It’s been a while since we’ve had an arcade-style helicopter shooter, hasn’t it? Casting you as a variety of choppa’-flyin’, testosterone junkies in a story that spans from Iran-Contra and Gulf War I (although having little to do with either conflict), you blast your way through 13 levels of… well, bad dudes.
Thunder Wolves pulls absolutely no punches. What you see is what you get. While the game mixes up your play time with some turret sequences, special objectives, and boss battles, it’s straight-up shooter faire here. (Preferably) with a controller, you easily whip your gunship over and over hills and through valleys while a trio of secondary weapons complements (well, surpasses) your standard issue gatling gun. The game’s no marvel in the graphics department, but the trade off is that you can run it at incredible resolutions at nearly 60 frames per second, which keeps you on top of the action at all times. The rail-thin narrative will barely keep your attention – something about The Serpent and destroying the world or whatever – but the presentation keeps together and I didn’t notice any technical hitches. The game features local co-op but that went untouched, although it might make up for the game’s three-hour campaign.
Developer Most Wanted Entertainment knows exactly what they built and who they built it for. Their biggest crime was being afraid of trying something new. While it’s a shame they didn’t do more to change the formula, Thunder Wolves is a solid entry in what’s been a sadly dormant genre. Now, where’s my new SimCopter at?