The Thunder Wolves are a duo of trash talking mercenaries for hire who head to the Middle East to stop a military force from destabilizing the area. If you enjoyed the action movies of late 80’s and early 90’s then you will appreciate the story Thunder Wolves has to offer albeit not too deep but cohesive enough to move the game play along. You will play through 13 missions which flyby if you set aside 3-4 hours.
Graphically I feel that this game fell a bit short but sometimes the emphasis on graphics takes a backseat to a games overall enjoyment. If I could compare the graphics to anything it would be the Strike series that EA used to make. This does not mean the graphics on par with PS1 but they definitely have a PS2 vibe though. The graphics overall are solid for an XBLA game and the overabundance of explosions distract your attention enough to focus on the graphics as much as you should.
Controls for Thunder Wolves are easily accessible and feel more like third person controls than the typical chopper controls that are more simulation. The left analog stick controls directions while the right stick controls turns. To ascend and descend all you need to do is click the analog sticks which is again easily accomplished. The triggers and bumpers control rockets and machine gun fire with ample rockets types to use on terrorists. Flares are your friends in this game as they prevent rockets from destroying your chopper. The only control issue for me was using the D-pad to switch rocket types which at times got a bit annoying.
There is no online multiplayer for this title which is unfortunate as helicopter battles would have definitely extended the gameplay. To make up for the lack of online play there is two player coop mode which is surprisingly enjoyable as players take the role of pilot or gunner and the game becomes more of a rail shooter.
Thunder Wolves is a solid XBLA title but has some flaws that while not utterly terrible do detract from the games enjoyment. The biggest being the games overall length which is roughly 3 1/2 to 4 hours . If you want to test yourself you can play on the other difficulty levels or tackle the local co-op but that will wear thin. The other gripe is the overall game volume which most times drowns out missile lock alerts. The dude-bro vibe and rock soundtrack were a nice touch and made the game feel nostalgic but when I can’t hear missile lock-on during a heated air battle it tends to be an annoyance that detracts from the overall enjoyment of the game. The thing about Thunder Wolves is that it’s really not a bad game just one with some small missteps that knock it down a few pegs. It is mindless fun that is littered with explosions and provides some local co-op if you have some friends over. In closing I will say that 800 points ($10) is not a bad price for the game but it could have been a longer than four hours..
Game provided by publisher for review.