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Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess was my sleeper hit of Summer Game Fest

Published Jun 11th, 2024 5:30PM EDT
Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess is coming out in 2024.
Image: Capcom

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I was familiar with most of the games I played and saw at Summer Game Fest before I had a chance to see them, but Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess was a rare exception. It was also one of the show’s most pleasant surprises, successfully merging a tower defense game with a third-person slasher in a world that demands to be explored.

Your job as the guardian Soh is to protect the Maiden Yoshiro from evil spirits called the Seethe that are invading our world. In order to keep her safe, you explore levels in the daytime, purging defilement and rescuing trapped villagers. Once the villagers have been freed, you assign them different jobs and position them to help you block the spirits at night.

All the while, you’ll be carving a path (hence the game’s name) for Yoshiro to walk from one end of the level to the other. Just make sure that she doesn’t travel too far before night falls because protecting her is more challenging the closer she gets to the end.

As soon as the sun sets, the Seethe come pouring out of a portal. Soh is a capable swordsman, able to take on individual enemies and small groups on his own with some simple and satisfying combos, but he can’t handle an entire swarm alone. That’s where the villagers come in, as you’ll have to arrange them around the map to block the progress of the Seethe while you fight off the stragglers. There are a few different roles you can assign, from melee-oriented Woodcutters to bow-wielding Archers to spell-casting Ascetics.

A battle taking place in Kunitsu-Gami.
A battle taking place in Kunitsu-Gami. Image source: Capcom

Adding to the strategy, your actions aren’t free. You’ll acquire purple orbs as you purge defiled objects, free villagers, and defeat enemies. You can then spend these resources to extend the path for Yoshiro to walk or to change the roles of your villagers.

Once you settle into the loop, it’s enormously satisfying to balance all of these options. You can start carving your path right away, but you might not have enough resources left to assign the villagers their roles to help you at night. Or you might be too concerned with setting up your defenses and forget to carve a path for Yoshiro during the day.

Positioning villagers in Kunitsu-Gami.
Positioning villagers in Kunitsu-Gami. Image source: Capcom

It’s a relatively simple premise, but over the course of the game, you’ll learn special abilities that can be helpful on offense and defense, you can upgrade villager roles to make them stronger, and you can find new roles to assign to your villagers.

Then there are boss fights, which ditch the path carving and focus on fighting. Gakinyudo is the boss I fought in the demo — a hulking demon that stomped around the map as I frantically tried to reposition my villagers to keep them engaged without getting them killed.

I probably could have stuck around in the Capcom booth and played Kunitsu-Gami all day, but I had other appointments to attend. Needless to say, this was a highlight of the event, and it went from being off my radar to near the top of my most anticipated games list.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.