Project Wingman: Revisiting it after 2 years!
It is hard to believe but it has already been two years since Project Wingman first released. At the time of its release, I was just a sophomore in university and I had extremely high expectations for this game as I had been following its development for years. As soon as it released I got a copy and played it to completion at least three times. My experiences with this game at release can be found here in our launch review.
To celebrate the opportunity, I wanted to revisit this game with a clear and open mind. I know I had my reservations with the story, so I wanted to see if this time away from the game would help me to understand those aspects that I had disliked when I first played it. Personally, my expectations were not as high because my memories of this game were kind of clouded.
SAME OL' GAMEPLAY: A BLESSING
Something that was an immediate a breathe of fresh air was the familiar and extremely polished gameplay. It felt like putting on an old glove and playing a baseball match with your childhood friends. That feeling was one that I missed dearly.
It felt like I had come back home. Every single aspect felt as good as I remembered it being. Missile tracking is excellent, they do lead pursuit instead of pure pursuit. This makes the missiles feel fair as your nose positioning while shooting will affect the missile guidance greatly, making everything feel more skill based. The same applies for the gun and even the rockets/ground munitions. They all feel very fun to use.
The aircraft mechanics are absolutely brilliant, too. Almost all planes feel balanced in the way that they fly. heavier planes roll slower and cannot hold turns with more agile aircraft. Overall, this part of the game is as good as I remembered it to be.
COMING TO TERMS WITH THE STORY
I will be completely honest here just as I was during my original review: I am not the biggest fan of how the story was handled in this game. I initially saw it as a big disappointment as I had waited so long for this game only for its story to be the weakest point, at least to me.
I am a bit surprised to say that most of those feelings are in the past. I feel a lot better about the story and I can now appreciate it for what it is: A series of motivations to get the player into a series of exciting scenarios. Some of the scenarios can be extremely wacky, yes, but at the end of the day it is an arcade game. One has to hold a bit of suspension of disbelieve to enjoy it, kind of like watching an over-the-top bombastic anime.
Does this mean that the story is good? No, not at all. Every single flaw that I pointed in my original review is one that I still stand behind. I feel like everything could have been handled a bit better; but, I can now appreciate the wacky nature of this rollercoaster of a game. After all, which other game allows me to fly over seas of magma while I dogfight an ace in the middle of a volcanic eruption?
CONCLUSION: A GAME WORTH PLAYING
To keep it short, this is a game that is completely worth playing. It might be extremely bombastic with its story and characters, but the gameplay holds it together very well. It is a game that rivals Ace Combat with its gameplay polish and the worldbuilding is very interesting. You rarely get to see a post-apocalyptic story whose focus is on aircraft and mercenaries in a fight for freedom for a foreign country, à-la Area 88 but with a lot of magma.
About the Author
Santiago "Cubeboy" Cuberos
Longtime aviation fanatic with particular preference towards military aviation and its history. Said interests date back to the early 2000's leading into his livelong dive into civil and combat flight simulators. He has been involved in a few communities but only started being active around the mid 2010's. Joined as a Spanish to English translator in 2017, he has been active as a writer and the co-founder of Skyward ever since. Twitter | Discord: Cubeboy #9034