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project wingman

This one-man indie game is a gorgeous tribute to Ace Combat

The Ace Combat series is probably the most recognisable air combat franchise around, having started out on the PS1 before soaring even higher on the PS2, PSP, DS, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Ace Combat 7 is pulling lead on a 2018 release on Xbox One, PC and PS4, but what if you’re looking for something to scratch that itch before then? Well, we stumbled across Project Wingman, a rather polished air combat title in the works for PC.

Being developed in Unreal Engine 4 by Abi Rahmani, Project Wingman plays like an unofficial Ace Combat game. That means nigh-on identical arcade handling (i.e. not quite as unrealistic as HAWX), a healthy stockpile of missiles, special weapons and a few fantasy aircraft in addition to realistic planes.

The game also seems to opt for tweaked aircraft names, ostensibly to avoid copyright issues. But aircraft geeks will undoubtedly identify the F-14, F/A-18, Su-27, B-52 and other featured planes.

A Project Wingman demo is available, but expect a new demo and Kickstarter campaign to take off in “early 2018”.

It must be said that the game is visually arresting at this point, featuring detailed aircraft, fluffy clouds and some of the most satisfying explosion effects I’ve seen in a game.

via GIPHY

As for actual gameplay, the title is intuitive enough to play on keyboard and mouse, although a controller is probably your best bet. It must be said that the enemy AI can vary from a cake walk to very tough, even on the easy difficulty setting.

Nevertheless, if I didn’t know who was behind it, I’d say I was playing an early Ace Combat 7 demo. Here’s hoping the final product delivers on the potential of the demo.

Author Bio

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More