Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a unique and intriguing story from Don’t Nod Entertainment, the studio that brought us Vampyr and Life is Strange. As Banishers, Antea Duarte and Red mac Raith are tasked with sending malevolent ghosts to the void, dooming them to suffer for eternity. When they receive the call to head to New Eden to banish a nightmare that torments the colony, disaster strikes and Antea is fatally wounded. However, she’s far from gone as her ghost remains to help Red solve the mystery and save the people of New Eden.
Red and Antea’s story is one of love, betrayal, and consequences, but not just the consequences of the damned. As our couple fights to liberate the people of New Eden, they also grapple with Antea’s fate as she becomes the very thing they are trained to banish. Every decision you make has a dramatic impact on everyone’s story, for the living and the dead.
As Antea tries to keep a grip on her humanity, she continues to fight alongside Red. Antea can be manifested to help Red see that which cannot be seen by the mortal eye, traverse dangerous and arduous landscapes, and offer her ethereal powers in combat. She’ll help Red any way she can in the hopes of bringing peace to the settlers of New Eden. Combat consists mainly of simple hack-and-slash attacks and a couple ranged attacks, but what makes it interesting is how you’re able to switch back and forth between Antea and Red and even create combos of attacks from both sides. There are also enemies who are more vulnerable to attacks from one character over the other. You’ll unlock more attacks and abilities as you progress, giving you more opportunities to unleash devastation on the undead.
The skill trees you get your skills from are… interesting. First off, you don’t have access to all trees from the start. Instead, a new skill tree unlocks at each key point in the game. Second, not all trees were created equal. The first skill tree has only two branches, the next tree has three, the tree after that has four, and so on. Each branch has a couple tiers of skills to unlock, each tier having two skills each. However you can only unlock one skill per tier, so you’ll never unlock all skills in each tree. There’s no shortage of available skills, but choosing what skills to unlock and where became a challenge. Thirdly, skill points are individually refundable at any time. This can be done by clicking another skill within the same tier or simply selecting ‘refund’ on the activated skill if you decide you don’t want either skill for that tier. Once refunded, they can be immediately reassigned to a different skill on a different branch or tree.
This game reminded me a lot of the A Plague Tale games, having similarities to the sinister and grim design of the world while also being strikingly beautiful. Banishers takes place in 1690s America, when people were coming across the Atlantic looking for freedom and prosperity in a new land. Everyone has their own story to tell, and their own secrets to hide.
Unfortunately, I didn’t feel overly inclined to explore more of the world or embark on side missions as much. After doing a few of the side missions, I found the reward wasn’t worth the time and effort that was put into it. Even if I was rewarded with some sort of gear or item, I rarely used it over what was already equipped as it offered little benefit, if any. Even hidden loot scattered around the world was unremarkable in most cases. I also didn’t find any of the side missions particularly interesting. In a world so full of mysteries and secrets, the incentive to hear them just wasn’t there.
I like the direction Don’t Nod has been going with their action adventure games. They have a talent for telling gripping, emotional stories. Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a game I definitely recommend. Antea and Red’s story is a fun one to uncover, and the different decisions you can make means there are plenty of chances for replayability to see the different outcomes for settlers of New Eden and for the story overall.
Cassie Peterson is an Editor for Gaming Trend but also a sporadic content creator and exceedingly average Rainbow Six Siege player. She goes by MzPanik on Twitter and Twitch and all of the gaming platforms.
Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden
Banishers: Ghost of New Eden is a grim and gripping tale of two lovers coming to terms with love and sacrifice. Don’t Nod have built another beautiful world to enjoy.