Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a Spooky Delight | Review

We checked out Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden ahead of its release to see what the hype is all about.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a game I’ve been highly interested in ever since the first trailer was unveiled. The premise took me by surprise, so much so that my mind instantly leaped to: I need to play this game and see how it plays out.

[Note: For this review, I played the game on the Playstation 5 and used Story Mode.]

The Story

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is set in 1695 in the fictional New England town of New Eden. Players enter the story as both Red and Antea, two Banishers summoned to the troubled town to deal with an unknown problem. “Banishers,” in this world, are people with the ability to summon, speak with, and ultimately banish ghosts from the world.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden

Developer: Don’t Nod

Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows

Release Date: February 13, 2024

Along with the ghosts, the main theme of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden revolves around choices, specifically the choices you the player make throughout the story. It’s emphasized multiple times YOU have the freedom to make whatever choice you like, but that your choices have consequences. Almost from the start it’s made clear this is a story designed to have multiple endings, which makes for a great replay value.

As for the main story, it’s impossible to go into any real detail due to spoilers but I can safely say this is everything we were promised in the trailers and then some. Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden does everything in its power to suck you in on all levels, and there were many times I literally could not put the game down because I needed to see what happened next.

The Gameplay

Since Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is largely driven by the narrative, much of your time is spent exploring the area while occasionally engaging in combat with various ghostly monsters that spawn when you enter a certain area. The combat slowly scales up in difficulty as the player proceeds through the story, but never reaches the point where one feels overwhelmed.

Combat in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is simple and easy to pick up. I was initially worried that there would be difficulties in swapping between Red and Antea during combat situations but nothing could be further from the truth. While Red and Antea have different styles, the same buttons are used for each so swapping characters mid-combat is easy to do and can even be employed strategically depending on who you’re fighting.

Exploration is mostly straightforward, though there appears to be the potential for glitches if you stumble into an area before the game prompts you to go there. This happened once fairly early in the game when I unwittingly entered an area before the quest prompted me to. I finally realized the error when the game spawned an enemy I couldn’t reach, thus sticking me in an endless loop of combat.

The only way I could fix the issue was to back up to an earlier save before I entered the area. As the error didn’t repeat, I could only gather it happened because I entered the area too soon. Thankfully, the game frequently autosaves, so it’s possible to back up without losing too much progress. You can also manually save at any time.

The game also lets you upgrade your gear as you progress through the story. I like how the system make it clear what each upgrade option did. That helped with deciding which upgrades to implement first. As for the materials you’ll need to make the upgrades happen? As long as you pick up a few items every time you pass a collectible item in the game world, you’ll never have to worry about having enough materials.

Strategic Skill Tree

One part of the gameplay that caught me by surprise is how the game’s skill tree is implemented. Most games these days have some type of skill tree and Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is no exception, but there’s a twist with this one. After a while that the skill tree purchases are not permanent, and skill points used don’t disappear forever. Instead, once certain skills are unlocked with game progression, you have the option of toggling a certain skill off in favor of another. What this means is that implementing skills becomes a point of strategy. One set of skills might be best for one encounter, but not the next. Thus you need to evaluate each situation and adjust your skills based on what will work best.

Explore Whenever Possible

For the most part, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a fairly straightforward game: go from point A to point B, fulfill the quests in that area until it’s time to move on, proceed to the new area. However, there are occasionally options to explore or uncover hidden areas and I highly recommend checking them out whenever you find them. Similar to the newer God of War games, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden rewards the player for exploring with chests containing new weapon and armor options that might not otherwise be available.

Not Quite Perfect

As great as the story and gameplay are, there are a few flaws to note. One flaw already noted is the game’s capacity to glitch if you go to an area before being prompted to do so. Another flaw—more of an irritation per se—has to do with the character animation.

It should be made perfectly clear that the rendering on Red and Antea, the main characters, is excellent. The problem, however, is other characters don’t always match up to that level of quality. It’s not that any of the character animation is bad; some of it just appears to be….lesser than when you compare it to the main protagonists.

This is almost immediately noticeable when Red and Antea have their first major conversation with a town character after reaching New Eden. It doesn’t break the game by any means, but it is occasionally distracting.

All of this is to say that Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a spooky and heart wrenching delight that provides many hours of enjoyable gameplay. The story will stick with you for a long time after the credits roll, and the design is such that you can jump right back in againwhenever you’re ready to tackle the alternate endings/choices.

While not perfect, the game is more than solid and Don’t Nod Studios is to be commended for the great work they’ve put in on this game.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden
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Becky O'Brien
Armed with a PhD. in Musicology, Becky loves to spend their time watching movies and playing video games, and listening to the soundtracks of both whenever they have the time. Can usually be seen writing for Cinelinx though they also do a bit of work for Screen Age Wasteland too. Their favorite superheroes are Batwoman and Spider-Gwen.
banishers-ghosts-of-new-eden-is-a-spooky-delight-reviewBanishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a solid game that will leave you happily playing for hours at a time as you're sucked into the ghostly world of 1695 New England. Red and Antea's story is very well written and the gameplay lets you get into the thick of things without too much fuss. Highly recommend checking this game out.