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Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Review — Spectral Surprise of 2024?

Full of spirit or a haunting experience? Check out our review of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden.

Jeremy Proome

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Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is anything but a spectral whisper. It’s one of the most impressive and interesting games of 2024 so far, giving players a heavily narrative-driven action RPG that trims the fat and focuses on fun, engaging combat and a captivating story and world.

Coming from the team that developed 2018’s underrated action RPG Vampyr, Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a more streamlined approach with a focus on story progression and snappy, faster combat that utilises manmade weapons and spiritual elements. You play as professional ghosthunter Red, who loses his lover Antea in a fight against a powerful ghost. However, Red is able to work alongside the ghost of Antea in an effort to resurrect her from the dead — something frowned upon by banishers.

The game deals with themes of loss, grief, and second chances, and thanks to some sublime voice acting and truly impressive facial animations, you get a very compelling narrative with some genuinely heartbreaking story beats, highlighted by a fantastic and sombre soundtrack. On top of that, the game runs excellently at 60 frames per second with some silky smooth animations and great particle effects making everything look stunning in motion.

While an unfortunate situation, the concept of having Red and Antea work in tandem creates this kind of dual-protagonist gameplay mechanic, where you can switch between the physical and spiritual realms on the fly to rack up damage or target enemies more vulnerable in one realm or the other. The basic melee combat is enjoyable, with precision-timed parries allowing for powerful counterattacks; with players also having the ability to banish ghosts (basically an insta-kill move) with a powerful strike when enough energy is generated.

Swapping between firing your rifle with Red to using some ethereal ghost attacks with Antea, before switching back to Red to finish off a ghoul with a well-timed sword to the face is incredibly satisfying and makes Banishers‘ combat feel dynamic and interesting with each encounter.

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There is some customisation to the way you play too, as you can upgrade certain abilities, or add passive buffs on some of your attacks or healing, but the general gameplay doesn’t require too much tinkering to be enjoyable. It’s clear that developers Don’t Nod wanted the story and characters of the experience to remain front and centre, without too many distractions, and this is for the best.

The result is a brilliant and haunting game that fleshes out its thought-provoking story with some great combat full of interesting ideas. Any fans of the action-adventure genre, should definitely summon Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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