Game Reviews

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden

French developers DON’T NOD, formerly known as Dontnod Entertainment, have returned with their newest game called Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden. These well-known developers, mostly by their adventure series Life Is Strange, but they also developed games like Vampyr, and their first endeavour Remember Me, bring us an exciting mash-up between an RPG that heavily relies on storytelling, action sequences, and important decision making throughout the whole experience. The game was released on the 13th of February 2024, and was published by Focus Entertainment.

RELEASE DATE: FEBRUARY 13, 2024
DEVELOPER: DON’T NOD
PUBLISHER: FOCUS ENTERTAINMENT
PLATFORM: PLAYSTATION 5

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a story-driven action role-playing game in which your choices will have major consequences. It was made with the Unreal Engine and can be played on five different difficulties, from Story to Very Hard difficulty, which is for players that seek a very challenging combat experience. For review purposes, I played on Normal difficulty, which offers a balanced experience of story and combat, and I think most people will play on that one. The protagonists of the game are Red mac Raith and Antea Duarte, lovers and the greatest banishers to exist. It takes place in a… place called New Eden, in the year 1695, and in the beginning the game shows you basic controls and attacks to deal with Wanderers, as the entities you battle are called. The attacks that you will use are split between Light and Heavy ones, and you are also able to charge your heavy attack to deal more damage. By attacking you will fill the Banish Meter, that will allow you to… banish the Wanderers. When you are not banishing, you will collect various items like, for example, leather and plants, while exploring the surrounding and environments that are graphically presented astoundingly. As far as characters go, the do look good, I cannot deny that, but their animations are kind of clunky, especially in cutscenes. But anywaaay, story and gameplay are more important, and they both stand at a very satisfying level. I will not write anything about the story to not spoil anything, as would then be meaningless for you to play the game. I can, however, describe a gameplay element of performing Rituals. There are three available – Harkening, Make-Manifest, and Summon Scourge. Harkening reveals an echo, the second forces a ghost or spectre to appear, and the last forces a scourge to appear. Resources that you are collecting and gathering will be required to perform these rituals at a Ritual Site, so make sure you collect everything you will find.

You play the first part of the game, the introduction, by controlling Antea, until she gets killed by The Nightmare. After that, you take control over Red, and a real adventure begins, as Antea is not really completely gone. Present as a ghost, you can alternate between the character with a simple press of a button when needed. She comes handy in fights, giving you support with clearing the ghosts with her tremendous combat skills. You will be upgrading your weapons and gear, again with the help of resources you find scattered in an open-world. The more sophisticated your gear will be, the more bearable will your battle encounters become. You are also able to converse with many of non-player characters, and most of them have a lot of things to tell, except the ones who are straight up rude.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is all in all definitely not a flawless game, but it is still very good and is enjoyable to play, even though it does have some faults. The story and the choices you make are the core of it, the consequences differentiate based on your decisions, so you will have to play the game through twice to experience all that it has to offer. As far as combat goes it is not the best, but also far from being the worst, and the game does have some problems when it comes to graphical fluidity. Exploring the cursed world also feels awesome as it looks beautiful, and investigating the curse itself is fun as well. I recommend buying the game to people that liked Life Is Strange but want a bit more action, and a lengthier experience. It is not superb, but it definitely has its qualities and elements that have not been seen yet in other games.

GRADE

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