Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Review | PC

The line between life and death can be blurred with a little love but at a cost.

By R3GR3T, Posted 13 Feb 2024

Every now and then, we get a few gems from different studios; granted, those same studios have several duds mixed in as well. On the other hand, there are also those extremely rare cases where it’s actually impossible for a studio to release a dud game of any kind… Meet Don’t Nod, a French game development studio that’s been around since 2013 without a single bad game under their belt. They hit the ground running with Life is Strange, which already garnered them a massive fandom, and they carried on with their inspired work through Vampyr in 2018 and even Jusant in 2023. Both are very different releases in genre and gameplay, but both were masterfully built games.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, Review, Screenshots, Fantasy, Third-Person, Action, NoobFeed

However, it doesn’t look like Don’t Nod plans on slowing down ever because, after a lot of teasing and a literal mountain of work, they finally released Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden on 12 Feb. Even before the initial release, things were already looking incredibly promising for this release, and the hype kept growing by the second. However, Don’t Nod is once again breaking the mold and not sticking to any path; they’re instead dipping a toe in every genre and art style, as can be seen from their previous releases, and this is also what makes them so good at what they do. So, without further delay – Welcome to New Eden; we’ve got ghosts, specters, drama, betrayal, and most importantly, a really touching story that might change your life a little bit.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden should come with a small warning, or maybe just this part needs to happen on a static loading screen, but it will require about 10-20 minutes to precompile the shaders. Now, this isn't usually a bad thing and already shows that this game is going to be a visual masterpiece, but things can slow down to an absolute crawl. At the same time, it's busy, and you'll have to go through the usual initial setup involving brightness, contrast, subtitles, etc. So, just keep this part in mind when you fire up Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden for the first time, mostly because it can cause a little concern if you're on PC with some already beefy hardware.

Your adventure into Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden begins on a ship with our two main characters, Antea Duarte and Red mac Raith, casually having a cuddle and a semi-intimate moment on their trip to New Eden from England. As you can imagine, there's already a good plot building right here, and everything seems to go well for the Banisher duo. They might be lovers, but they have a duty to the people and each other, with Antea serving as Red's mentor in the art of being a Banisher. This ghost-busting duo eventually reaches New Eden and gets acquainted with the locals while you get to have a go at the controls through the tutorial. A little word of warning: pay attention to the tutorials because you'll likely end up having to use every advantage you can get.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, Review, Screenshots, Fantasy, Third-Person, Action, NoobFeed

Sadly, we can't share too much about what happens next, but a lot of chaos goes down, and you learn that New Eden is plagued by a Nightmare, a very powerful and extremely deadly type of ghost. Things continue taking a turn for the worse for Antea and Red, and the unthinkable happens during their very first encounter with the Nightmare; Antea doesn't survive the fight as well as we'd hoped, and she takes on a slightly different form. However, even though she might not be part of the living anymore, she helps Red in other ways. Though this is also where you'll have to make the biggest decision Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden will give you – Red will swear an oath to help Antea Ascend gracefully and move on after their work with the Nightmare is done, or he can resurrect her using an ancient ritual that will require a lot of Life Energy that they will have to take from wherever they can.

To give a bit more detail on this, you'll have to work your way back up to New Eden and eventually face off against the Nightmare, but until then, you'll have to help the locals outside in the smaller village. This help comes in the form of investigations; most of these will involve someone being haunted by a ghost that they wronged or who hasn't moved on yet for one reason or another. Your job as Banisher is to solve the mysteries behind the hauntings, find the item they are bound to, and then make the decision as to what happens next. You'll be able to choose between Banishing or Ascending the haunting ghost, Banishment being destruction while Ascension helps the ghost move on peacefully. The alternative is a Blame ritual where you destroy the soul of the living person and steal their Life Energy. Both sides have their consequences and play a part in Antea's resurrection or ascension; which will you choose?

Now, while you're out exploring the vast world of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, you're more than likely to come across a few fights along the way, and you'll need to defend yourself. Lucky for you, Red is equipped with basic gear, a decoction, sword and firebane. Naturally, you'll be able to upgrade and swap out everything as you go, though it would be wise to stick with upgrades once you've figured out where you want your stats to sit. This part might be a little confusing to some, but Red and Antea in her ghostly form, have their own combined stats list, all affected by equipment that they share. Take some time and read up on everything as you go, and it might make your time exploring New Eden a lot easier.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, Review, Screenshots, Fantasy, Third-Person, Action, NoobFeed

While new gear and upgrades are nice, neither will happen if you don't know where to do it or even have the materials for it. During your adventure, you'll also find campsites where you can upgrade your gear, choose passive skills, recover, and even fast-travel. However, it's not quite that simple... Campsites serve as your main stop for gear upgrades, but you'll need to find materials scattered all over New Eden to make it happen; those same materials are also used for rites, so you might not always have enough to do both. There is a way to get more if you're willing to run that risk, though. As mentioned before, campsites are also where Red and Antea can rest and recover, or they can be used to fast-travel. Though both these actions will cause the time to move forward, specters will respawn, but will most of the natural resources. The more unnatural resources from specters or scourge will be a bit trickier to get, but not impossible.

On the matter of specters and scourge, this is where Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden takes a fun turn while rewarding your curiosity. This game might be a prime example of why having enough interesting content between tutorial segments is a great idea, and Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden does that perfectly. There's no rush to get to the next objective unless you're in a hurry to get to the next part, but you're also free to explore the lands around you and plunder any resources you can find. Granted, some of those resources are tougher to come by, but that's the beauty in it all; there’s never a dull moment with the number of side quests and random events that you'll find, and they all come with their rewards.

Though on combat in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, this aspect of the game shares a third of the intrigue created by everything. It starts off relatively simple with the usual light and heavy attacks, blocking and parrying, but it expands heavily once you unlock the skill trees and when Antea joins you in your fights. They each have their own strengths in combat, such as Red's main damage is more towards specters and the like, while Antea deals more damage to the possessed. Combining these two and actively switching between them will definitely turn them into a force to be reckoned with. Once again, as our banisher duo keeps evolving, so will their strengths and abilities, which can be used during exploration or combat.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, Review, Screenshots, Fantasy, Third-Person, Action, NoobFeed

As for the next major third in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, how the game evolves as you progress. Now, this might sound incredibly odd, but it might be fun getting to all the good parts in the beginning. It's also the downfall of many good games in the past. Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden will give you loads to do as you work your way through the story, but it will also give you a little extra for progressing the story, such as new abilities for Antea that can be used in exploration like her Ghostly sight, the ability to clear debris that blocks the way to hidden areas or new combat abilities. Red, on the other hand, also benefits from this with new gear, new ways to use his bond with Antea, and new tools he can use to help them both get around.

As for the last major aspect you can expect in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, the story. A game like this must have a great story from start to finish; it's the biggest driving force for most good games (except for simple time-waster games that stay interesting because they're mindless); you better buckle up and prepare for all kinds of feelings. Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden's story is the lifeblood of this release, and you're also in control as to how it unfolds based on the choices you make, not just in whether or not you choose to Banish or Blame a ghost or person respectively, but also in some of the dialogue options you choose between the people and Antea. Everything has its effect and can make life easier or more difficult for Red, though it might also be for the best to play based on your morals instead of aiming for what you think will get you a good ending.

To save the best for last, the skill tree follows the same trend as the rest of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden. It'll evolve as you progress and slowly expand. Though it doesn't quite work like most skill trees we know, your skill tree will expand as Antea gets new major abilities, but even then, they're divided between passive skills for Antea and Red, and each side has their own type of skill point that can be assigned. However, skill points are also gained depending on your actions and the path you choose to follow between resurrecting and ascending Antea. For the most part, either path only really affects how many and how you get skill points for her, while Red will still get a steady stream of points. To sweeten the deal, skill points can also be reassigned as long as you're at a camp site, allowing you to keep your playstyle as flexible as possible or letting you build your own unique playstyle.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, Review, Screenshots, Fantasy, Third-Person, Action, NoobFeed

Unfortunately, even though the world of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is as vast as there are grains of sand in a desert, going any deeper would be going all the way into spoiler territory, and nobody would want that. However, we can say for the time being that this is definitely another masterpiece from Don't Nod, and hopefully, their hot streak won't end anytime soon. Though we can, without a doubt, say that there is still a lot we can't quite cover here, but that's for you to discover in the game itself.

On the more technical or visual end of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, remember that little piece about the shader precompile? It's already the first indication that this game is going to be beautiful, but damn, there's clear evidence that everything was carefully designed to be perfect. From the lush forest to the settlements and ruins you explore, everything was carefully placed and detailed to fit in as it should. There might be a few mesh issues where assets clip through others, but those are easily overlooked when you stop to smell the roses and admire the scenery around you. The only things that top the scenery are the character and enemy designs and even the details when it comes to facial expressions. It's not every day we get to see just how much work goes into the visual side of a game, but when it matches the quality of the story, you know you're in for a hell of a treat.

Just to add a cherry on top, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is also fully voiced, and it's a little surprising to see that the voices match each character down to the last detail. The biggest examples are between Red and Antea and how their voices match who they are, including their accents. However, everything gets pulled together in all the best ways with the subtle background music; it doesn't try to stand out or be there, but it's there, and it builds a brilliant ambiance that will definitely keep you immersed in the action as you go.


Overall, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is yet another masterpiece from Don't Nod, with a captivating story, stunning visuals, and even voice acting to help drive the nail home. This game is definitely worthy of the title, and even though it has that one slight issue during the initial start, it's nothing when you compare it to the experience you're in for as you take on the role of a Banisher in a land plagued by ghosts. Another thing to note is the replayability when you consider the two paths at the start and how they affect the entire story as you progress, possibly making Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden a game that might build a fun little cult-style fandom.

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX
Publisher(s): Focus Entertainment
Developer(s): Don't Nod
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action, Fantasy
Release Date: 2024-02-13

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