The well trodden era of ancient nhật bản has been covered by all kinds of media, but in đoạn phim games it’s mostly been limited lớn the fantastical with titles like Tecmo’s Samurai Warriors series. The long-running Nobunaga’s Ambition games are very decidedly different lớn the hack-and-slash titles we’re more used to, putting players in the role of a historical clan leader who must reach their goals through either diplomacy or war.

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In many ways, the best way lớn describe even the latest entry, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi, is that it is what you would get with the coming together of Total War, Civilization and Risk in a singular strategy title. If that sounds lượt thích it results in a rather layered game, that’s because it totally is. However, Nobunaga’s Ambition did an admirable job of lightly guiding my hand as I got up to speed with the interlinked systems of managing an entire kingdom from economic, trade, diplomatic, systematic, military and political angles all at once. 

"During the planning stage, the player is welcome to lớn take all the time they need to lớn decide on a whole host of choices presented that all loop back into each other."

Much like the Civilization series, each turn of a planning stage is followed by a period of action where all your formulated plans will take their course. During the planning stage, the player is welcome lớn take all the time they need to decide on a whole host of choices presented that all loop back into each other. For example- deciding which trade areas khổng lồ expand or invest into. Such a decision sounds rather simple at first, but with a limit on the actions you can take and no way to alter them once made, making the proper decisions is important. 

Even that decision is influenced by a variety of factors. Perhaps an advantageous trading hub is just the next space over, but if you haven’t been sending out goodwill ambassadors to lớn neighbouring states and clans, you aren’t going lớn be on good enough terms khổng lồ just let your merchants wander into their territories. Conversely, competition is good for a trading post, but once it’s making a lot of money, you could risk your relationships by monopolizing it for yourself at the cost of slowing future growth. 

The economic system only gets you gold, however. Even before you ever dare send your soldiers across enemy borders, you should have your own people well taken care of. The player is in charge of a whole host of castles which function as the player’s bases of operation, & can build or annex more as the trò chơi goes on. Within their walls, players will have to decide how to make use of the people & make sure the people are taken care of for their efforts. They can tend the lands for you to produce more rations for your army khổng lồ march on và the peasants khổng lồ live off of. Should either population’s needs go unmet, you won’t find them being very loyal, either deserting your marching army in droves once the food is gone, or rebelling & refusing to vì any work for that turn. 

"Truly, novels could be written about how the systems of economic, agricultural, political and military systems that weave in và out of each other here."

Such agricultural decisions are locked into being made on a quarterly basis, & while the trò chơi will remind you when they come up, it’s totally happy letting you see the opportunity pass by if you forget to take advantage of it. Quite unlike how Civilization will remind you that there’s still an important action that you can take, Taishi isn’t going khổng lồ tell you twice. That’s a trait that I both kind of respect about Nobunaga’s Ambition, & can also see being a sticking point for a new player. The game will take the time khổng lồ explain the systems to you & what they’re there for –at least most of the time – but it isn’t going lớn hold your hand about it, either. It’s best described as explanation without talking down to the player.

Truly, novels could be written about how the systems of economic, agricultural, political and military systems that weave in và out of each other here. I’ve not even touched on Political Points và policies, Warlords ageing & dying only to lớn be replaced, the many benefits of goodwill relations with other nations, & building up infrastructure around your castles. The monumental task of developing a UI that made sense for all of this intricacy must have been a daunting one for the developers, which makes the occasional glitches in the game a bit more forgivable. For every five instances where the trò chơi puts the information right where you need it – like if having a village raise such and such soldiers will leave them without food – there’s maybe one instance with no easy indication of, say, where you can build your Iron Forge and why. 

There’s not really so much of a mix story with Nobunaga’s Ambition as there is a campaign mode, much lượt thích what’s seen in Civilization. The player will begin as one of many historical warlords and clan leaders, each with their own “Resolve”, which determines their strengths and play style. You’ll follow along their path through your campaign, attempting khổng lồ fulfil different conditions depending on the mission. Resolve can range drastically – much lượt thích with the leaders of Civilization – such as one who would unite nhật bản through trade, or another that believes in power and that a well-armed infantry is the best way forward.


"As far as new additions to lớn the series are concerned, Resolve is probably one of the smartest."

Again, lượt thích Civilization, the Resolve of your main lord & the nations surrounding him can inform a lot of things, such as how they might proceed within the trò chơi or how they might react to lớn a player’s actions, with players playing into their warlord’s style granting bonuses, for instance, and guiding the simulation of the game without completely taking away agency. As far as new additions lớn the series are concerned, Resolve is probably one of the smartest và adds so much khổng lồ the simulation và storytelling of the game.

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With all that said, we haven’t even talked about direct engagement with the enemies, which can be just as intricate & has a similar stop và start flow about it. At the beginning of a conflict, the player has a chance lớn select a plan, suggested by the generals in the engaging army at the time, và execute it to lớn gain an advantage. Positioning units works lượt thích a light version of a Total War title, where taking position in a base can provide a defence buff or hiding in the trees to flank an enemy for a pincer attack can be an excellent idea. Once a trigger is hit, your plan will go into action, but players can easily alter course & ignore the plan – or conversely mess up the plan by going off script. Victory occurs when either the opposing army is defeated, or flees because the odds during the battle were not in its favour.

If there’s one really disappointing area of Nobunaga’s Ambition, it’s got to lớn be the presentation. The large portions of the trò chơi taking place on an overhead view of japan show a rather bland and ugly landmass, dotted densely with icons, colours và dividing lines depending on what’s happening, only muddled even more by marching armies. Selecting between two leaders who happen to be on the same tile is an ordeal on the PS4 when it really shouldn’t be và it’s an area of the presentation that really should be cleaned up.

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"With such layers of depth, would I recommend Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi lớn a new player? For a genre fan, absolutely."

Presentation in battles isn’t much better either, with models and textures popping in & out with camera movement. On the PS4 Pro, I noticed considerable lag while the game tried to lớn load a simple seasons changing animation. Music, while fitting to the period, is also completely forgettable và rather repetitive. If there’s any area to polish for the next title, this is it, as it’s fairly unacceptable for a game to look and run like this on the PS4.

With such layers of depth, would I recommend Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi to lớn a new player? For a genre fan, absolutely. The tutorial systems and UI allow the trò chơi to be just forgiving enough for the player to be able to lớn feel effective as they learn, & continually rewarded for dozens upon dozens of hours as they dig deeper và deeper into their conquest of Japan. Wrapping some of the best of several strategy games into itself, và helping players get into what it has lớn offer smartly, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi scratches a lot of itches for would be conquerers.