Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Review — A Life And Death Experience

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is the latest game from DON’T NOD. Those unfamiliar with the name might know of some of their previous titles, such as Vampyr & the first two Life is Strange games. With Banishers having been rumoured to be ‘good to go’ back in September last year, they boldly delayed their product until Feb this year to avoid the last amount of games being released over these five months and to me, this shows how confident they were in the product they had created. Let’s see if it was worth the wait.

Set in New Eden in 1695, you play Antea Duarte and Red Mac Raith, who are lovers and a team of Banishers summoned to the town to help rid of a curse. As you arrive, you can tell the feeling of hopelessness in the town of New Eden. Only a handful of residences remain, and the emptiness of the area, coupled with the darkness of despair, shadows the town as their investigation begins.

Antea and Red’s relationship is enough to make you see the game to the end

As you complete your first mission investigating the curse of New Eden and the death of Antea’s mentor, you will learn how ‘by the book’ Antea is. She is quick to banish her former mentor when Red comes and asks her to stop and leave the decision to your dead mentor’s grieving widow. This is all a lead-up and shows the tender side between the two lovers as they discuss what they might do if either of them were to die. Would they ascend/banish them to the next world or, as Antea claims to know, conduct a ritual to bring her love back from the dead? Antea claims she would complete a ritual to bring Red back to life, leaving Red curious about this method. 

The narrative builds towards an intense confrontation with the Nightmare Ghost, the entity responsible for the curse on New Eden. In a pivotal turn, the Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden plot unfolds with Antea sacrificing herself and seemingly leaving Red for dead in the ocean’s depths. A mysterious figure, known only as ‘Seeker,’ intervenes, rescuing Red from the brink.

Seeker seems to know this would come to pass thanks to her mentor, who sent her to locate Red and save him, sending him on an important path unknown to either of the two. It is not long after Red regains his strength that he starts to hear the voice of his lost love, Antea. Seeking the voice out, it is not long until the two are reunited, but with a twist, Antea is now a ghost and ‘haunting’ Red. Without the anchor binding her to the spirit world, she will not know peace. So now the stage is set for the story of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden as Red and Antea set off to reclaim Antrea’s body from the Nightmare in New Eden.

So many weird and wonderful areas to be explored

The question then presents itself: will you bring Antea back to the life of the living or ascend her? This is now the main focus of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden. As you come across haunting investigations, you are presented with the facts as you uncover the truth and are given the hard task of deciding whether to kill the haunted or peacefully banish the ghost. Depending on your decisions, you will move closer to the resurrection of Antea or send her off. The more human lives you take and blame, the closer you will be to bringing Antea back to life via a dark ritual. You are presented with the option early in the game which oath to swear, but as the game progresses and depending on your decisions, these will ultimately decide the outcome of how the story ends. This would mean going against your mantra as a Banisher, ‘Life to the living, death to the dead’ This plays a pivotal aspect of the game.

I’ve seen enough Supernatural and Buffy on TV to know that when people are resurrected, I’ve come to understand that the aftermath of resurrection frequently involves unsettling changes in the revived individuals. This playing on my mind constantly through my experience of the game. Is she haunting Red, or does she truly know how to come back? If I do bring her back, what would she become?

My first impression when I stepped into the world of Banishers was that it was a light RPG detective game with simple combat mechanics. Your Banishing meter will rise as you attack the spirits with light and heavy attacks. When it is full, you can simply press the A button to banish your quarrel. Doing so will earn you an instant kill at first. As the game progresses and Antea learns more ghostly powers, so do Red’s skills. What appeared as a simple RPG levelling-up system then completely blows up and takes you by surprise with how deep the combat has become by the end of the game. 

Banishing enemies is so satisfying

You will commonly encounter nests in the open areas, sensed with your Banishers knowledge. This will then bring on hordes of spirits, and you will want to defeat them before they animate a corpse, as that will then require you to kill them twice. Knocking them from the re-animated body, which acts almost like an armour and then despising the spirit. Cleansing these areas will then give you a permanent stat boost as well as required crafting items for each nest you clear. These present quite the challenge at later points in the game if you are not levelled up enough. This will then have you scouring the map to locate areas to help increase your skills when you are not completing story-based missions.

In addition to nests scattered across the world of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, you will find more powerful nests that can summon a ‘Scourge’, a more powerful spirit. Alters will increase overall stats for both characters and contain hidden chests containing resources, weapons and clothing, which can all be levelled up at camp. The items required to level up these items are all located across the map, and rewards from completing the previously mentioned nests. There are other secrets to be found, but I will leave that as a surprise to not spoil anything.

There are more then just simple hauntings to worry about

Apart from the main story, the other main plot of the game is ‘Hauntings’. These are all optional, but you will want to play through all of them. The world of Baninshers: Ghosts of New Eden is surprisingly large. It will take you from lush forests to snowy mountains and the depths of mines with settlements of the previous inhabitants of New Eden scattered, each of them generally being cursed or haunted. Red and Antea will do their best to help everyone. 

With so many complex characters you meet from your investigations with their own motives, it can be hard to make a decision on who you save and who to blame. I suggest playing all of these out and taking your time with them. Early into the game, traversing the various obstacles across the map can feel tiresome. As you progress and unlock more campfires, which are scattered across the world, you will be able to quick travel between locations which alleviates some of his travel fatigue.

This is an all-too-familiar area of the game

There was not any haunting that bore any resemblance to previous investigations. Each was varied and presented a fresh story. From ghosts who did not yet know they were dead to demonic resurrections gone wrong, just to name a few, I would say there are easily over 20 hauntings to investigate. When the time came to decide whether to release the ghosts gently, banish them, or blame the living and sacrifice them, there were a few cut-and-dry reasons, but I sometimes found myself being petty in my decision depending on my choice of resurrecting Antea. 

After the initial decisions are made, there are many instances where the investigation is not completed; this is based solely on the outcome of sacrifice, banishment, or ascendance. There are many outcomes, and it was an absolute surprise to me when I went back to these settlements and talked to the folk there talking about how they felt about my decision and how things had changed for the better or worse. Along with that, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden did an amazing job as the story evolves after making your choices and the conflict in Red’s psych, how it weighs heavy on him, questioning the choices you have made as the story plays out.

Decisions are not easy choices to be made

DON’T NOD made the right move to delay this game to a less busy time of year. I fear Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden would have been lost and not received as much attention as it deserves. The story is great. I just wish there was a new game plus mode. There are multiple endings, and it would have been great to carry over the skills earned. As soon as I finished this, I immediately wanted to jump back in and play it again with a different outcome to see how the story might differ. After watching the trailers of this game, I thought it would be a small, 8-10 hour experience, but to my surprise, this game can take well over 25 hours to finish and many more to complete 100%.



Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden delivers a dark world with a beautiful story and rich characters. DON’T NOD has mastered showing us the consequences of our actions in their previous titles, which translates very well into an action-RPG about life and death. Almost every decision is made in Banishers shapes the world around you.


  • The main characters are all played to perfection, with many layers

  • Haunting side quests should all be played

  • Combat can be challenging

  • Multiple endings to the story

  • Story progression is done right

  • Great banter between Red and Antea

  • Every decision has consequences felt throughout the land


  • Early on traversal

  • Performance issues upon entering new areas (hopefully patched eventually)

  • Banter and traversal areas can be repetitive

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