Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Review - A Fresh Take on the Supernatural

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Review - A Fresh Take on the Supernatural

In a gaming landscape littered with sequels and familiar formulas, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden carves out a niche with its unique blend of narrative-driven adventure and supernatural intrigue. Developed by Dontnod, known for their knack for weaving engaging stories, Banishers sets itself apart with a rich, supernatural alternate reality set in 1600s America.

Engaging Storyline with Depth

The heart of Banishers is its story. You play as Red, a Scotsman with a flair for the dramatic, and Antea, a master ghost hunter who, after a tragic twist, becomes a ghost herself. This dynamic sets the stage for a game that is as much about solving supernatural mysteries as it is about exploring the emotional interplay between its protagonists. The narrative delves deep into themes of love, loss, and existential dread, making it a compelling ride for those who appreciate a story with emotional depth.

Gameplay Mechanics: A Double-Edged Sword

Banishers offers a gameplay experience that is a mixed bag. The investigation mechanics are a standout, brilliantly integrating the game's supernatural elements with detective work that feels genuinely rewarding. Swapping between Red and Antea to use their unique abilities adds a strategic layer to the gameplay, enhancing the ghost-hunting experience.

However, the combat system does not hit the same high notes. Described as stiff and repetitive, it lacks the refinement seen in other aspects of the game. This inconsistency in gameplay quality might detract from the overall experience for players who value tight, responsive combat mechanics.

Aesthetic and Atmosphere

The alternate colonial America provides a hauntingly beautiful backdrop for Banishers’ dark narrative. The game’s world is richly detailed, from mist-covered forests to eerie, abandoned settlements, all rendered with a visual style that complements the supernatural theme. The atmospheric setting is one of the game’s strongest points, immersing players in a world that feels both familiar and otherworldly.

Character Development and Moral Choices

Character development is another strong point for Banishers. Red and Antea are well-crafted characters whose personalities and backstories contribute significantly to the game's depth. The moral choices presented throughout the game affect the storyline and add a layer of replayability, encouraging players to explore different outcomes based on their decisions.

However, the game’s moral choice system sometimes feels overly binary and lacks the nuance that the complex narrative setup promises. This can lead to moments where player decisions feel more constrained than they should be, given the rich narrative context.

Technical Aspects

On the technical front, Banishers performs well, with few glitches or bugs to mar the experience. The voice acting is particularly noteworthy, providing a strong emotional anchor that enhances the storytelling. However, there are moments when pacing issues and unnecessary pauses can slow down the gameplay, potentially affecting the game's rhythm and player engagement.


Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a bold foray into a genre that Dontnod has not previously explored with such depth. While it shines with its story and atmospheric world-building, the lackluster combat system and some pacing issues keep it from reaching the heights it could have. Nonetheless, for fans of narrative-driven games and supernatural themes, Banishers offers a unique experience that is well worth exploring.

Overall, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a commendable effort that succeeds in bringing fresh ideas to the table, even if it stumbles in some areas. It’s a game that will resonate with those who value storytelling and atmospheric world-building, and it lays a solid foundation for potential future entries in this intriguing universe.

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