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Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden

A spoonful of honey in the barrel of despondency

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden I was waiting for – thanks to the endless and very competent trailers from the publisher. The videos promised a dark adventure, difficult battles with ghosts and the dead, as well as difficult decisions from a moral point of view. And all this in a world where there is no good and evil, but only shades of gray. And guess what? This is exactly what I ultimately got from the game. Unfortunately…

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One thing you can’t take away from Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is its great intro. The game masterfully confuses the average gamer, placing him in the gloomy scenery of the village of New Eden. An oppressive atmosphere envelops the dirty streets, moonlight picks out traces of desolation from the shadows, and a few townspeople pull their heads into their shoulders and hopelessly await death.

https://youtu.be/IaB0MyubRg0 

No, seriously, the prologue is perhaps the best thing in the entire game. A semi-open location and several very colorful characters who lift the veil of mystery hanging over New Eden and make it clear that something fishy is going on around. The first investigation confronts you with a ghost and immediately shows how ambiguous the profession of the main characters is, who expel lost souls against their will somewhere into the abyss. And then follows a wildly atmospheric walk to the house of worship and the first unsuccessful battle with the Nightmare. It seems that after the introduction the game will set such heat that you only have time to pick up your jaw from the floor. 

 

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And so it happened – I actually had to hold my jaw with my hand for dozens of hours. But not because of the coolness of the game, but so as not to break your mouth due to endless yawning. Because the main enemy in Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden turned out to be not ghosts and the dead, but monotonous wanderings through gut-shaped locations that replace the gameplay here.

 

And no, I’m not exaggerating. Immediately after the prologue, your hero comes to his senses on the seashore and must run, jump, climb and crawl along forested rocks for an hour and a half. For this you will be rewarded with a good quest for about 15 minutes, after which… Yes, you guessed it – you will have to follow the marker to the first settlement for another whole hour. 

From time to time, wanderings are interrupted by fights with all sorts of evil spirits. There are “many” enemies here – there are white ghostly silhouettes of people, blue ghostly silhouettes of people, and even green ghostly silhouettes of people. Few? Well then, keep skeletons with sabers and skeletons with guns. And also wolves and dead wolves paired with some kind of glowing balls. R – Diversity.

 

However, a small number of enemies is not so bad. The main problem with Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is that fighting all these ghosts and skeletons is simply not fun. The combat system here is the most ordinary: your hero has regular and enhanced strikes, a shot from a gun (and the gun itself will be given to you 5-6 hours after the start of the game), a block, a counterattack and a roll. And a couple of abilities that take so long to recover that it’s easy to forget about them. 

 

Something strange is happening with the impact. The enemies either react to your blows and recoil, or calmly move and hit you, ignoring the saber sticking out of the ghostly belly. It’s the same parsley with the character – at some point you can accidentally discover that a wolf has grabbed your ass and already chewed off half of your health. At the same time, you won’t be able to see the impudent person because of the crooked camera, and the character does not react in any way to damage to himself. 

All these problems are aggravated by the balance, which did not even spend the night in the game. You are constantly attacked by enemies of a completely random level, dying from an equally random number of blows. At some point, I came across a mini-boss – a ghost, for defeating which the hero’s characteristics increase. It turned out to be the most ordinary ordinary enemy of level 12, formed with five hits. But as soon as I moved literally ten meters away from the battlefield, exactly the same ghosts, but already 3 levels, crawled out of all the cracks. And guess what? For some reason they withstood a dozen blows. 

 

And like this the whole game. You spend hours wandering through monotonous guts and fighting the same monsters for the sake of a few minutes of a good quest or a high-quality cutscene. This whole process reaches its climax before the hunt for the first full-fledged boss. Not only does it take almost two hours to get there, but the battle itself is as dull as possible – shoot at a luminous point on the enemy’s body and occasionally dodge his lazy attacks. And as a reward you will be given a beautiful scene, the opportunity to make difficult choices and… two more hours of wandering until the next quest. 

And you know what’s the most offensive? The fact that the quests in the game are unironically good. Each of them is a short story of 15-20 minutes, often with unexpected plot twists and ambiguous decisions. Investigating cases of ghosts who, for one reason or another, do not want to leave the living alone is interesting. And the imbalance is felt all the more acutely when between well-developed stories there are many hours of gaps filled with rehearsal gameplay. 

 

Is Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden worth playing ? Yes, if you like the setting of colonial America during the witch hunts. Yes, if you like it when games offer a choice between a greater and a lesser evil. Yes, if you are not bothered by the monotonous combat system and the need to wander around the same types of locations for hours. In all other cases, the title is not worth your attention. 

 

After all, you can watch the plot and cutscenes on YouTube

 

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