Assassin’s Creed Mirage is an exciting action-adventure game developed by Ubisoft Bordeaux, set to release on October 5, 2023, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S platforms. According to Google, it’s the 13th game in the Assassin’s Creed series. While it comes out after Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the game’s events take place before it.
Set in 9th century Baghdad during the Samarra anarchy, players take on the role of Basim ibn Ishaq, a character familiar from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Basim starts his journey as a young street thief and eventually joins the Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood to fight for freedom and protect the brotherhood’s secrets from the Templar Order’s pursuit. Unfortunately, his past haunts him, with visions from his past appearing in his dreams and reality.
In this game, as you might have guessed, players don’t have the option to choose between a male or female character; you play as Basim, and there are no options to change his gender or appearance. And I like it, it’s simple, and not all games need that sort of thing. The author has his own story to tell, he has his own vision of it, and that’s good.
Ubisoft promised a return to the roots of the Assassin’s Creed series, emphasizing a linear story, parkour, stealth, and assassination. This promise is fulfilled, providing an enjoyable experience for those who have missed the classic elements of the franchise. It’s a refreshing return to sneaking through bushes, climbing rooftops, and quietly dispatching unsuspecting targets, whether by stabbing, throwing knives, using sleep or poison darts etc.
However, the classic climbing mechanics that sometimes feel unresponsive and unpredictable have also made a return. There are instances where your character may not behave as intended.
And classic Ubisoft AI… When the guards see corpses on their way, at first they are a little surprised, but then they continue their journey as if it were the most natural thing in their daily life. Who knows, maybe it is?
The skill tree, in comparison to “Valhalla,” is relatively modest, and that’s a good thing. It’s divided into three branches focusing on stealth, additional tools, and eagle vision. Unlocking all skills will require not only completing main missions but also tackling side missions (contracts) available at Assassin hideouts.
One new feature in Mirage is Focus. When in close proximity to enemies who have yet to detect you, you can pause time and mark up to five foes. You then activate your skill, and Basim leaps or “glitches” (as seen in Japanese horror movies) from one enemy to another, dispatching them efficiently. This mechanic complements various playstyles and adds depth to the game. I loved it.
The world is appropriately sized, avoiding the overly massive scale seen in recent entries while still providing ample room to explore. It took me just over 30 hours to complete the game, though I didn’t finish all side missions, focusing only on those that aligned with my journey. Post-game, you’ll receive additional contracts, extending the gameplay experience.
The ending left something to be desired, but I’ll leave you to discover and judge it for yourself. It left a few things open, a hole between Mirage and Valhalla. I wonder if Ubisoft has plans to fill it with something?
There were a couple of humorous yet annoying technical glitches in my playthrough, but this might be attributed to my early playthrough before the day-zero patch. At one point, a crucial cutscene didn’t trigger, and enemies stopped dying after being stabbed. They fell to the ground but never died, forcing me to restart the game.
But one of the late-game mission design was a little bit frustrating. It required a number of merchant tokens to progress, and I didn’t have any. This forced me to run through the streets and pickpocket traders.
Right, almost forgot – you can steal from other characters’ pockets. But if you fail and they see you it will raise your notoriety, requiring you to remove wanted posters from walls or pay tokens to a guy who can clear your name.
In summary, “Assassin’s Creed Mirage” is a decent game. It may not break new ground, but it doesn’t disappoint either. Don’t expect cutting-edge graphics here, it’s about a decade behind in that regard. However, the gameplay is solid, and it brings back the classic Assassin’s Creed feel. I enjoyed the game and that is the purpose of the games, and this purpose was fulfilled, good job. Best of all, you won’t need to break the bank to enjoy it; it has a reasonable price tag.
Initial release date: 5 October 2023
Platforms: PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Developer: Ubisoft, Ubisoft Bordeaux
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X