When most players think of Don’t Nod they immediately jump to Life is Strange. However, among the various other games they developed was Vampyr. This action RPG wasn’t perfect, but it had enough charm for players to remember years later. Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden might not be a continuation, but fans noticed enough similarities to be exciting. With an interesting concept to explore, ghosts to banish, and mysteries to solve, is it a must play experience, or does it fall short?
Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden starts with a brief introduction to the world. This tale focuses on Antea, and Red, a pair of Banishers summoned to New Eden to deal with a surprising strong curse. Some context is added, such as questioning our understanding of what it means to be alive, before ultimately arriving.
Upon getting there players are introduced to a town held captive by fear. There is a lot going on in New Eden, and it’s your job to investigate, locate the problem, and ultimately free these people from the super natural forces that plague them.
At first glance it’s a gripping narrative that promises surprising twists. Like other Don’t Nod games, choices dictate how things play out. At least one of the earliest events ultimately deciding how the adventure plays out. This will encourage players to play multiple different times to explore different narrative choices.
Keep Track of Hints/Intent
Since so much of the adventure is centered on the narrative, players will often need to explore locations for clues to determine hints/intent. How impactful these moments are will vary based off how much you’re willing to invest.
In some ways this is a good thing, but in other ways it’s a bad thing. To keep things simple Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden tells you which items are needed to progress. They have a specific icon, whereas lore/non-essential things lack it. This is great if you want to explore everything and don’t want to trigger the next objective, but it also takes some of the charm out of exploration.
Key versus Non-Key Items
At that point it should just have a waypoint. Instead, players are told to explore this place, or go here, followed by having no clear marker until you find it. I just can’t help but feel like it’s the worst of both worlds, instead of just going all in on one of the two sides.
Overall, the exploration side is also kind of underwhelming. Often times it’s laying the foundation for later reveals that reward observant players, but it’s a rather large investment for a pretty small reward. Something that is further diminished by not exploring other conclusions.
Combat is in a similar place. At its core it’s very reminiscent of Vampyr. It isn’t the tightest/most fluid experience, nor is it revolutionary, yet it remains rather fun. The only real downside is the amount of time needed to see what it has to offer.
At first it’s a rather rudimentary melee, dodge, block, parry system. Overtime you’ll unlock Evolution that gives access to a wide array of moves/modifiers/benefits. Extremely long term the two characters work together giving players a plethora of options to overcome any challenge.
Gear also offers various benefits to aid in besting supernatural forces. There is enough where the RPG elements are more than superficial, even if it takes a considerable investment to get there.
Graphics, and overall performance are okay. There are certain things where graphics excel, just like there are other areas that look noticeably weak. Several settings help combat this by making things rather gloomy. This has its own downsides, though they hinge on your actual set up. Beyond that frame rate was rather inconsistent.
Part of this was due to transitioning between cutscenes, and interactive portions. Still, even scenes where you perform an action, or attack a foe have noticeable frame rate drops. I wouldn’t say this is gamebreaking, or anything too serious, just anyone paying even minimal attention will notice at times.
Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Review Verdict
Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden: Perhaps the optimal approach to grasping Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is to view it as a high-investment endeavor. Initially, progress may feel sluggish, and the narrative might seem disjointed. However, with increased time and effort, the experience undergoes a marked improvement. Admittedly, transitioning from a lackluster encounter to a satisfactory expertise may not represent the most favorable exchange. Nevertheless, enthusiasts of ghosts, the occult, or dialogue-rich adventures are likely to discover it worthwhile. – Mark
Editor’s Note: Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden was reviewed on PlayStation 5, and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.