It’s very rare that I get to write this, but the Nobunaga’s Ambition series is hitting 40 this year. That’s 40 years of Kou Shibusawa’s historical simulation franchise. 40! Very few game series that are still running are older than me, so that’s downright impressive. It’s also completely understandable, as the series as a whole is beloved by many. Koei Tecmo reasonably brags that the series has shipped over 10 million units worldwide. Well, there’s a new game in development, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening! And it’s set to launch this July.
In the game players will experience the life of a daimyō (a powerful Japanese leader) during the troubled times of the Warring States Period in 16th century Japan. They’ll have to make the best decisions possible as the head of their own clan, in areas ranching from the economy to diplomacy to military. The goal is to unify the country. To help along the way, they’ll be supported by retainers; retainers are AI officers who think and act based on their own judgement. (This is one of the few times I’ll give a thumbs up to AI these days.) Retainers will provide submissions to the daimyō to help plan their strategy.
Players will also issue policies that effect the entire clan, and appoint land holders to develop domains by themselves. They can also appoint conservators to change the overall trend of the clan, and council officials to help guide them when issuing policies. Speak directly with these officers to strengthen their allegiance (and stop them from absconding). These talks may also open up new strategies, as well as deepen bonds with the retainers.
Koei Tecmo states that one of the series most popular features, siege, will be making a comeback but in a new form. Sieges will now take place on a single map with different types of terrains and castles/castle towns, so players can enjoy dynamic sieges and a new level of strategy. Players will both attack and defend. While attacking, decide where to break through and which route to take. While defending, decide where to deploy defensive equipment and how to intercept the attackers.
Related reading: DDNet’s review of 2018’s Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi.
The game is kind of designed with the big 4-0 in mind, including features such as landmarks and achievements that will effect the strategy. Enjoy a ton of scenarios, events, policies, and elements from previous titles such as an editing function that allows them to change officer status, background music, or scenarios, or create new clans.
Developed and published by Koei Tecmo, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Awakening will be released digitally for PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch on July 20.
Really excited by this. I loved the Total War series but haven’t played games on a PC in a very long time. Crusader Kings piqued my interest, but the complexity of it had me shying away. I’ve heard that Nobunaga’s Ambition is a good middle ground between the two.
Yes, Nobunaga’s Ambition does sit somewhere between Total War and Paradox’s strategy games. It’s a slightly more complex experience than Civilization, if you’ve played any of them.
It’s about the limit of what I’d recommend to people who don’t play many strategy games, but it is a good gateway into the hardcore side of the genre. I reckon you should give it a whirl!