Originally released in Japan last fall as Hard Edge, T.R.A.G. (Tactical Rescue Assault Group) puts you in the line of fire as either Alex or Michelle, the game's two creatively named protagonists. Having been sent to the Togusa Building to investigate some suspicious shenanigans, the entire T.R.A.G. team has been booby-trapped and destroyed by mysterious forces, with Alex and Michelle the only survivors. It is now up to them to get to the bottom of things.
After a semi-lavish CG intro (not nearly as good as Resident Evil 2's, but good enough), you are inserted into the game in the role of Alex, whom you will play as until a later point where you can opt to switch between the two characters. Later in the game, you will be able to control other characters, much like you can in RE2. Other similarities to RE or RE2 are the prerendered backgrounds and polygonal characters. The thing that T.R.A.G. does not share with its evil brethren is the ease of control. If you thought Resident Evil and its offspring were hard to control, then T.R.A.G. makes the RE series feel like Mario 64 by comparison. Analog control is all but useless in this game, since you must still push forward to walk forward, and push right to rotate right, etc. R1 causes you to withdraw your weapon, and square attacks. X makes your character run, and run you will, since the characters walk with mind-numbing slowness. Another little control gripe is the uni-speed dialogue settings that you usually try to fast-forward by mashing the buttons, only to trigger the same text again and again. It's annoying to see the words "it's a bookshelf" over and over again.
Control gaffes aside, the graphics are competent, although not of the high resolutions that RE2 sports, and the characters and enemies are not as detailed or realistic as those found in RE2. If it seems a little unfair to compare T.R.A.G. with Capcom's meisterwerk, it's only because T.R.A.G. attempts to emulate the RE formula so hard with so little success. If there's any one thing that drags this game down (and amazingly enough it's not the control) it's the enemy AI. You can stand there and cause a fuss (read: fire your gun) right around the corner from a horribly generic bad guy, and he'll just stand there until you approach him. Shoot, punch, kick these guys down, and they'll just get up and walk right back into your flurry of attacks until he's deceased. The only time these guys pose a problem is when there is more than one of them. They'll gang up on you, and you won't be able to focus on more than one of them. These odd situations aside, the enemies are absolute morons. They seem to be filler baddies and are more of an annoyance than anything else.
In the end, T.R.A.G. will certainly give you enough game for the 40 or 50 bucks you paid for it, but this might be better viewed as a rental. After the game is over, there's not much incentive to play again. Plus, with the control issues and enemy stupidity factored in, can you really call this a keeper?