Operation Thunderbolt (Ocean) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

Operation Thunderbolt
By Ocean
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #52

AA Rave

Operation Thunderbolt

Kill 'til your barrel melts. Strike with the speed of a cobra and hit with force of a thunderbolt. Smash your enemy with skill, precision and superior firepower... Your mission is to get in, get the hostages and get out.

Nearly a year has passed since you last went on the rampage in Operation Wolf. Now your particular brand of diplomacy - gunboat - is needed again. American civilians have been kidnapped and taken to a terrorist base deep in the African jungle. This mission promises to be your toughest ever, so you're given the option of taking a fellow psycho along for kicks. With seven locations to "liberate', going it alone makes the Charge of the Light Brigade look like a sound tactical move.

Point and shoot, that's all you have to do. Terrorists leap out to be blown away with bullets and grenades. The screen scrolls automatically towards you or horizontally past as you stand there shooting. Larger vehicles require repeated bursts of fire or grenades to put them out of business. Simple really, once you get the feel for your gun and where its shots end up. Special bonuses are dropped in by some friend in the clouds - bulletproof jackets, ammunition, grenades, health care and even laser sighting. Shoot them as they fall and they're yours.

Operation Thunderbolt

The levels alternate their direction. You go from advancing up a road to wandering around a base, but the difficulty always increases. There are bunkers to raid, rivers to cross, road blocks to run and camps to blow up. The final two sections have you rescuing first a plane and then the pilot. It all sounds very straightforward stuff, so why the excitement?

Well, what Operation Thunderbolt lacks in gameplay, it makes up for in thrill-a-minute arcade action. Last year the accuracy of the Operation Wolf arcade conversion stunned CPC gamers nationwide and Operation Thunderbolt is no different. It looks feels, and plays better than the coin-op! The graphics are just as bright, the action as hectic and the addictiveness of such a thoroughbred shoot-out is beyond measure.

Ocean has not been content to sit on its laurels and turn out a Wolf clone just to fill its piggy bank and empty yours this Christmas. The company has developed a two-player system that will have the best of friends at each other's throat and the worst of enemies fighting shoulder to shoulder.

Operation Thunderbolt

An imaginary line bisects the screen centrally. When a terrorist pops into view on your side, waste him immediately (although that's easier said than done). If he's on your mate's side that's their problem as that guy won't fire on you until he crosses that line. Of course, if you see your buddy's energy bar running down then you could lend a hand, but...

Disagreements are also likely to occur over the toys you can pick up. Due to Government cutbacks they can only afford high-tech help for one of you. So if you want the laser sighting (to improve your aim) or bulletproof vest (to lessen damage taken) then you'll have to be pretty quick on the draw.

With enemy fire raining in, life can get pretty fraught. You need to keep one eye on the guy you're shooting, one eye open for special weapons and health pods, one eye on your partner and one more on your ammo. Without worries about where you're going, you can relax and just enjoy the fireworks, becoming totally absorbed in the gunplay. Staying alive, especially for the first few games, is tough, but those nice coding types at Ocean have implemented a variable credits system so the better you play the fewer the credits and vice versa. Operation Thunderbolt is anarchy at its two-player best. Terrorists overwhelm the screen and you, and bullets, rockets and grenades are exploding everywhere, while tackily-dressed hostages run hither and thither. As a one-player game it's no cynch, the unplayed part of the screen constantly engaging your attention, drawing you away from the real threat.

Operation Thunderbolt

Brilliant is the only way to describe Operation Thunderbolt. The graphics have been reproduced to near pixel perfection and the programmers have refined the gameplay to make the whole game even better. Its slightly (!) violent tone may upset some, but if you want to go war this festive season this is the game to fight for at the shops. Not a game for the faint-hearted, you finally get a chance to waste untold thousands of Commie pinko liberal ratfinks in one long orgy of blood-soaked... [I think we get the idea! - Ed]

Second Opinion

Great arcade graphics, but just another gun-totin' bash.

Green Screen View


First Day Target Score

Operation Thunderbolt

Complete Stage One.

The Verdict

Graphics 91%
P. Arcade quality.
P. Arcade speed.

Sonics 63%
P. Explosion city!
P. Haunting tune.

Grab Factor 95%
P. Gunplay has never been more fun.
P. The worse your play the more your credits!

Staying Power 64%
P. Seven different battles to fight.
N. A real finger-achin' joystick-smasher.

Overall 89%
P. A sure-fire hit.

Trenton Webb

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