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Arcade masterpiece Operation Wolf comes back, as only it could, in 2023

Rail shooting’s granddaddy is reborn for PlayStation and PC

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Operation Wolf is coming back, this summer, to PC virtual reality platforms and PlayStation VR, and all I can say is, well it’s about damn time?!

Very few games have the right to be called “arcade legend,” especially among rail shooters, but Taito’s Operation Wolf in fact is an arcade legend. It first hit pizza parlors and bowling alleys in 1987, as a light-gun game whose controller was a Delta Force-class Uzi mounted on a swivel. The following in-home console adaptations of the wildly popular, Reagan-’80s, kill-’em-all-let-God-sort-’em-out Schwarzenegger shooter always seemed to lack something.

But in a virtual reality setup? OK, now you’re talking. Good gravy, VR is constantly derided for serving up little more than over-dressed rail shooters, so why have we not gotten this adaptation yet? Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission comes back July 13 on via Steam for Meta Quest and Pico 4 enabled PCs, and for PlayStation VR 2. Virtuallyz Gaming is the developer, Microids the publisher.

The story/campaign portion is six levels long (like the original), with a survival/horde mode for those seeking nonstop action. In addition to the fully-automatic SMG, players can also swap to a shotgun, a huge-bore sidearm, or whip out a grenade launcher. Put me down for it and also order me a basket of chili cheese fries and a milkshake, please.

A non-VR adaptation is coming this fall, Microids says, and it will be available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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