Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission review

by on July 13, 2023
Release Date

July 13, 2023


I remember playing operation Wolf at at arcade in Skegness along time ago, complete with a plastic assault rifle controller. It was exciting as a kid to play something like that, and fast forward decades later, I’m wearing the Meta Quest 2 headset with controllers in hand, feeling like I did back on the promenade. Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission is a short game, but in the couple of hours or so, you get enough action to make you feel like Rambo in the best possible way.

The main campaign is made up of six missions with various stages which take you through various environments like deep jungles and weapon facilities. Choosing between four weapons and a handful of grenades, you’ll have to kill a lot of enemies. The pistol is a simple weapon to use, however, it won’t cut the mustard when you’re facing down burly men wielding grenade launchers or helicopters. The submachine gun has an unbalanced spread of bullets, but as long as you’re pointing it in their general direction, you’ll be fine.

The other two weapons on Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission require two hands to hold, but I found the shotgun to be clumsy and pretty useless. Meant for close combat, I was rarely near enemies without more breathing down my neck. You don’t feel comfortable using it as at times there can be a lot of enemies shooting at you, making the assault rifle a much better choice. I seldom used anything else because it was the most effective. You can throw grenades into swarths of soldiers for quick bouts of destruction, too.

By killing enemies, you’ll earn more ammo, and there’re also various chickens and pigs that can be shot at to bag yourself a few more rounds, ammo vest, or first aid kit. Hostages are also scattered around the jungle, and by blasting off the cabin doors, you’ll free them to earn a first aid kit. Exploding barrels can be fired at for a nice explosion, and some enemies will drop special weapons in the form of a rocket launcher and grenade launcher.

There were other cool moments that pop up and mix up the gunplay, such as a stationary rail gun. Enemy soldiers come out you from the sky, sneaking around a building or from a local barracks. There are tanks, helicopters, and even boss fights at the end of each stage, always providing a challenge or two. The on-rails nature of combat is smooth and lacked any kind of motion sickness for me, and the difficulty didn’t tend to put an end to my run. Even if you do die, continues throw you right back into the action. All in all, Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission is fun as hell, albeit a tad repetitive and far too short.

You can obviously replay the campaign to get a better rank which is based off how good your combo kills are, how many first aid kits you use, and how much damage you take. I rarely dipped below an A rank, but the difficulty can be changed if you so wish. The only other mode is a survival mode where you pick a stage and fight off hordes of enemies until you die. There’s not a lot to do outside of this, but if you’re looking for something simple and quick, it might be worth a go.

Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission is a basic on-rails shooter, but its gunplay is pretty decent despite the shotgun being a little redundant. It’s too short and there’s little to do beyond the campaign and survival mode, yet it kept me interested. The story is daft and never takes itself seriously, but I found that refreshing as it was all about the chaos and gunfire. It tries to mix things up as it goes, and the easy controls make it a good jump in and play type of game.


Fun gunplay
Silly and humorous dialogue


Too short
Not much to do outside campaign
Shotgun isn't implemented well

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission is a short game, but the gunplay is a ton of fun and there's a fair bit of variety in enemies.