Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess is more of a tower defense game than expected

We were surprised by what we saw of Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess during a hands-on session prior to Monday's Capcom NEXT Summer 2024 showcase.


On the surface, Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess looks like a standard Capcom title. There's some Eastern mythology sprinkled into the plot, there looks to be plenty of action, and it looks like it's easy to pick up and play. However, the publisher hasn't really conveyed what kind of game this is and that's the thing about it. It's somewhat tough to understand what exactly Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess is until it's time to play. For Shacknews, we recently got our chance to try prior to Monday's Capcom NEXT Summer 2024 showcase.

Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess tells the story of the struggle against the darkest forces of the spirit realm. The evil force known as the Seethe is wreaking havoc across the villages of the holy mountain of Mt. Kafuku. Only the Spirit Stone Maiden known as Yoshiro can cleanse the land of the Seethe's energy, but she needs time to perform her rituals. That means the player, taking on the role of bodyguard Soh, must do their best to give her cover.

Guiding Yoshiro to the Torii Gate in Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess

Source: Capcom

Kunitsu-Gami's stages are laid out in a linear fashion and each one continues until the Torii Gate at the end is purified. This means guiding Yoshiro down the path to the Torii Gate by collecting crystals and using them to clear the way. It's a simple enough task during the day, as players explore the surrounding area and purify any major defilement points. Purging any major defilement spots will reward the crystals needed to clear Yoshiro's path forward. However, there's an active day/night cycle at work and even if players can collect enough crystals, the maiden may not have enough time to make it to the final Torii Gate. Once night falls, that's when the heavy action kicks in.

At night, the forces of the Seethe begin to come through the Torii Gate at the end of the stage. As Soh, players must do their best to intercept them and protect Yoshiro at all costs. The Seethe will gradually move towards Yoshiro and if her health bar falls to zero, the mission is a failure. This is where players must exercise some strategy. During the day, the game will indicate whether the path is clear enough and there's enough time available for Yoshiro to complete her ritual. If she can't, players are encouraged to act accordingly and keep Yoshiro a safe distance from the Torii Gate where the Seethe forces will spawn. If she's safe, Soh can do a bulk of the heavy lifting in protecting the maiden by attacking with sword combos and special attacks.

Soh doesn't have to go it alone and this is where Kunitsu-Gami starts to feel like a tower defense game. Each stage will contain several villagers corrupted by the Seethe. If Soh can purify them, they'll join his ranks for the rest of the stage. Players can then spend crystals on assigning these villagers different roles, like the melee-focused Woodsmen, the anti-air Archers, and the barrier-making Ascetics. Success means exercising strategy, knowing which villager is assigned to which role, and where each villager is positioned. Players can even issue orders, similar to a standard real-time strategy game. Villagers can take heavy damage over the course of a Seethe attack, so it's important to recognize when to rush in and heal comrades.

The villagers' role will extend beyond Kunitsu-Gami's main stages. Between levels, players can access the areas they've cleared and work to restore the damage caused by the Seethe. They can issue orders to their available villagers to repair different structures and receive rewards for their troubles. Repairing villages completely can take days, but getting rewards like crystal cap increases, Tsuba Guards for new sword skills, and health boosts for Yoshiro.

In addition to the game's main stages, Kunitsu-Gami also has numerous boss stages. This is where players take on a larger foe, utilizing the same idea of assigning villagers the right role, stationing them in the right spot, and then exercising a strategic plan of attack. Bosses will use different attacks, like Gakinyudo, who will kick dirt at you for an area-of-effect attack. While bosses will focus mainly on Soh and the villagers, it's important to know that lesser Seethe minions will also spawn in throughout the fight. Not only will they assist the boss with their greater numbers, but they'll also look to attack Yoshiro, so it's vital to keep her protected.

I wasn't expecting Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess to be such a strategic game and that could make this a refreshingly unique addition to Capcom's library. It feels different in a good way and I'm interested to see what other villager unit types await later in the game, as well as what other dangerous enemies the Seethe is holding onto for the late game. Look for more information and gameplay during Monday's Capcom NEXT Summer 2024 presentation later today. Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess will release on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox on Friday, July 19.

This preview is based on an early Xbox version played during a private press event in Los Angeles, CA. The final product is subject to change.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola