Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a game on the level of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. For me, it’s probably the best game of recent years. It’s smart, with a very powerful narrative, charismatic characters, and an incredibly rare setting. Unfortunately, this game will never become as popular and earn as much money as The Witcher. Let’s find out why.

Game Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden
Genre action/RPG
Platforms Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
Languages English
Developer Don’t Nod
Publisher Focus Entertainment


Focus Entertainment, publishers of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, are [CENSORED] [CENSORED] [CENSORED] who love Russians and publish Russian crap like MudRunner, Atomic Heart, and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2.

But Don’t Nod is one of the most creative game developers who set a new standard for narrative stories. They don’t cooperate with the Russians, and one of Don’t Nod’s games, Tell Me Why, is even banned in Russia because of its “propaganda” against LGBT people (in fact, the game is about something else and there is no propaganda there, of course). And although Don’t Nod has recently started publishing its own games on its own, as in the case of Twin Mirror, Harmony: The Fall of Reverie, Jusant, and the upcoming Lost Records: Bloom & Rage, the studio has been using publisher funds and expertise for big projects like Remember Me, Life Is Strange 1/2, Vampyr, and Banishers.

I have a lot of respect for Don’t Nod and haven’t missed a single game from the studio since 2013, and I didn’t plan to miss Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden. So I bought the game, hoping that at least some of my money would go to the developers. I made a deal with my own conscience: this month, in addition to the mandatory donations, I will transfer double the cost of the game on Steam to FPV drones for destroying the Russians.

It’s up to everyone to decide whether or not to buy Focus Entertainment games.

Ghosts of New England

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is the tragic story of banishers Anthea Duarte and Red McRae, ghost hunters and other otherworldly monsters. Teacher and student, lovers, ghost and living person.

1695 In response to a letter from an old friend and colleague, Anthea and Red travel to New England to help break a spell that has been cast on the town of New Eden, its surroundings, and its inhabitants. As they begin to unravel this tangle, which is buried deep within an old grudge and a grievous injustice, the Banishers make a tragic mistake. The monster that cursed New Eden turns out to be very powerful, and Anthea dies trying to protect Red. And then she returns in the form of a ghost to help Red cope with the spell, get her body back, and… either try to return to the world of the living or leave her lover forever.

This story does not and cannot have a good ending (actually, it does, but it is conditionally good, because the road to it is very bloody and tough), no matter what decision you make, and you can decide to revive or let Anthea go at the beginning of the story and then change your mind in the second third of the game, you will still not be satisfied with the result. Because… life for the living, death for the dead. This is the credo of the banishers. So be afraid of your desires.

Witchers of New England

By and large, Anthea Duarte and Red McRae are the Witches of New England, and it’s very clear that Don’t Nod carefully studied the work of CD Projekt Red, and not only borrowed, but rather adjusted the gameplay of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden in the direction of similarity to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

See for yourself: Anthea and Red, almost like witches, help the inhabitants of New Eden get rid of the ghosts that terrorize them. To do this, the banishers have to study the place where the ghost appeared, the reason that brought it back to the world of the living, and then decide who – alive or dead – is to blame for this situation, and punish or release one of them.

The return of a ghost to the world of the living is always associated with some kind of misdeed or crime committed by the living. It could be murder, a fatal insult, a broken promise, etc. But… was the murdered person really a good person, did he deserve to die, or maybe it was just the circumstances that turned out that way? Like The Witcher 3, there are no unambiguously bad or good characters in Banishers, in every story except the main one, anyone can be guilty, you just have to choose a side.

Someone sacrificed some of their people to save others. Someone tried to stop the epidemic but put the wrong person in charge. Someone wanted to get their beloved back, even if it was not by the most polite means. Some were unable to cope with their own pain. Someone was so afraid of losing a dear person that they made him or her a hostage. Someone blames others for not being able to get along with their own child.

In order to try to revive Anthea, you need to accuse as many living people as possible. To let go, you have to release or exorcise (these are different actions) the ghosts. But it’s hard to punish innocent or sympathetic characters: the developers have done everything to make you feel as empathetic as possible to all the characters in the game.

New England. 1695

The events of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden takes place in New England in 1695. 75 years have passed since the Mayflower first arrived on Cape Cod. New England has several large cities and smaller settlements, but the old peace with the Indians is no longer there. King Philip’s War (1675-78) forced most of the Indians to leave the territory inhabited by Europeans. Many characters in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden. King Philip is the name of the Indian chief Metacomet, whose father once met the Mayflower and had a good relationship with the first settlers.

New England at that time is a very interesting historical setting that rarely, if ever, makes it into video games. Because the Puritan settlers were actually hardened religious fanatics, and modern Americans don’t like to remember the witch hunts and the beginning of the destruction and displacement of the Native Americans from their own land. This is not the American Revolution, which is glorified in many works, paintings, films, and books, and which will take place 80 years after the events of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden.

It’s a really interesting and little-explored period in games and movies, and Don’t Nod were not afraid to take it on and actually did their “homework” very well. Banishers, like the classic Assassin’s Creed games of its time, inspires us to learn more about the period shown in the game, for which we are grateful to the developers.

LGBT+ and the “leftist agenda”

Most of the characters in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, who have suffered from betrayal and injustice from their environment, are women. And although I’m sure there will be those in the comments who will tell us about the “leftist agenda” and SJWs, in this case it’s just a statement of facts. According to statistics, depending on the territory, women accounted for 75-90% of the victims of witch hunts, and this is a very important topic for Banishers. Out of the 20 victims of the famous Salem witch trials, 19 were women and only one was a man.

Even now, women make up almost 100% of victims of domestic and sexual violence. In some countries of the world in the twenty-first century, 40 to 70% of murders of women are committed by their partners, while only 6% of men kill their wives or mistresses. Not to mention New England in 1695.

Besides, for Don’t Nod, the themes of crimes against women and feminism are not something new; they are present in one form or another in all the studio’s games, starting with Remember Me (2013). As, by the way, is the LGBT theme. It is explicitly present in Life Is Strange, Tell Me Why, and other Don’t Nod games. In Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, it’s not even enough, there’s only one woman who admits that she once loved another woman. And that’s it.

By the way, here’s a homework assignment for those who are fighting the “summons”. Find out why there are so few black characters in Banishers.

Life for the living

One of the biggest charms of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, besides the really cool story, is the incredibly vivid characters that tell this story. Anthea Duarte and Red McKnight are some of the most developed and interesting game characters in recent times. Listening to their arguments, watching the dynamics of their relationship, the way they look at each other, the real grief that surrounds their lost love is very enjoyable. There’s really some chemistry between the characters, you can see that they love each other and are trying their best to ease the inevitable that lies ahead.

We strongly advise you to listen to the dialogues and read the documents carefully. You can find a lot of interesting information about Anthea and Red’s previous lives, about the history of New Eden and its individual inhabitants.

Everyone, even the minor characters in Banishers, is voiced, and very well. Everyone has something to say to Red McKnight (he is, of course, the one who speaks to the living, mostly). There are English, Irish, Scots, French, Arabs, and Cubans in the game, and each of them has their own accent. The voice actors have done a very good job, and it is really pleasant to listen to the Banishers characters. However, the English is not the easiest, and I had to open the dictionary in the background several times.

In addition to the high-quality voice acting, the game is also enlivened by the impact of your decisions on the game world. In some situations, you need to decide the fate of people who are, as they say, the pillars of the community. If you remove or replace such a person, and this is also possible in most cases, will the community itself, which is already going through very difficult times, survive?

You can even return to the same place later and see how your actions have affected a particular settlement and its inhabitants. There will be new ghost investigations and easier new tasks that often continue the story that started with the ghost hunt. You will even meet people you have saved before and can find out how your actions have changed them and get new tasks.

The world of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is quite large: you need to spend 30+ hours to complete all the quests and find all the caches. In addition, there are elements of metroidvania: some locations won’t let you in until you get the appropriate power in the story. So it’s worth returning to the uncompleted quests before the point of no return, about an hour before the end of the game. To complete only the main storyline, you only need to solve a few cases and the entire game will take about 15 hours.

A game with time in the spirit of Nolan’s films, which is present in one of the story branches and in some Banishers quests: Ghosts of New Eden is a separate nice bonus.

Death for the dead

Regarding the role-playing and combat system, which some “reviewers” called too simple and monotonous… If these “reviewers” had gone a little further, instead of writing reviews on the first 5-10 hours, they would have discovered new, complex and diverse enemies that are no longer so easy to deal with.

Here, you have to switch between Anthea and her magical powers, and Red with his saber and rifle. Timing, blocking, and moving out of the line of attack are also very important, and switching between characters during the attack allows you to get powerful combinations.

Again, as the game progresses, new character abilities are revealed that are confused with one another. Some of the bonuses can be obtained by raising Red’s level, and some by solving ghost cases, which give points for Anthea’s skills. The bonuses alternate, and you will receive the last skill tree almost before the final quest.

In general, the combat part of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is very reminiscent of… yes, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Red’s sword and rifle, his ability to exorcise ghosts, Anthea’s magic, dancing around monsters… Indeed, it’s almost The Witcher 3 in terms of dynamics. But there are also huge boss monsters, whose behavioral patterns need to be studied and adapted to them. Be careful, the final boss has two phases.

Why Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden will not be a successful game

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a very cool game, but as we said at the very beginning, it is unlikely to become as popular as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It’s complicated in terms of language and subject matter, it wasn’t surrounded by the same hype as CD Projekt Red’s project, the game was postponed several times, and, most importantly, Focus Entertainment completely failed to market the game, which is exactly what the publisher gets paid for. All Focus Entertainment did was force Don’t Nod to release numerous trailers for Banishers that looked similar to each other and didn’t really work.

With a project on their hands that could have launched a new series on the level of Assassin’s Creed or The Witcher, Focus Entertainment completely screwed up. It seems that even Jusant, which had no marketing at all, was better promoted. It’s very sad to waste such potential like that…

So again, it’s your decision whether or not to buy Focus Entertainment games. But Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is a really cool game and Don’t Nod deserves your support. So make up your mind, Banishers.