Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
Buy On
  1. May 31, 2016
    It has some flaws, including a rather lackluster interface and average visuals, but it makes up for that with plenty of in-game depth.
  2. Oct 2, 2015
    The presentation leaves something to be desired here and there but in terms of content you’ll get a decent mixture of diplomacy and warfare in a 16th century setting.
  3. Sep 30, 2015
    Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence is complex for newcomers, making it difficult to understand and not at all at ease on a console. This is perhaps the only criticism due to Koei Tecmo, we are faced with a quality production and immense below the side of content, almost overwhelming, which will delight fans with a truly fascinating setting.
  4. Sep 28, 2015
    It’s not for everyone, but if you surrender yourself to its intricacies you may well find yourself crafting your own ornate strategies for victory long into the night.
  5. Sep 19, 2015
    A fully customizable and rewarding strategy experience with tons of contents and deep gameplay options, both on PC and consoles. For many but not for everyone.
  6. Sep 18, 2015
    Despite the slightly underwhelming visuals and the rather brutal initial learning curve, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence is an otherwise unmitigated success and fine example of how the strategy genre has the potential to strive on home consoles.
  7. Sep 16, 2015
    An interesting alternative to western strategic games, but too hard for players new to the genre.
  8. 60
    A long-awaited localization of a famed franchise that fails to make an impact. With little depth or strategy, this is a game designed for those who love Japanese history or are franchise diehards. Only that love will keep you wanting to play through the game more than once.
  9. Sep 14, 2015
    This strategy title from Koei Tecmo brings us in the Sengoku era, and offers endless gameplay possibilities. It's a fact, anyway, that such a game is most likely to be appreciated by people who love Japan and that particular era.
  10. Sep 11, 2015
    A few drawbacks in the game won’t stop you from enjoying this in-depth strategy game and pouring an exorbitant amount of time into propelling your Lord to the top of the Feudal food chain.
  11. Sep 8, 2015
    A very deep and well done strategy sim based upon the Japanese Sengoku era. Tons of content and a mixed of realistic and fictional characters and missions await.
  12. Sep 8, 2015
    If you're looking for a grand strategy game that has an incredible amount of depth and breadth for your PS4, this is it.
  13. 70
    Strategy gamers rejoice! There is finally a game worthy of your time on the PlayStation 4.
  14. Sep 7, 2015
    It shines because the balance of all it's playable elements. It's not common to see an strategy game on consoles, especially a good one.
  15. Sep 7, 2015
    Nobunaga’s Ambition Sphere of Influence is a PC-like strategy experience on the PlayStation 4 that succeeds on all levels.
  16. Sep 3, 2015
    When the cogs start turning, Nobunaga’s Ambition becomes this intriguing spectacle as clans employ a variety of strategies in order to adapt, survive, and expand. Although far from perfect, this is likely the best grand strategy title you’ll find on a home console.
  17. Sep 3, 2015
    If you have the time, Nobunaga’s Ambition is a rewarding and immersive experience; you’ll be bathing in its wealth of options and historical depth for months.
  18. Sep 3, 2015
    The game will please fans of the genre who have been waiting for a game like this to come to PS4, but I honestly can’t see it winning over many new fans to the genre due to how overwhelming its initial few hours can be.
  19. 100
    There have been only a few strategy games on consoles in recent years, and none have had the depth conveyed by Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence. The unique historical setting only further cements this title as one of my favourites on the PlayStation 4 to date.
  20. Aug 28, 2015
    While it certainly doesn't do anything new to win over those who aren't fans of the genre, it does more than enough to sap away the hours of anyone who's willing to wrap their head around its complex workings.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 60 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 60
  2. Negative: 11 out of 60
  1. Sep 8, 2015
    If you suck at strategy games, dont buy.
    Koei strategy games has been most complicated and deep in both politics and choice you make.
    If you suck at strategy games, dont buy.
    Koei strategy games has been most complicated and deep in both politics and choice you make.
    and yet this title is among the most complicated one. Have your expectation on check when you buy this game.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 11, 2015
    despite a rather steep learning curve (no more than CKIV and less than HOI3), this deep strategy game is one of the best of the year. Theredespite a rather steep learning curve (no more than CKIV and less than HOI3), this deep strategy game is one of the best of the year. There are many details that are easy to miss, and a wiki would help a lot. The manual is fairly complete, but very compact, son one is likely to miss a lot on the first reading. The game has many settings of difficulty, even for the least competent of gamers. Full Review »
  3. Nov 16, 2016
    tl;dr This is an RTS inside an RTS inside a strategy game designed for consoles, and it works. The AI makes this game. Game was ~60 hourstl;dr This is an RTS inside an RTS inside a strategy game designed for consoles, and it works. The AI makes this game. Game was ~60 hours of fun for a $22 price tag. May play it again. An all-around good value.

    I bought this game on sale at a Gamestop because I played the original Nobunaga's Ambition on NES and loved it (the little ninja assassins would poke the sleeping guy in the belly and jiggle the blade around making techno murder sounds^^).

    When I first started a match of Sphere of Influence, I thought that the gameplay seemed disappointingly basic. I think a lot of the character flavor's supposed to be assumed because gamers in Japan are more familiar with their own famous Warring States period personalities. Nobunaga's a famous evil genius type, but I remembered Takeda being a schemer from another game (Shingen the Ruler, also NES), and he liked horsies more than guns, so went with him. He was fun.

    There are two phases to the game - a base building phase, which you can skip (AI handles the basics for you), and a conquest phase, which consists of marching little triangular armies to enemy castles and sacking them with pointy sticks. I expanded for a bit, ate a few weaker neighbors, thought that extreme mode seemed easier than the NES version's, and then was suddenly mass-invaded by Hojo (a bigger AI faction), which slaughtered me.

    Tried again. Same results. The AI on Extreme invades you almost like a player would (they keep about 10% more troops in reserve, which in retrospect isn't a bad idea), and therein lies the fun in the game.

    Tried again. Expanded faster than my largest foes this time, so they formed a coalition and sacked me.

    Last time I played I won. Played Hojo, and gutted my most dangerous foes through sheer random luck when one invaded another instead of me. Got enough territory to make a province. Gave it to a hawt chick officer, who went all Joan of Arc and started mass invading on her own, expanding my territory. Towards the end, these lady butchers made the game for me, as I was assisting them more than the other way around.

    The true shining star of Sphere of Influence is the AI, which plays like a strong human player without significant cheat assists (on max difficulty it gets a little gold and food bonus, I think, which's meaningless). It invades like you would invade. It expands like you would expand. It teams up on you when you get too far ahead.

    The game I won, I had conquered the eastern half of the map, overcoming foes and coalitions my size or greater, only to realize another foe had conquered the western half in the same time, and that I was at best on equal footing for a final mega-showdown that took ~10 hours to complete.

    Final note: I only unlocked 2 of ~20 ingame cutscene videos, so there's plenty more to see, and the ending credits are quite neat. A good purchase.
    Full Review »