Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess Balances Strategy, Action and Town Building in an All-New Way

I was expecting many things going into a playthrough of Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess – but I wasn’t expecting it to feel quite so… relaxing when it wants to be. This unique action-strategy hybrid has a very specific set-up – each of its levels, set across a single gorgeous mountain, Kufuku, has you purging a magical defilement from beleaguered villages, then mobilising rescued villagers to defend their home from demonic attack. Set across a day-night cycle that passes in real time, it blends elements of strategy and tower defence with classic Capcom action, as your player-character, Soh, uses dancing swordplay to take down the threats alongside their new companions.

It should – and often does – feel like a race against time. Each village comes with a different layout, forcing you to rethink your strategies as you earn an ever-increasing number of roles for villagers to take on – from axe-wielding Woodcutters that provide an effective melee defence, to magical Ascetics, who can’t attack themselves, but can slow enemies in their tracks for you and your troops. A couple of simple menus (which stop time when opened) allow you to pick the roles for your villagers, and place them across the map, helping you control the space, while you use Soh to pull off devastating combos and thin the herds that eventually reach your stationed soldiers.

The pace at which the game offers you new challenges (from new enemy types, to unexpected level design, to new mechanics) and solutions for them (new villager roles, upgrade trees, and equippable special abilities for Soh) is gratifyingly quick, meaning you’re quickly left to learn how to fight effectively, and find set-ups that fit your playstyle.

The key to success is in balancing all of that with the progress of the Maiden Yoshiro, who’s both your most powerful weapon, and your most vulnerable weakpoint. Each day, you’ll need to literally carve a path for Yoshiro to reach the gates that spawn your enemies – when she reaches it, she can perform a dance that seals the gate, and your victory. However, the closer she gets, the more liable she is to be attacked – as Soh, you can die as many times as you like, but if Yoshiro’s HP is depleted, you fail the level.

It all adds up to make for what could be a stressful experience – but in between those fights for survival, there’s a human heart to Path of the Goddess that I came to adore in my two hours with the early game. When you eventually liberate a village, you then permanently unlock it as a base of operations. From here, you can start repairs, rebuilding these places into the bucolic villages they once were. For each stage you finish, more work will be completed – and the more stages you finish, the more villages you have available to work on.

It lends the game a sense of rhythm you might not expect – each stage is a bitesize battle, constantly shifting you between exploration, strategy elements, and action. Completing stages may lead you to a subsequent boss fight, testing what you’ve learned in ever-changing ways – from learning how archers can control the field, to having your villagers run to switch on lamps in the darkness, expanding where they can effectively fight. And between those fights, you’ll return to your growing number of villages, swapping in upgrades for Soh, boosting your villagers’ stats, and repairing structures for resources and cosmetic rewards.

I settled into that rhythm very quickly, and it quickly became clear that, while Path of the Goddess is deeply bingeable, it will also lend itself perfectly to quick bursts of play. Jump into a stage, repair a village, take on a boss – and return later for more. In a gaming landscape that puts huge emphasis on investing your free time in games that evolve constantly, constantly moving the finishing line, it’s refreshing to see Path of the Goddess be so clear in how you can take it at your own pace – and in offering such an unexpected game at the heart of it, I’m positive I’ll be returning time and time again.

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess will be released for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC on July 19 – and will be available with Game Pass on day one.

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Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess


A new tale of the Kami awaits…

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess is a unique Japanese-inspired, single player Kagura Action Strategy game.

The game takes place on a mountain covered by defilement.
During the day, purify the villages and prepare yourself for sundown.
During the night, protect the Maiden against the hordes of the Seethe.

Repeat the day and night cycle until you cleanse the mountain of defilement and return peace to the land.

KUNITSU-GAMI: PATH OF THE GODDESS is a trademark and/or registered trademark of CAPCOM CO., LTD. and/or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

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