It is that time again. Time to head back to the streets of Raccoon City. Slant Six was tasked with providing us a great return to Raccoon City. Different then your typical Resident Evil game, this entry is a squad based shooter. You pick the role of one of six Umbrella Security Service members: Lupo, the team leader, Vector, who specializes in recon, Beltway, the explosives expert, Spectre, the designated marksman, Bertha, the team medic, and Four Eyes, the field scientist. You and three A.I. companions do battle with hoards of B.O.W.s and enemy soldiers.
Slant Six put you behind the events of Resident Evil 2 and 3. More so the outbreak that plagues the city. You start out the game in William Birkin’s lab fighting off Spec-Ops solders. When you finally make it to Birkin’s actual lab, led by Hunk, you can hear Birkin being shot. He then injects himself with his G virus. At this point your team attempts to meet up with a team named “Goblin 6.” Soon you find out that Birkin survived and is starting to mutate and he has killed most of Alpha team. Your team is then chased by a mutated Birkin and you have to keep him back long enough for doors to open. When you finally escape Birkin, Hunk offers to go back and search for the G virus. Disappointingly, the game play does not last very long as I completed my first run through in only 6 hours.
When you think of a Resident Evil game, you think atmosphere. I found that this game had instances where this aspect was both good and bad. An examples of good atmosphere was were when I had to fight Nemesis. Another is the terrifying twist to the classic T-103 Tyrant, also known as Mr. X, fight that you might remember from Resident Evil 2. The bad atmosphere really stands out with some of the music tracks and environments, with certain environments being dark and spooky, but lacked the gruesome touch that classic Resident Evil games had. Enemies you have to fight are varied, including zombies, lickers, hunters, the spec-ops and crimson heads, but they all seem more of a nuisance then anything.
While this game is a squad based shooter you do not get to issue commands to your teammates. Your gunplay is really hit or miss: the aiming doesn’t always work right due to jumping around. There is a auto cover mechanic that will put you into a cover spot and can get downright annoying. While in cover you blind fire at your enemies. I didn’t use blind fire that often because enemies, mainly Spec-Ops, were too far away to be hit by it. There were times that you could shoot an enemy B.O.W. from point blank range and they would take no damage but other times just a few shots would do the trick.
There were some new features in this game not found in older Resident Evil games. First, you have a first aid spray allowing you can quick heal yourself and any teammates around you. Also if a zombie gets a hold of you they can infect you. But if you become infected and do not have a anti-virus you will turn into a zombie and your teammates will waste no time in killing you. The same happens if a teammate gets infected, you can heal them with an anti-virus or you can kill them before they turn.
Speaking of your teammates, the A.I. in this game is not the smartest. They will constantly walk in front of you while you are shooting enemies. Also they seem to like to melee attack enemies, like zombies, rather then shooting them. They also don’t seem to like to heal you when you are injured or infected either. It seems they would rather shoot you then heal you, because they suck…..
After each mission you gain experience which you can use to purchase skills and new weapons. Some skills are passive and some skills are active skills that give you invincibility or make your bullets catch enemies on fire. All the experience points you earn can be used on any character at any time. These also carry over after you finish the game.
Overall, the game is fun for a little while but quickly losses it’s luster. With all the gunplay and A.I. issues, I would only recommend this game to hardcore fans of the franchise. I just hope that Capcom can bring some of the horror back with the highly anticipated Resident Evil 6.