The No. 2 top-selling game on Steam on Wednesday, just behind pre-orders for Cyberpunk 2077, is a high-concept action combat game called Project Wingman. Created by a small team of developers based in Australia, it looks to rival big budget titles in the Ace Combat series — just don’t call it a flight simulator.
“Project Wingman is a combat flight action game with an emphasis on polished and refined gameplay, true-to-its-roots inspirations, and an engaging single player experience,” the developer says on Project Wingman’s Steam page. “Perfect for those who aren’t looking for a simulator experience, with the ease of pick up and play, all the way to those who want a fast-paced challenging flight action game.”
Players take to the skies in first or third person, where you’ll assume the controls of fourth- and fifth-generation fighter and attack aircraft culled from arsenals all over the modern world. Project Wingman includes a proper campaign, as well as a roguelike mode called Conquest that folks seem to really be enjoying. Conquest mode tasks players with purchasing planes and armaments and maintaining a full fighting force.
The game includes more than 20 aircraft, such as the AV-8B Harrier, F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle. There’s even some legacy planes, including the the venerable F-4 Phantom, as well as plenty of planes from the Russian inventory as well.
What’s really interesting is the opposition, which includes monstrous flying fortresses and hulking ground-based mechs. The fiction of the game takes players along an alternate timeline, where modern aircraft are hunted by “railguns and geothermal-powered armaments.” The game does not skimp on the dramatic lighting either, which spills all across its exotic environs — the Yellowstone magma fields, Redwood forests, and more.
The game is also compatible with modern hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) setups and virtual reality, though neither are required to enjoy the game.
Correction: An earlier version of this story named Conquest mode as Project Wingman’s campaign mode. They are two separate modes.