The game is an action-adventure title with heavy hack and slash gameplay. The gameplay of the game resembles a martial arts title focused on melee combat while featuring opportunities for ranged attacks. The main character, Nariko, uses a weapon called the "Heavenly Sword" which changes into one of three forms depending on what attack stance the player uses as part of a unique fighting style. Speed Stance provides an even balance between damage and speed, where the sword takes the form of two separate blades. Range Stance allows fast, long-range, but weaker attacks, with the sword being two blades chained together. Power Stance is the most powerful, but slowest style, where attacks are made with the sword in the shape of one large, two-handed blade.