Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden delivers an intriguing story with a compelling cast

I’m a sucker for a good ghost story, especially when they dive into the emotional layering of what drives and motivates the ethereal.

Banishers definitely does that. Having you investigate hauntings, come to terms with the loss of friends and family, and find yourself face to face with entities that have suffered and cannot seem to move on.

It comes to us from Don’t Nod who are specialists in choice-based, narrative adventures. Perhaps best known for their work on Life is Strange, but equally regarded for games like Jusant and Tell Me Why.

Banishers isn’t always their best work, sadly, but it certainly highlight their strengths, really shining a spotlight on writing, characterisation, world-building, smartly weaving mechanics in to match them.

The early twist of this one also turns a lot of your initial expectations on their head, which is something I massively admire and commemorate it for. I won’t delve too deeply into what that is, but the game sees you take control of two central protagonists.

This isn’t a Brothers situation where you control both at the same time, so no co-op, and it’s not like a Final Fantasy where you get split up and play them at different intervals. You can play as both Red and Antea, both characters weaving between worlds to uncover hidden secrets, performing investigations, looting chests, and finding journals and notes that illustrate more of the story.

Both leads are experienced spirit hunters, which means they are tasked in banishing spirits, but also in performing ascension which can provide salvation, allowing them some form of liberty and freedom in the afterlife.

Red serves as Antea’s apprentice and lover and as both make their way through New Eden Town on a contract, they start to learn some sinister truths about life there, the impact that has on their relationship, and what lurks in the shadows.

The choice-based dialogue is fairly limited and usually only provides slim options, of which, only some decisions are meaningful and impactful. But the story itself more than carries its weight as you learn more about the duo’s dynamic and what their day to day lives entail.

It’s all really intriguing and enjoyable, but the thing that lets Banishers down is the combat, which feels a bit too light and airy. There’s nothing especially wrong with it, but weapons just don’t land with any sort of desired impact, everything feels too floaty and janky.

The creatures themselves offer some bizarre attack patterns and your strikes feel rather stiff, though it’s never to the point of frustration and more that it just doesn’t blend in with the flow of the rest of the game. The use of both characters at different intervals in combat does offer some intriguing possibilities though, such as specialist strikes and fun combos.

And that mechanic transcends well into the wider semi open world itself as you explore hidden areas, remove obstacles and can see in spaces where visibility is restricted. Seamlessly switching between characters is beautifully easy and it presents a pleasant flow to everything where you don’t feel blocked or constrained in any way.

Banishers also boasts a really beautiful sequence of environments as well, from luscious ravines, wintery snowscapes, and quaint towns that give off those distinctly horror vibes. It’s a varied and versatile game that mostly manages to stay the course, keep itself interesting and offer some intriguing dilemnas to ponder over.

Some characters are a bit underwhelming and there is definitely a bit of padded filler towards the central stages of the story, but aside from some random glitching and the airy combat, everything controls and handles well, the game has a good sense of self and the progression feels just about as good as anything else out there.

Banishers: Ghosts of Eden definitely has the tricky proposition of trying to stand out as a new IP in the midst of a busy Q1 period and it doesn’t always hit the highs you’d hope it would, but I managed to have a good time with this one, regardless, and think it will intrigue and surprise many. Don’t let this one quietly disappear into the ether.


Banishers: Ghosts of Eden really plays into Don’t Nod’s narrative strengths, building out an interesting world and set of characters. Its combat does leave a bit to be desired and there are some random glitches and bugs that frustrate, but the use of varied mechanics, investigations, choice-based dialogue, and exploration really help this one stand out a bit beyond the crowd.


+ Some great storytelling and world building
+ Nice varied dual character mechanics keep things fresh
+ Stunning visuals and wider environments
+ Generally good acting and performances


– Combat is quite weak
– Story is filler’y midway

Banishers: Ghosts of Eden is out now on PC, Xbox and PlayStation

Code Kindly Provided by Focus for review purposes

Played on PlayStation 5

About the author

Sam Diglett

Sam grew up with a PS2, spending hours howling at the moon in Okami and giving students wedgies in Bully. Fortunately, she also likes Pokemon because otherwise life could have been quite annoying for her.
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