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Banishers: Review, Analysis And Impression

10 months ago By AI Smith

Impressions Banishers: Ghost of New Eden, when The Witcher and God of War shake hands. DON’T NOD once again bathes in the action RPG waters with Banishers: Ghost of New Eden. A game whose demo has left us with good feelings but also with some doubts.

Don’t Nod has been a studio traditionally related to the Life is Strange saga. But in recent years it has wanted to diversify both at the developer level and by expanding its portfolio of published video games. Specialized in branching narratives, they have also managed to successfully opt for a more action-related aspect that came from Focus Entertainment, the publisher with which they launched Vampyr in 2018.

Now that collaboration is repeated to bring us a hunting title for monsters in the style of The Witcher but with the combat and structure of God of War more modern, without losing the peculiar narrative of Don’t Nod. If this concoction catches your eye, we’ll tell you what we thought of Banishers: Ghost Of New Eden after trying it out before its release on November 7 on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. 

Exploration and research in the colonization of North America

Red Mac Raith is one of the two protagonists of this story, the only one alive. Antea Duarte was his partner, but he passed away and now she is a ghost that accompanies him wherever he goes. Both travel through New Eden, a jungle region of North America, in search of a way to bring Antea back to life. This happened in 1695, while the new settlements were being established on the continent; That is why we can expect a setting inspired by the colonists, although with a dark mythological focus that almost completely leaves aside historical fidelity.

In the demo, we arrive at a settlement where they ask us for help to hunt down a creature that lives in a mysterious nearby forest that hardly anyone wants to go near. We are banishers and our job is to end the lives of these beings to later collect a juicy reward, The Witcher style, so after resolving several branching dialogues with various characters we head into the mountains to carry out our hunt.

From the beginning, they make it clear to us that this is not going to stick and nothing more.

Before that, of course, it will be time to explore and investigate the surroundings. Banishers: Ghost of New Eden is revealed here as a leisurely and linear game, with a somewhat outdated design in which there are insurmountable obstacles every few meters and that paints the handholds our character can hold on to with yellow. Exploration and puzzles are not the only sections with a classic flavour, since the investigation (in which Antea leads the charge with her ghostly senses) is also somewhat more basic and guided than we would have liked.

Also Read: Top 10 Best Nintendo Switch RPG Games In August 2023 That You Should Play

There are aspects of the exploration that we liked, such as some astral jumps that Antea can perform to cover great distances and that require positioning ourselves on the stage in a specific way to align a glyph. However, the rest of the wide level that we have played has not been very stimulating to us, just as little as the dialogues and decisions that we have had to make and the story that was revealed during the investigation, although we attribute the latter more to the rhythm of the narration than the plot itself.

The demo makes us make a very impressive decision, although presented in a somewhat hasty way.

A raw, physical and dynamic combat

A significant portion of this demo has been spent hitting on ghosts, wolves, and other spooks and grotesque creatures. Nod’s experience in the narrative field does not mean that they are not interested in offering good mechanics related to action and combat. In this case, Banishers: Ghost of New Eden bets on a versatile system with sudden melee attacks that are intertwined with the use of a couple of spells (we understand that we will unlock more in the full version) and a carabiner to shoot from a distance.

The possibility of switching between the protagonists has also been introduced here: both use both physical and magical attacks, but each their own. This makes it possible to generate a symbiosis that suits the combats very well, which otherwise has a somewhat classic and predictable rhythm. In any case, being able to switch between the characters in full action seems to lead to very interesting synergies as soon as we manage to fluidly chain the movements of each one of them.

The presence of a ritual and research surrounding the monsters is intuited, which encourages us to remember how well this was represented in ‘The Witcher 3’. On the controls, Banishers: Ghost of New Eden’s combat system is crude and brutish (in a good way). It is one of those games in which every hit is noticed, even those imbued with magic. There is, for example, a finisher with which Red can banish spectres with a charged punch; it has an enormous amount of spin to be satisfying, and of course, it succeeds. The same happens with the rest of the actions, from the most basic to the special movements. 

Bonfires, improvements and ‘crafting’

The bonfires serve us to rest, fast travel or improve the equipment and skills of the main couple. During the trip, you will be able to obtain materials, new tools and more powerful powers, although in the demo we have only been able to glimpse the surface of these options.

At the design level, we have seen some good ideas and others that are somewhat more irregular. The ones that we liked the most have to do with how the spectres are introduced in the combats, some ghostly beings that have physical bodies and who have to be killed twice; the first to remove them from the body and the second, easier, to banish them. What has least convinced us about the demo is how button-mashing it becomes at certain times, including during the final confrontation against a boss that seemed rather simple to us.

The battle against the final boss was somewhat simplistic at the design level, although quite well carried out visually.

Graphically colourful, with good voice acting

Regarding its artistic direction, we have to say that Banishers: Ghost of New Eden has made us very excited about this commitment to the darkest American mythology, although it may sometimes seem somewhat generic. It is a world that can give a lot of play and that is explored here from a gloomy aesthetic embellished with constant special effects that make magic stand out as the protagonist of a dark universe. In addition to these effects (particles, lighting…), the modelling is also worth mentioning, especially in the cinematic scenes.

On the other hand, the sound design of the game seems to have been of paramount importance during development: Banishers: Ghost of New Eden is one of those games that jump on the bandwagon of the leading duo, a format that is so fashionable, and with two characters constantly talking on screen the acting of the actors had better be good. The demo points out that we shouldn’t worry about that here, in the same way, that it makes it clear that the sound effects and the soundtrack will know how to reinforce the atmosphere of the game.

Without wanting to become the game with the best graphics in history, there is no doubt that there is a lot of work in this regard.

Conclusions

In the test version of Banishers: Ghost of New Eden we have found a game with a linear structure and physical combat, with a very interesting premise but with a broken pace and with a more than solvent audiovisual section. There are many things that we liked about this new Don’t Nod commitment to action and role-playing, but also many other decisions that raise some doubts. Despite everything, we have found it a project that is worth having on the radar for its launch on November 7 on PS5, Xbox Series X / S and PC.

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