Project Wingman’s gameplay is largely inspired by the Ace Combat series of games, in which the player can choose from a variety of proposed fighters to participate in battles against air, sea and land targets. Most of the aircraft are based on real-life models, their names and designs have been slightly modified to prevent copyright infringement. The game also supports virtual reality and joystick steering wheel.
In campaign mode, the player participates in 21 missions. In each mission, the game encourages the player to choose the correct aircraft and attachments. Before each mission, the player listens to an in-game briefing with a detailed description of the plot events, the expected composition of the enemy’s forces and the parameters of mission success, before choosing one of the available aircraft and consumables for departure. All aircraft are equipped with decoy thermal targets (heat traps) that can be used to disperse enemy missiles, but more advanced aircraft include the ability to select an angle of attack module for super-maneuverability.
In conquest mode, the player conquers territory, with each mission becoming more challenging than the last. Enemies become stronger, but the player also receives more resources to recruit allies.
At the end of the mission, the player receives in-game currency, with which he can buy new aircraft. The player starts the game with training variants of the F-4 Phantom II and MiG-21 aircraft.
The game takes place on an alternate Earth that suffered from a worldwide cataclysm centuries ago, as a result of which a valuable geothermal energy resource called Cordium was discovered. Numerous no-go zones have also been created across the planet. The chronology in the new Earth began from the point of the cataclysm, the so-called “Era after the disaster” (PB)
In 432 PB, the Pacific Federation, a multinational power, controls the cordium deposits within the Ring of Fire. The Cascade Republic, the leader in the extraction of Cordia, upon learning that the Federation is using their resources to build up its war machine, decides to secede. The Federation is not satisfied with this outcome, and they begin the military expansion of the country, cutting off Cascadia from the outside world. Several private military companies, such as the Sicario Mercenary Corps, are hired by Cascadia to wage war against the Federation.
The player controls the silent protagonist of the game with the callsign “Monarch”, who is a member of the “Killers” team of Sicario pilots hired by Cascadia, which also includes two other pilots with the callsigns “Diplomat” and “Comic”; and the operator of weapons systems Monarch “President”. Other members of Sicario include the primary AWACS operator, callsign Galaktika, and the company leader, callsign Kaiser, who is also the pilot and leader of Team Assassin.
Following the completion of a contract with the Creole Republic, the Sicario Mercenary Corps is recruited by the Cascade Republic to fight the War of Independence against the Pacific Federation. Federation forces gain the upper hand in the early stages of the war, capturing the capital of Cascadia, the city of Presidia; but through the efforts of Sikario (led by the Killers team), the Cascadians turned the tide and recaptured most of the country, surviving two clashes with the elite Scarlet peacekeeping squadron, made up of the best aces of the Federation. The Killers’ outstanding combat achievements have led to the fact that its pilots, especially Monarch, became famous both in the Federation and in the Cascade troops.
During the war, the Killers carry out a mission at an offshore research facility controlled by the Federation to uncover information about their projects. A druid, a mercenary from a previous war in Oceania, is piloting an experimental fighter called the “Spear” of the Icarus Armory, trying to stop and distract the mercenaries from the experimental fighter Project Wingman escaping from the battlefield. The druid is defeated, but survives thanks to combat data obtained by Federation scientists.
During a subsequent mission to free Prospero, the main economic center of Cascadia, the Federation bombed the city with Cordium-enriched cruise missiles in an attempt to stop the rebel forces from advancing. The warheads triggered an underground chain reaction of cordium, destabilizing the Ring of Fire and devastating much of the Pacific Rim as a result of a tectonic shift. The city is in ruins, and their sensors are damaged, and the “Killers” are withdrawn from the battle. They again encounter a Druid leading a group of bounty hunters intent on eliminating the “Killers” whose identities have become known to the public. The leak jeopardizes the safety of the Killers as mercenaries. They eventually shoot down the Druid and the bounty hunters before reuniting with the remnants of Sicario. As they plan to flee the country, the government of Cascadia proposes a deal to Sicario by providing Druid-posted incriminating evidence against the Killer team.