A salute to Chuck Norris and his legacy of blowing up jungles.
Probably the earliest hit of the genre, Operation Wolf is THE original rail shooter. A cult hit that garnered a modest success when released on the arcades with those plastic little uzis as controllers.
The premise behind the game is as simple as you'd guess, bad guys are doing bad stuff!! Go! Kill!! ARRRR!!! Yes, that's what we like anyway so why bother with anything else? Perfect to kill time and relieve some stress by mindlessly cleaning the world of central-american drug dealers, islamic terrorists and all sorts of paramilitary evils. In all, a perfect shooting gallery game, with all the features that would become classics of the genre like the missile/knife deflection via gunfire, the idiotic hostages/civilians that have no better idea than to run right in the middle of your line of fire, and "missions" that boil down to shooting the hell out of everything that dares to enter the screen as it scrolls around the different locations that make up the game. The enemies appear as nice looking bitmaps that usually go down with a shot or two of your two available weapons: the usual main shooter, an UZI and a high-powered grenade. The interesting addition to the gameplay comes in the form of finite ammo for both of your weapons, which forces you to be on the lookout for ammo bonuses as well as the usual health power-ups.
Additionally the port to DOS was quite good, keeping all of the action-loaded gameplay and it's graphics, which look about the same as in the arcades except for the gigantic status bar that eats up almost a quarter of the screen.
The sound got horribly botched, I remember digitized samples as well as much more thumping sfx instead of the wimpy bleeps present in the DOS port, though those later may have been my arcade memories acting up.
Aside from that there's nothing else that you can object against Operation Wolf except the fact that it's really a dumb and simple 80's rail shooter, it gets old really fast and you could easily find something better to do with your time than playing it. After all it's the videogame equivalent of (and was inspired by) those cheesy "exotic" action movies of the 80's like Rambo 2 or the Delta Force series, were a one-man-army (usually Chuck Norris, Micheal Dudikoff, Lorenzo Lamas, etc.) shoots and kills dozens of colombian/vietnamese bad guys in mock jungles that look more like someone's backyard with a couple of shacks thrown in...well, you get the picture. They are a funny diversion if there's absolutely nothing else in the entire world for you to do.
The Bottom Line
A good port of a classic of the rail-shooting genre. I leave it up to you to figure out if that's a good thing or not. For what it counts Operation Wolf delivers the same non stop action that made it such a hit in the arcades and while that isn't enough to get a nomination for "Best game ever" it still makes for a funny arcade diversion, you know, in a "Chuck-Norris-vs-5000-Colombians" kinda way.