Nobunaga's ambition taishi review


The well trodden era of ancient japan has been covered by all kinds of media, but in video clip games it’s mostly been limited to lớn the fantastical with titles like Tecmo’s Samurai Warriors series. The long-running Nobunaga’s Ambition games are very decidedly different to 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 to 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 & 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 lớn speed with the interlinked systems of managing an entire kingdom from economic, trade, diplomatic, systematic, military và political angles all at once. 

"During the planning stage, the player is welcome to take all the time they need 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 kích hoạt where all your formulated plans will take their course. During the planning stage, the player is welcome to take all the time they need lớn decide on a whole host of choices presented that all loop back into each other. For example- deciding which trade areas to expand or invest into. Such a decision sounds rather simple at first, but with a limit on the actions you can take & 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 và clans, you aren’t going to be on good enough terms to lớn 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, and 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 lớn produce more rations for your army lớn march on và the peasants to lớn 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 and refusing to bởi any work for that turn. 

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

Such agricultural decisions are locked into being made on a quarterly basis, và 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 kích hoạt that you can take, Taishi isn’t going to tell you twice. That’s a trait that I both kind of respect about Nobunaga’s Ambition, và can also see being a sticking point for a new player. The trò chơi will take the time to lớn explain the systems khổng lồ you and what they’re there for –at least most of the time – but it isn’t going to hold your hand about it, either. It’s best described as explanation without talking down khổng lồ the player.

Truly, novels could be written about how the systems of economic, agricultural, political & military systems that weave in & out of each other here. I’ve not even touched on Political Points & policies, Warlords ageing & dying only lớn be replaced, the many benefits of goodwill relations with other nations, và 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 trò chơi a bit more forgivable. For every five instances where the trò chơi puts the information right where you need it – lượt thích if having a village raise such và 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 và why. 

There’s not really so much of a mix story with Nobunaga’s Ambition as there is a campaign mode, much like what’s seen in Civilization. The player will begin as one of many historical warlords & clan leaders, each with their own “Resolve”, which determines their strengths và 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 & that a well-armed infantry is the best way forward.


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

Again, lượt thích Civilization, the Resolve of your main lord và 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 a player’s actions, with players playing into their warlord’s style granting bonuses, for instance, và 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 and adds so much to lớn the simulation and 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 and has a similar stop & start flow about it. At the beginning of a conflict, the player has a chance to lớn select a plan, suggested by the generals in the engaging army at the time, and execute it lớn gain an advantage. Positioning units works like a light version of a Total War title, where taking position in a base can provide a defence buff or hiding in the trees khổng lồ 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 and 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 khổng lồ 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 lớn be on the same tile is an ordeal on the PS4 when it really shouldn’t be & 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 to lớn a new player? For a genre fan, absolutely."

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

With such layers of depth, would I recommend Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi to a new player? For a genre fan, absolutely. The tutorial systems & UI allow the trò chơi to be just forgiving enough for the player khổng lồ be able khổng lồ 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, & helping players get into what it has khổng lồ offer smartly, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi scratches a lot of itches for would be conquerers.