For arcade aficionados in the 80s, eager to earn their commando credentials, Operation Wolf offered you the opportunity to put your shooting skills to the test, as you faced formidable enemies and protected the innocent in this action-packed adventure game.
Released by Taito in 1987, this first-person light shooter game armed players with an impressive Uzi-shaped controller, earning some extra macho points above the competition. Scenarios included six different commando missions to complete, all featuring standard elements of that type of mission, like hostages to be rescued and enemy forces to plow through while rescuing said hostages.
The side of the screen displayed the logistics of each mission, like how many rounds were left in your arsenal, how many hostages remained in captivity and how many bad guys were still alive. Ammo was not unlimited but you could add to your stash by shooting at guns and bullet clips that appeared randomly on the screen. The Uzi sported a button on the side that launched grenades, making it the best accessory for bloodthirsty commandos.
The odds against the player were overwhelming, naturally, and the enemy attacked with ground forces, helicopters, armed vehicles and boats. The action literally jumped off the screen with advanced graphics rendering and superior sound effects. Even the Uzi had a perceptible kick to it when fired.
The only way to make Operation Wolf better was to convert it into a two-player game, which is exactly what Taito did in 1988 when they released Operation Thunderbolt, a follow-up game. There were now two Uzis side by side on the console, ready to give those no-good terrorists a darn good thrashing. A third game, Operation Wolf 3 was released in 1994, but bore little resemblance to the original, which was one of the most popular shooting games of its day. Versions of the game have been released for such modern home systems as the X-Box and Wii, but none can recreate the feel of that Uzi in your hands, rattling away as you mowed down your adversaries.
If you spent a few handfuls of quarters back in the day on this addictive arcade game, we’d love to hear from all you former commandos in our comments section. Share your battle stories with us as we fondly remember one of the classics.