Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Review

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is the next narrative adventure from Don’t Nod studios, best known for Life Is Strange and Vampyr. It’s when you think about the theming and gameplay mechanics of Vampyr that you get a better idea of what is in store for players during this adventure.

Ghostbuster Couple

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden follows Banisher couple Antea and Red, who were called to New Eden, a town on the coastline in Northern America, in 1695. Upon arriving there is something immediately different than the usual banishing they do. The town of New Eden has been corrupted by a “Nightmare.” A strong, maleficent spirit left by someone who had undergone a horrible death experience. It’s up to Red and Antea to figure out the mystery of whose ghost it is and why they are haunting New Eden.

Not long after Antea and Red arrive, they have a run-in with the Nightmare, and then we come to the first big twist, which is also what all the marketing material for Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden has hinged itself on. Antea gets killed. After a brief scene of Red almost dying and narrowly escaping, they get back together, but this time, Antea is a spirit. 

Death Reigns Supreme

This is the main thrust of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden. You must choose: do you kill and banish innocent lives in the world to be able to resurrect Antea into her body? Or, do you genuinely guide and assist Spirits in the world to move on and get better, but in doing so, Antea would be ascended.

Red and Antea’s relationship in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is what holds the story together. They are not only exciting and well-fleshed-out characters but also human, and Red is not afraid to show it. They get in fights, have dilemmas about what they are doing, and have genuine conversations about the world. 

A World For Change

Running around in the world and talking to NPCs also shows that Don’t Nod hasn’t lost its touch when it comes to these incredibly dark, world-changing dialogues in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden. Just like Vampyr, the world and mysteries within it are exciting and demanding of your attention. Moreover, it’s worth it and helps you feel more involved with the fate of New Eden.

Gameplay-wise, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden does try new things. Some of it is great, while some of it falters. During combat, generally, you will take control of Red, whose focus is on Physical attacks. You have a basic weak and strong attack as well as a rifle. Red handles okay, although his combat can be rather dull. Antea, on the other hand, is more interesting. While I can’t get into spoilers, the skills she unlocked over the course of the game are incredibly fun to use. The downside is that her attacks are tied to a bar that slowly lowers over time as you control her, and the only way to get that bar back up is to hit enemies as Red.

Folk Horror Design

Enemies in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden are where things are both dull but also incredible. With the more standard enemies, there are a few variants but not enough of a design difference to keep the player engaged. Not to mention, when you destroy roughly ninety percent of the enemies, a spirit will be extracted from them, and you will need to kill that as well. It’s just all very repetitive when the individual designs don’t stand out.

The bosses, though, are incredible. There is so much interesting folk horror design put into the environments of these boss arenas, as well as the bosses themselves. Without getting into spoilers, they are easily the best part of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden. Both in terms of design and gameplay mechanics. With one of the early on examples is an amalgamation of bodies that have been destroyed by this beast that has been roaming the woods. It was taking on an almost tree-like being mixed with a giant horrific wolf. You can hear their screams and see human figures in its design. 

Story First, Gameplay Last

With its multitude of endings in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, there is a lot of focus on its story. It is a story of love, death, and the horrors people are willing to go to to hold onto their lowly sense of power. It’s a shame the combat comes across as almost bland. I love that Don’t Nod went back to this horror narrative storytelling genre, and I really hope they keep going back. Because, just like in Vampyr, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden had me hooked narratively from the beginning.

  • Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Review


Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden carries a horrific loving story, with some truly excellent monster design. It’s held back by some middling gameplay and an open world that feels too overwhelming.



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