Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension Coming Westward

Those of you who revel in games full of historical intrigue and meticulous troop management typical of many grand strategy games may be excited to hear that a follow up to Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence is getting a western release this fall. This new standalone expansion in the Japanese strategy series is Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence – Ascension [official site], a name with a lot going on.

Ascension returns to Japan’s Sengoku period, where clans across Japan were fighting for dominance. It boasts about 2,000 unique characters to choose from, including historic feudal lords and renowned samurai. Perhaps most notably, Ascension allows players to follow the life of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate which ruled Japan for over 200 years until it was toppled in the 1800s. Oops, I’m waxing a bit nerdy, but you get the point. They did their research for this one.

The game introduces a few new game modes, too, including Siege and Naval battles. Koei Tecmo was especially keen to point out that players can re-enact the Siege of Osaka, one of the largest battles of the period.

When Rob Zancy told us Wot He Thought of plain old Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence last year, he concluded “It’s charming and evocative, but the more I play it, the less substantial it gets.” We’ll have to see if Ascension does much to change that.

Ascension will be available via Steam on October 25 in North America, and October 28 in Europe.


  1. mitthrawnuruodo says:

    For me Sphere of Influence was more substantial and innovative than any grand strategy game the West has put out in the last 10 years (outside of Paradox). Much better than the recycled and over-simplified generic gameplay of Total War, Civ etc. So yeah, I am glad to see more of Nobunaga’s Ambition.

    • patrickpeppers says:

      I like the campaign side of Nobunaga’s Ambition, but I feel like battle-wise Total War blows it out of the water.

      • mitthrawnuruodo says:

        Well these are Grand Strategy games after all. Besides, while Total War battles are high on explosions, visual effects, animations etc, but they are too ridiculously unrealistic to be enjoyable (for me) anymore. Troop numbers are nonsensical. Units are balanced for multiplayer rock-paper-scissors, not according to their historical strengths. There is no army structure. No sense of flanks, battle-lines, reserves – instead we have one mass-charge blobby clickfest. Player has to micromanage everything. And the average battle lasts 5 minutes. Recent TW games can not even model things like Hoplite Phalanx properly.

  2. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Is that Chef Boyardee in the top-left corner of the header image?

  3. cckerberos says:

    Looks like they cut the Japanese version’s cat mode.

    • labalance says:

      It’s in the previous game(Sphere of Influence), dunno about the current one. It’s just a portrait replacement thing though.

  4. labalance says:

    Super excited for this. Definitely one of my favorite game series, alongside the Souls games.