Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden

Posted:  Feb 12, 2024
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
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Review

Banishers was provided to us by Focus Entertainment for review. Thank you!

I have been a fan of DON'T NOD as a developer ever since they released Life is Strange. The way they handle storytelling is phenomenal and something I have always respected. Now, with Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, they are back into this kind of deep storytelling in numerous ways, where each decision you make carries weight and affects the ending of the game. All I can say is DON'T NOD succeeded in creating a memorable and worthwhile story to sink my time into, even if the journey had some areas it could improve on.

The narrative is the focal point of Banishers, and it benefits heavily from this. You play as Red, who, after getting attacked by a powerful ghost after arriving at the town of New Eden, leaves his love and partner, Antea, dead. Now, with her ghost, you must journey back and save the town, as you were hired to do. Throughout the journey, you will use your Banisher skills and solve hauntings of the folks you encounter on your journey, making drastic choices that could alter how the game will end.

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This story is easily the best part of the game, and it is phenomenal. The characters are endearing, and it can make the endings so much more impactful. The story is a winding tale that will keep you hooked and possibly make you cry as it spans from the unconditional love these two protagonists have for each other. As for paranormal investigations, I loved the mechanics and side stories accompanying them. Each had some intriguing moment to it, and I enjoyed utilizing both Red's real plane of existence and Antea's corporeal ghostly plane to figure out exactly what happened and piece the haunting together.

As this is an Action RPG, you will be fighting ghosts and specters along the way, leveling up, and enhancing the equipment that you get. The combat is a good chunk of fun, and I found myself seeking out fights to try and get more powerful. There are special spots along the map that will house more powerful fights, which enhance your stats, and I really like swapping between Antea and Red to skillfully take down enemies fast. There aren't a lot of various different enemy types, but that didn't take away from the fun.

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These elements of Banishers, combined with the gothic 1600s American aesthetic, create a compelling world that I had joy exploring, especially on the Steam Deck.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden - Steam Deck Performance

When it comes to Banishers performance on the Steam Deck, I was pleasantly surprised how well it ran and how good it looked with upscaling. The implementation of FSR 2.2 was phenomenal, and the devs deserve some credit for that. You may see some pixelation coming out of cutscenes, but the game was very smooth and visually appealing in general gameplay.

One aspect that I couldn't avoid was some minor framerate drops when going into new towns. When you head in, you will experience a drop to the 20 FPS range for a couple of seconds, but it will come right back up. There are also minor drops when running around in cities, but walking around and fights held very firm, especially at the 30 FPS mark.

Recommended Settings

For my recommendation, I went with a slightly more battery-saving build. I found the game ran and felt great at 30 FPS, and because of how well FSR is implemented, keeping it Balanced didn't impact visuals. With a mix of low to medium settings, I was able to keep a TDP limit of 11. Now, I know this sounds high, but it was only because of these cities. Otherwise, the game could handle a lower limit as a lot of areas tend to drain around 13W - 15W.

40 FPS Build

For those who want to focus on a higher framerate, we will need to lower settings a little more and turn off the TDP limit. We will be able to hit 40 FPS 95% of the time, with some slightly bigger drops in cities. I didn't really feel the drop though, so I don't mind it as much, so I felt this way of playing was definitely possible and enjoyable.

Quality Build

With a mix of low, medium, and high-quality settings, we can generally get a solid 30 FPS and have a better-looking visual quality. Now, I would say some bigger cities may experience slowdowns, but I didn't find them to be too impactful either. Combat held firm at 30 and walking around was a breeze without any drops.

Accessibility

When it comes to the settings, there are plenty of different ones to change. You can toggle tutorials, difficulty mode, aim assist, HUD elements, and vibrations. You can turn on/off Paralax, change the language with audio options in English, French, and German, and change subtitles size and background. We also have a photo mode, which is neat!

The game doesn't support 16:10 resolutions, but it does have controller and cloud save support! There are no HDR options in the menus.

Conclusion

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden does exactly what I would expect from developer DON'T NOD. They created a gorgeous world, added in some enjoyable combat gameplay loops, and told a meaningful tale that keeps you engaged until the end. With the theme of love at its core, I found myself attached to Antea and Red, which made the endings all the more upsetting. Playing this on the Steam Deck was way easier than I expected, too, even if it drains the battery a little more than I would like. With how FSR is implemented, the game holds a great visual quality, and I am happy to recommend playing it on the go.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is an incredibly meaningful story-driven Action RPG that runs very well on the Steam Deck.

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$49.99
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Other Builds
40 FPS Build
SteamOS

Limit

40

Refresh Rate

40

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

No

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Anti-Aliasing/Upsampling: AMD FSR 2.2

FSR 2 Quality: Balanced

FSR 2 Sharpness: 0

View Distance Quality: Low

Foliage Quality: Low

Textures Quality: Medium

Effects Quality: Low

Shadows Quality: Low

Post Process Quality: Medium

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

17W - 23W

75c - 82c

2 - 2.5 hours

Quality Build
SteamOS

Limit

30

Refresh Rate

60

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

No

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Anti-Aliasing/Upsampling: AMD FSR 2.2

FSR 2 Quality: Quality

FSR 2 Sharpness: 0

View Distance Quality: Medium

Foliage Quality: Low

Textures Quality: High

Effects Quality: Medium

Shadows Quality: Medium

Post Process Quality: Medium

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

17W - 23W

75c - 82c

2 - 2.5 hours

related Settings

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