Suit up and strap in because Thunder Wolves is here to take you for an adrenaline-filled ride. Thunder Wolves comes at a perfect time, filling a serious void of arcade-style flight combat games. Bitcomposer and Most Wanted Entertainment have crafted a chopper action game with a forgettable story that is compensated for by the sheer number of explosions. Summon your inner pilot from the 80’s and get ready for some good old fashioned napalm.
Thunder Wolves refers to the team of renegade mercenaries you control called Team-Wolf One. You play as a rookie pilot who has recently joined the squad who is immediately thrown into the action. Each character resembles an action movie stereotype, all fully voice acted surprisingly well. When they are not barking orders or cursing, Team-Wolf One tosses in some humor to ease the tension that comes with an all out war. The dialogue is cheesy and many will find it to be juvenile, but it fits the game very well. You don’t go looking to a game of this nature for the deep storytelling, you’re here to blow s#!% up. The story occurs between two time periods,1986 and 1991, centralized around a terrorist who has acquired nuclear arms. It’s a simple take on an action game, but the result is pure, unadulterated fun.
There is never a lack of things to shoot at.
There are thirteen missions in Thunder Wolves, each having their own various objectives. The simplest being ‘unleash hellfire upon this compound,’ which never gets old. There are quite a few escort and protect missions and for whatever reason, stealth sequences where you are sniping from your chopper (sounds easy, right?). The pacing is perfect for this style of game, with each mission clocking in at an average of ten minutes. If you have a co-op partner as your gunman, I’m sure this would shave off even more time. A three star system is used to grade each mission, and secret collectibles are littered throughout the levels for those of you who want to take the scenic route. The missions never got old and there is a ton of replay value here, I just wish there was a leaderboard to show me how I stack up against my friends’ scores.
Games like Desert Strike, Airwolf, and Choplifter all come to mind when I hear “chopper-action”, each carving their own distinct spot in the aerial combat genre. Thunder Wolves does an amazing job of taking these games and putting its own aggressive spin on them, resulting in something resembling Renegade Ops in the air. I played most of the game with a controller, but swapped to keyboard and mouse when I was playing co-op. The tight controls make it easy to soar through the air and pick off tanks, AA guns, infantry, boats, and other helicopters, all of which are making your life difficult by spraying bullets your way. Nine choppers become available, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, the special weapons loadouts are different for each chopper so you have to decide what is ideal for laying waste to your enemies. There are no pickups in Thunder Wolves as secondary weapons recharge over time, so keep this in mind as you throw everything you have at a single enemy.