I have always loved a good action movie. Guns, explosions and goofy one-liners are all a part of the fun formula. Let’s throw in a helicopter, excuse me, a “chopper”, strap some rockets and machine guns on it, and take on a ton of military fascists and terrorists. Sounds like a pretty nice set up for an action game. Well, that is exactly what players can expect when they boot up Thunder Wolves.
Thunder Wolves is the story of a group of foul mouthed, wise-cracking mercenaries that are sent all over the globe to protect citizens and take down evil military groups, all from the comfort of the cockpit of a chopper armed to the teeth. To be honest, the story has very few moments of explanation, but that really doesn’t matter. The only thing players need to know is there are enemies to blow up.
The game is a third person shooter of sorts. The camera is fixated behind the chopper much like a racing game. Players can move forward and back as well as increase and decrease altitude. Each chopper comes equipped with multiple types of rockets and a standard machine gun. The rockets need to be recharged but the machine gun can rattle off rounds indefinitely. They are also equipped with flares that can redirect rockets as well as a boost for escaping lock-ons.
Each level is in a somewhat open world. Players can’t go everywhere, though. They are limited to the “mission area”. During each mission, players are tasked with destroying bases, eliminating soldiers and ground vehicles as well as extracting hostages. At the end of a mission, there is a final boss of sorts to complete the level. These are heavily armored choppers or ground vehicles that have a ton of health.
Each level is rated on a point system and at the end of each mission, players are awarded one to three stars based on their performance. Players are also rewarded with new choppers and new skins they can use for other levels.
For the most part, the main game play is sound. It has its moments of monotony, but the levels are so quick that it never becomes bothersome. What is bothersome are the small mini games that are thrown in during the missions. These usually consist of the player taking control of a machine gun, sniper rifle or predator drone missile launcher and shooting up baddies like an on-rails shooter. These small games took up parts of the level and instead of giving the game variety, made me want to get them done as soon as I could so I could get back to piloting the chopper. They really felt like a chore compared to the core experience.
One other small problem I had was that everything was so loud in the game. Now, I know for an action game all about explosions, it’s supposed to be impactful. I get that. However, when the sound effects, music and in-game chatter are drowning out the faint beeping that signifies a missile lock-on, it can get annoying.
The game takes around four hours to complete so it is a rather short experience, but it does offer multiple difficulty levels to play on, as well as a local co-op mode that has one player controlling the chopper and shooting while the other has a separate gun to fire.
The visuals were a little lacking at times, but I was too busy blowing everything up to really care. The presentation is actually well implemented. The hard rock music and constant messages that pop up on screen like “All you, bro!” fit well with what the game is trying to accomplish.
Thunder Wolves is a decent action game that does have a few faults, but in the overall grand scheme of things, it was a pretty fun time. It may be on the short side, but for only ten bucks, you can get some fun out of it and with a friend. Looking past the dumb mini-games and small issues, I can see just how enjoyable Thunder Wolves can be. If you enjoy a good action title with a lot of explosions, you may want to check it out.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.