The answer is explosions. It doesn’t matter what the question was regarding Thunder Wolves. Justification is always explosions.
Thunder Wolves blows things up, to a degree of fetishism. It is obsessive and forceful, jamming unlimited rockets and missiles where they do not belong, all for the sake of lively fire shows. Attractive spontaneity populates 13 stages of mega-destruction, celebrating artificial goodness video game violence can replicate.
This is what EA wanted to deliver with their forgotten Strike franchise, a helicopter romp of unyielding power that exists to satisfy carnal urges. Thunder Wolves works (despite stuttering and unpolished end performance) because unhinged reality takes any excuse to kill. It is a tale of dictators and drug lords in brown, desert locations sometime in the advent of the ’90s. Or rather, it is a tale of exploding vehicles.
Someone should willingly hand Most Wanted Games a license to ’80s TV helicopter extravaganza ‘Airwolf,’ which pursued a rogue pilot who illegally commandeers a government super chopper to defend the world. Like Thunder Wolves, many of ‘Airwolf’s’ villains took to skies in helicopters, because clearly, using more effective means would make logical sense. We cannot have that “logic” mindset here.
Missions often ignore audacious insanity this fluidly capable engine (sometimes) can produce, instead whittling down into nebulous rescue/escort missions. Those dilute some freeing, often flirtatious meetings with bulky tanks, RPG launchers, or AA guns. Escorts mean trapping players in pathways instead of shifting focus onto winding angles vehicles are capable of.
When Thunder Wolves opens up to broad appeal, it becomes about abnormally abrasive response. Survival is often sheer will, skylines overloaded with missile indicators, heavy machine gun ammunition, and stray rockets. Living chaos is preferred to give this retro-fueled shooting fest visual spunk, even when it strains plausibility. Combatants are nary drug lords or corruptible oil barons so much as small countries with militaristic might resembling North America.
A penchant for violence means little back-end time, a copious selection of vehicles offering different statistics and weapon load outs. Running in blind with a default choice is often enough, local co-op spawning a pittance of strategic advantage. Missiles speak louder than obnoxiously caustic language, gruff to plant itself within a cheeky ’80s action flick, misogynistic enough to be wholly off putting. Limited characterization is done with off-putting ugliness, not splashes of clever references or meaningful banter. Every dead person in Thunder Wolves is a “B*tch.” You’re told so too.
As an aside, it is apparent Thunder Wolves is grounded by overarching passion. Ignoring simplistic roots of arcade giants, inadvertent sub-missions sprout with unclean results, flabbergasting sniper sub-missions going against the stadium’s worth of devastation which would fit into this facade. Time and time again, Thunder Wolves strives to do something new, the only sensible inclusion being on-rails machine gunning that rips through concrete structures and punctures holes in opposing forces.
Thunder Wolves says, “It’s not rocket science, just rockets.” It is a shame it doesn’t always live up to its own mindset.