Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden (PS5) Review

An action RPG that's light on the RPG and heavy on the action, with more than a smattering of death and distress thrown in for good measure.

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Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is finally here! After being announced back at the Game Awards in 2022 and a delay late last year, it has felt like quite the wait to finally get my hands on one of, if not my most anticipated game of 2024. But was it worth the wait? Whilst the review will answer that question, it won’t spoil anything significant, so read on for the answer.

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Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Review – A Game of Two Halves

Banishers: ghosts of new eden

If you’re not familiar with the premise of Banishers, it’s actually quite simple. Set in a fictional town called New Eden, the game largely follows the same rules and history of our own, but with some key differences. You’ll play as two Banishers, a career saved for the most fearless and strong of people in a world full of ghosts, ghouls, nightmares, and demonic presences. Antea Duarte and Red Mac Raith are the two protagonists, partners in all senses of the word.

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Whilst the game starts out slow, once it gets to the crux of the story, it doesn’t let up. The pace can be blistering at times, whilst knowing when to slow down at all the right times. It has a lot of standard action-RPG fares, from the skill trees of the two Banishers being unique to themselves, to the semi-open world – God of War-esque – but it also does a good job of differentiating itself from the crowd.

The atmosphere of the game is claustrophobic at times, with every dark corner full of another horror, be it human or otherwise, the audio in the game is incredible, both the voice acting of the principal cast and the sound design in general, and the story, whilst by-the-numbers in its basic premise, is hard-hitting, and doesn’t shy away from the hard decisions and moments.

Graphically Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is more than serviceable, with some moments genuinely incredible to look at, whilst others clearly needed a little more work. Both environments and character models have their stand-out moments though. And on the other side of the coin, there are some moments, especially where lip-syncing is concerned, when you may be pulled out of the moment due to some sloppy work.

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Combat is Just the Start

Banishers: ghosts of new eden

Any action RPG lives and dies in its combat, and I’m glad to say that Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is more than serviceable in this regard. In fact, that’s probably speaking too lowly of it. Due to some story beats you may have avoided so that I won’t spoil, the combat is split between the living and the dead, with the two halves having significantly different move-sets, capabilities, and uses.

From a sword and a gun to punching the dead with ethereal fists, you’ll quickly know which strategy to go with at any given moment, and the ability to quickly switch between the characters will make you feel like a combat master after only a few minutes.

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It really is surprising just how satisfying it is to slash at a specter before banishing him – a power move that permanently kills/banishes the entity for good, think of it like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s special combo move -, before swapping and then punching your way through haunted corpses.

With combat feeling so fluid and well-worked, you’ll also be glad to know that the rest of the game follows. As mentioned, it’s generally beautiful to look at, always incredible to listen to, and at times hard to play for a number of reasons. On one of my opening travels I came across a distraught man called Jacob who ends up being the first ‘Haunting Case’ of the game, which is exactly what it sounds like. Through investigations, you’ll need to piece together why the person or persons in question are being haunted, and then solve the issue for them.

Banishers: ghosts of new eden

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This was the first of many times I realized the game earned its rating, for the story involved with Jacob and his haunting was both bone-chilling and heartbreaking in equal measure, in the way many games would shy away from.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden oozes class, with a 20 to 30-hour story and plenty of off-the-beaten paths to explore – most with a reward at the end. You’ll be pitted with some disgusting and distressful story moments, some out-of-the-book thinking, and some genuinely hard decisions.

The combat and accompanying skill trees will keep you invested and satisfied, whilst allowing enough different combinations you’ll feel each playthrough is different enough to warrant another one, and at the center of it all is a love story between two lovers who want nothing more than to be together forever, but the forces at play seem intent on stopping that.

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My only hope is that the game sells as well as the lasting memories it has left me with deserve, and we get a new, genuinely unique franchise from this.

8/10

8 out of 10


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Written by Luke Addison

Articles Published: 437

Luke Addison is the Lead Video Game Critic and Gaming Editor. As likely to be caught listening to noughties rock as he is watching the latest blockbuster cinema release, Luke is the quintessential millennial wistfully wishing after a forgotten era of entertainment. Also a diehard Chelsea fan, for his sins.

Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd