one course take around 4 minutes to complete, without seeing a repeat of any portion of the level.
The pre-alpha build of the game only had one level, Yosemite, and three tracks. There wasn’t a final tally of courses and tracks within, but it looks like there’s going to be a multitude of tracks to complete. The woodland area of Yosemite was well detailed, even at this early stage. And even without all the visual effects in place, the game looks good. It wasn’t optimized on the Xbox 360 dev kit it was playing on, but from the 10 or so feet I saw it at, there’s a lot going on, with more to come as new assets are placed in-game.
Nail’d is all about an arcade feel, and the air that is possible is huge, with air time extending to 4 or 5 seconds with impossible jumps. Techland is using the Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood engine, so the woodland area looked good, but I’m still curious about the other courses in the game. The draw distance during the huge jumps is impressive and it could actually cause some uncomfortable moments for people who are afraid of heights. There is also a turbo system gained by driving through rings scattered on the tracks, and boosts set up a lot of air time.
Tracks contain a lot of shortcuts and most of them are hidden or specific to the ATV or motorcycle. The music also wasn’t finalized, but I was told to expect a rock-themed licensed soundtrack. Sound effects in the game weren’t complete yet, either, so it’s hard to guess what will be in the final build.
The game will support in-game achievements, up to 11 AI opponents, and local and online multiplayer. The multiplayer will support leaderboards, and there are plans to try localized leaderboards, but it hasn’t been decided yet. SouthPeak is also planning on DLC support for the title to keep the tracks coming.
One addition that hasn’t been utilized well in other games is the race playback. In Nail’d, gamers can watch a course from start to finish, but they can also watch any other opponent’s run. Using this function is as varied as watching for hidden shortcuts or replaying a crash between two gamers. It looks like there will be a lot of use for the playback other than just watching one’s runs of a track.
With Nail’d being a pre-alpha, it’s hard to judge much on the visuals or sound of the title, but the base that Techland has placed looks impressive. Hopefully all the tracks don’t focus on the outdoor setting (I suggested an urban track in one of the most densely populated areas, which would be awesome), and some variety is present.
For more info, www.southpeakgames.com