Operation Wolf Returns 1
Image: Microids

Put this one on the record as “something we weren’t expecting” — Microids has announced that it will be releasing Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission, which is an officially licensed “new vision” for Tatio’s Operation Wolf series, which started on the NES back in 1987. The original was followed by three sequels, Operation Thunderbolt in 1998, Operation Wolf 3 in 1994, and Operation Tiger in 1998.

Operation Wolf was an on-rails light gun shooter which was one of the most popular arcade titles back in the ’80s, and Microids is continuing the series’ legacy. You’ll be able to play Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission either solo or co-op, but one thing we’re hoping for is the use of motion controls so we can use our Joy-Cons to aim and take down enemies.

Here are all of the details from Microids’ press release:

Microids is delighted to announce Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission with a handful of screenshots. Discover or rediscover Operation Wolf, the cult classic arcade game developed and published by TAITO in 1987, one of the very first games to offer side-scrolling rail shooting action.

Developed by the French studio Virtuallyz Gaming, Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission remains faithful to the original game whilst offering a brand new art style. Players are invited to experience the mood of an 80’s action movie thanks to non-stop frenetic gameplay!

In the game campaign, play solo or co-op locally as special agents tasked to fight a criminal organization. In addition to drug and weapon trafficking, the organization led by the mysterious General Viper seems to have developed a weapon of mass destruction! Following the discovery of several of the group bases, the agents are sent on location to dismantle the consortium, eliminate the weapons and free the hostages from various prisoner camps.

Operation Wolf Returns: First Mission will be released in fall 2022 both digitally and in retail with a Day One Edition for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 & Nintendo Switch and digitally only on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC

The VR version of the game for Meta Quest 2 will launch in 2023.

Game facts:
– Comeback of the 1987 cult arcade game!
– New art style
– Non-stop action
– A campaign for one or two players
– A survival mode (endless waves of enemies)
– A full-blown arsenal (smg, shotgun, grenade launcher…)
– A leaderboard

This new game is due to launch sometime in the Fall of this year on Switch, so we’ll likely hear about a release date pretty soon. But for now, can we start praying that this will bring back the rail shooter genre?

Are you ready to return to Operation Wolf? Grab your NES Zapper and let us know in the comments!