Mini games like the AC-10 gunship are scattered throughout the campaign
There are several on-rails sequences which change the perspective from third person to first person. Unfortunately the gunner in the co-op duo has to do all the heavy lifting here as the controls are taken over for the pilot. The same goes for bombing runs when you take control of a large AC-10 gunship and have to do a little carpet bombing across the horizon. These mini games are brief, and they cut up the action nicely to give some variety to each mission. Enemies with a healthbar masquerade as a ‘bossfight’ but there was little to them other than fly in circles and shoot everything you have at it until it dies.
The game looks great and the wide range of environments are a nice touch. However, I couldn’t help but feel boxed in during my time in Thunder Wolves. You can’t ascend to a high altitude, and if you stray too far from the path you’re told to get back to the mission area. I’m not expecting an open world game here, but it would have been nice to open up the levels a bit to try and approach things from a different angle. The repeating track of heavy guitars gets a little bland after the second mission so I strongly recommend making your own playlist starting with Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries”. Seriously, you could just put it on repeat for five hours and you would be doing yourself a service.
Thunder Wolves never sleep until the enemies are all blow'd up
Co-Op play is limited to two player local, with one person acting as the pilot and the other as the gunner. The entire campaign can be played with a co-op partner so find a friend who can handle the adrenaline. Arguments of where to go and what to shoot are inevitable, but it makes for a true couch co-op experience. Thunder Wolves captures the essence of those old school action games you rented for the weekend and played though with a buddy. Ideally a future addition to the co-op would be online capability, making it easier to find a partner or having each player control their own chopper for twice the mayhem. Of course nothing is quite like being in the same vehicle and trying to survive a barrage of RPGs.
Thunder Wolves is a type of game we have not seen enough of in this generation. It is a blast to play, and sometimes you just need to have the action take precedence over a coherent story. The arcade style of gameplay makes for an entertaining ride you and a friend will want to plow through and come back for more. If you want to let loose for a couple hours and just watch the world burn, Thunder Wolves is your one way ticket to an explosive nostalgic paradise.
This review was based on the PC version of the game, provided by the publisher.
The Co-Op Experience: Take control of a mercenary helicopter with local 2 player co-op. One player pilots while the other shoots as the gunner through the full Thunder Wolves campaign.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.