Thunder Wolves is an arcade-style, Third Person helicopter-based Shoot 'em Up by Most Wanted Entertainment, and released by bitComposer Games in 2013, first for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and eventually on PC. You can get it from Steam and Humble Store.
It's 1991. A crack mercenary unit called the Thunder Wolves are on deployment somewhere in Central Asia. The player takes on the role of wisecracking Ace Pilot Max and his equally snarky new gunner, Blister, as they provide overwhelming aerial support for the ground pounders from their bright red-and-yellow helicopter.
The game is essentially a Pastiche of the 80s action film, with persistently over-the-top action, a near-constant stream of One Liners and swearing, a villain with improbable resources, and of course, a whole hell of a lot of Stuff Blowing Up. Gameplay is very forgiving and fun, with simplistic controls, unlimited machine gun ammo and regenerating rockets, generous player health and even a Nitro Boost. Players can select from nine availiable helicopters with various stats and special weapons. There are 13 missions across three difficulties, and an option for Coop Multiplayer wherin the first player flies and the second shoots.
This game provides explosive examples of:
- Animal Motifs: The Thunder Wolves versus the mysterious and vengeful Serpent.
- Appropriated Appelation: Max immediately christens his unwanted new teammate, Sgt. Hall, "Blister" to demean him. Blister objects exactly once and then runs with it.
- Bland-Name Product: The helicopters are all real world models, like the Apache, Kasatka, Blackhawk and Hind, but are known by fake names. It gets odd because several helicopters are properly named during in-game dialogue.
- Blood Knight: Both Max and Blister really get into their work. Zara also counts.
- Boss Fight: Several, including armored anti-air tanks and intense duels against enemy helicopters, which play out like an Old-School Dogfight.
- Bottomless Magazines: Your machine guns never run out of ammo or even overheat. Your rockets are on a recharging meter.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Max and Blister drop about as many F-bombs as they do real ones!
- Flash Back: Certain levels of the game take the player back to 1986, as part of Max's story about the first time he faced the Serpent's forces.
- Gunship Rescue: Max and Blister deliver several of these over the course of the game, and they're Always Close.
- Hellish Copter: Max gets shot down several times over the course of the campaign. Twice, you have to steer it as it spirals out of control towards a specific area, and the first time that happens, an Unexpected Gameplay Change occurs where you are able to use the wreck's guns and even rockets to defend yourself while waiting for backup.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: It is possible to blow your own stupid self up with the Player-Guided Missile. Doing so actually nets you an achivement.
- Homing Projectile: Each helicopter can use homing missiles as well as dumbfire ones.
- Imperturbable Englishman: Pearce has shades of this.
- Killed Off for Real: Max's old gunner, Zara, who died in his arms.
- Made of Explodium: Everything!
- Macross Missile Massacre: You will rain an unholy amount of rockets down on your foes in this game. One chopper even has this as special, and it is glorious.
- N.G.O. Superpower: As you progress, the Serpent throws increasingly unlikely amounts of military grade hardware at you, even for a drug lord slash arms dealer, including but not limited to: a Typhoon class submarine, a battleship, and a fully equipped ICBM launch facility. Holy hell.
- Nuke 'em: The protagonists juggle a live warhead with the bad guys for a while before having to let it blow in an unpopulated area, being unable to defuse it in time. Max and Blister pull Pearce out of the frying pan just in time.
- Not Quite Dead: Max thought Hector was dead. He thought wrong. Very, very wrong.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Max and Blister spend much of the game making light of each other, the enemy, and pretty much anything else.
- Special Attack: Each helicopter has one big attack that has to recharge fully between uses. Notable ones include a Player-Guided Missile, napalm missile, and a plain old Macross Missile Massacre.
- Shout-Out: There's a few in the achivements:
- Stuff Blowing Up: In the finest action game tradition. This game gives Renegade Ops a run for its money in the explosion department.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: Happens at least once per level, including Rail Shooter segments, a bit where you drop bombs from a C-130, a bit where you control Pearce on an anti-aircraft gun and even a part where you drive an APC.
- The Unreveal: The Big Bad's motivation? He can "snap his fingers and the world jumps!" Yeah.
- Too Dumb to Live: Max is seperated from Blister at one point and has to work his chopper's guns alone. He fails to realize the rockets are operated via a Big Red Button until Blister tells him, prompting an Ironic Echo of the page quote above.Max: Smartass.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: The suitably attractive Lin.
- World of Badass: Pretty much. Even the navy gets its moments.