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.