BANISHERS GHOSTS OF NEW EDEN Review: A Stunning Tale of Love, Loss, and Life

Banishers Ghosts of New Eden is the latest game from Don't Nod and Focus Entertainment. Is this ghost story worth the time?
banishers: ghosts of new eden title card

The premise for Banishers Ghosts of New Eden is simple. Red Mac Raith and Antea Duarte are banishers (fantasy ghost hunters) sailing from Britain to the colonies in the late 1600s in hopes of assisting an old colleague with a nasty haunting. However, soon after arriving in New Eden, they learn the malevolent curse is much worse than expected, killing Antea and quickly disposing of Red. With their lives forever changed, Red and Antea, now a ghost of her own, must work together to cleanse New Eden of evil and decide how they continue living.


Banishers Ghosts of New Eden is an achievement in AA video games, a space developers Don’t Nod Entertainment are all too familiar with. Their previous work includes Life is Strange and Vampyr, two vastly underrated games that excel in their own categories, and they’ve only perfected their craft with Banishers. You can feel the essence of those games here, pairing the stunning and immersive world design of Vampyr with the compelling narrative writing and decision-making of Life is Strange. Your choices matter more than just affecting your ending in Banishers Ghosts of New Eden. There’s an immense weight to them that’ll leave you questioning your decision hours after you’ve made it. 

Banishers Ghosts of New Eden’s Story Will Hook You In

Banishers Ghosts of New Eden tells a profound tale of love, grief, morality, and the afterlife. It masterfully hides themes like misogyny and prejudice under the guise of a ghost story, proving that, even though it has a 17th-century setting, its story is timeless for better or worse. Red and Antea’s relationship is the driving force, with Russ Bain and Amaka Okafor delivering incredibly heartfelt performances. By the end, I wanted nothing more than to see them happy, but if you want that, you’ll need to put in the work to get there.  

Without diving into spoilers, Banishers Ghosts of New Eden shines through its story. The mystery surrounding New Eden is captivating, and it’ll leave you on the edge of your seat. Each Haunting Case slowly unravels what happened in New Eden before Red and Antea’s arrival, with the player putting the pieces together just as the banishers do. There were plenty of times when Banishers Ghosts of New Eden made me audibly gasp as I put two and two together just for Red and Antea to have a similar expression moments later. 

Red confronting the Nightmare

However, Banishers Ghosts of New Eden slows down in the in-between sections when you’re running through the forest to reach your next settlement. There are plenty of optional objectives to do here, exploring New Eden, collecting resources, and completing challenges, but none of them hooked me like the haunting cases. They’re undoubtedly some of the best side missions I’ve ever experienced in a video game, fleshing out this unbelievably fascinating world Don’t Nod created. Banishers Ghosts of New Eden is one of the few games I stopped and read every journal and piece of paper I found, wanting to learn more about this world and its lore. 

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The game is a testament in writing, giving you perfect breaks in the story to explore the world and Red and Antea’s relationship. And once you’re itching to dive back into another haunting case, it finds you, delivering compelling twists and turns at every opportunity. Almost no one is as they seem in New Eden, and Banishers teaches you that very quickly.

The Gameplay Won’t Shock You

The gameplay of Banishers Ghosts of New Eden isn’t necessarily anything new, but not every game needs to innovate the industry. The gameplay, particularly the combat, feels more like a vessel to experience the story rather than something to draw gamers in. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. The combat is almost a mix between God of War and Dark Souls, combining the action-oriented, almost button-mashy combat of Santa Monica Studios with FromSoft’s concepts of limited health flasks and resting at fires. 

Red fighting monsters

Banishers Ghosts of New Eden plays from a third-person camera angle, with players switching between Red’s human form and Antea’s ghost form depending on what enemies are in front of them. It adds a welcome learning curve to the game’s relatively basic combat, intertwining Antea’s spiritual punches between slashes from Red’s sword. You’ll feel like an experienced ghost hunter by the end, quickly switching between the two banishers and using their firepower to dispose of any spirits and monsters standing in your way. 

Leveling and loot systems are both present, but in my opinion, neither really adds anything to Banishers Ghosts of New Eden. The loot resembles modern-day Assassin’s Creed RPGs, finding weapons, flasks, and accessories of differing rarity and stat boosts. However, outside of upgrading them from “uncommon” to “exotic,” I never felt like my strength, wisdom, and other attributes were that important to the game’s overall combat. 

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The leveling system also felt lackluster. You collect skill points to upgrade Red and Antea’s abilities on a skill tree, but they feel more complimentary than necessary. I didn’t bother using most of the other skills besides acquiring Antea’s next ghost superpower, and I would’ve preferred if Don’t Nod took a “less is more” approach to the game’s abilities, focusing on Antea’s new powers instead of buffing Red’s next musket shot after punching with Antea. 

Red and Antea looking at monster

Overall, Banishers Ghosts of New Eden is a good game and a must-play for anyone interested in a fictional ghost story that will have you reflecting on the love and loss you’ve experienced in life. Don’t Nod beautifully brings to life stunning environments that make you feel like you’re missing out by sprinting through them. However, its combat and lack of enemy diversity leave plenty to be desired. Pair that with the lackluster loot, leveling system, and occasional visual bugs, there’s room for improvement. But, Banishers Ghost of New Eden has more highs than lows, making it an immersive experience. 

Score: 4/5

About Banishers Ghosts of New Eden

Banishers Ghosts of New Eden cover art

Release Date: February 13, 2024
Developer: Don’t Nod
Publisher: Focus Entertainment
Genre: Action role-playing

Synopsis: In a world where the souls of the departed roam, you play a couple of Banishers. Antea Duarte and Red mac Raith are experienced spirit hunters, entrusted with the daunting task of lifting a malevolent and ominous curse. After an ill-advised attack, Antea is killed, leaving her lover in solitude and profound despair. Torn between their vows to protect the living from malicious spirits and the nightmare of Antea’s condition, they’ll wander the eerie wilderness of North America to liberate her from her new plight… whatever the price.

What do you think of Banishers Ghosts of New Eden? Are you going to play it? What game would you like to see Don’t Nod tackle next? Let us know on social media, and keep following The Illuminerdi for more content like this. We’re always watching.

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Danny Bojic

Danny Bojic is a writer located in Nashville, TN, who's had a lifelong obsession with video games, comics, movies, and other nerdy things. He's written thousands of articles on topics ranging from movies, TV, and comics to automotive, tech, and video games. With The Illuminerdi, he's attended countless press events, covered conventions, produced online content, and interviewed talent.