Assassin’s Creed Mirage is Ubisoft’s latest game in the Assassin’s Creed series and they have gone back to their stealth roots for this game.
The previous games that marked their departure towards the open world RPG genre, i.e. Valhalla, Odyssey and Origins all did really well in terms of sales. Having said that, the old school players of the franchise have been asking for a game where stealth and assassinations actually mattered, so they finally launched Mirage.
It’s not a long game like the recent ones (only about 10 – 15 hours for main story) but I do see the change in gameplay that is closer to the older games.
Here’s a brief review of Assassin’s Creed Mirage (“AC Mirage”) after completing the main story.
Setting of AC Mirage
In AC Mirage, you play as Basim Ibn Ishaq, who was first introduced in Valhalla as Loki’s reincarnation. If you’ve played Valhalla, you would definitely know Basim. That said, there’s a new voice actor (Lee Majdoub) who did a good job with the local accent for the game.
Mirage is set in Baghdad in the Islamic Golden Age (sometime in the 9th century) where there was a period of instability during the Abbasid Caliphate reign. The game also takes place just a decade before what transpired in Valhalla.
You’ll basically play as Basim throughout the game (no male or female like Valhalla), and you’ll be reliving his story, transitioning from a street thief to a master assassin with the Hidden Ones. His mentor is Roshan and is voiced by Shohreh Aghdashloo.
AC Mirage Review
This will just be a short review on what I noticed after playing over 15 hours and completing the main story of Mirage.
What’s clear from the start of the game is that it still looks like the previous games, i.e. Valhalla and Odyssey. They probably used the same engine even though they changed some of the mechanics in the game.
Cities are lived in and designed well for parkour
Baghdad does look good and the NPCs can be seen to be doing all sorts of different actions in densely populated cities. In that sense, the cities do feel more alive. The map of Mirage is definitely much smaller than the predecessors but everything is more compact. It’s a win for players who dislike huge open lands with nothingness. That said, you do still have some big open areas (deserts) with just a few side activities in them; but mostly nothing much anyway. Fortunately, most of your activities / quests will be in the denser, more populated areas.
Ubisoft did a good job with the parkour design as you’re able to travel along rooftops quite smoothly from one end to another. As the cities are densely packed, the buildings are too and it’s nice to be able to travel on top of houses.
Similar assassination goals
In Mirage, you’ll start as a young Basim where you have to learn basic movements like climbing and running around rooftops. You will also learn some of the basic stealth mechanics. You won’t have basic weapons yet until you reach the stage when Basim joins the Hidden Ones as an apprentice.
The goal of the game is similar to previous ones, i.e. to assassinate the leaders of the Order of the Ancients. You’ll basically see a character map of all the Order members with branches of other characters to investigate. Before you can find and assassinate the leaders, you have to sneak around places to do investigations and eventually you’ll find one of them to eliminate. These investigations are basically main quests in the game.
Mostly main quests and very few side quests
As far as quests go, Mirage doesn’t have that many. Most of the quests are main story quests and you only have a couple of side quests in Baghdad known as the Tales of Baghdad. You can easily complete the game in less than 30 hours, both main and side stuff combined. In that sense, Mirage feels a lot shorter and more linear than Valhalla (because the latter has way too many repetitive side quests). The negative about Mirage being short is that it feels more like it could have been a DLC to Valhalla, rather than a new game in itself. Of course, I did know that it’s more of a spin-off game and AC Codename Red is coming soon.
As the focus is now on stealth, doing a sword fight will often get you killed especially if you’re surrounded by guards. Your sword hits weaker and you lose a lot of health if you get hit. This forces players to rely on stealth to do assassinations.
Back to the stealth roots
To improve the stealth gameplay, you will be allowed to unlock up to six tools. You will need to reach a certain part of the story before they get unlocked and will need to spend skill points to add more tools. These tools can all be brought with you at all times but they are limited in number. To replenish them, you can easily buy them from merchants but you can also loot some of them from enemy bases.
These tools are definitely necessary in some situations and makes the game much easier at times. For e.g. you can use a smoke bomb if you get detected and still assassinate a few enemies while the smoke bomb has not dissipated. To make the tools better, you’ll be able to upgrade them as you progress. They are definitely quite fun to use and a good addition to the game.
Next, we look at skills. In Mirage, you’ll see a small skill tree with three branches on it. They are divided into Phantom, Trickster and Predator. Each branch has its own merits. For instance, adding skills on the Predator branch aids Basim with Enkidu’s (his eagle’s) vision from above and enemy tagging. Phantom is useful for assassination skills and Trickster helps unlock tools and so on.
The good (or bad) thing with the skill tree is that it’s quite simple and linear for each branch. You don’t need to spend too much time building Basim as an assassin.
Movements don’t always flow as intended
One thing that bugged me during my gameplay were the movements. When you’re doing parkour on rooftops, sometimes you want to go a certain direction but your character just jumps away instead. Or maybe you try to climb up with the jump button but you ended up jumping backwards all the way down.
It happens at times as it feels like there’s only a small room for error when pointing your PS5 controller stick.
In a nutshell
Assassin’s Creed Mirage did quite a solid job with gameplay where you truly feel like an assassin but it has its share of flaws.
Walkthroughs and guides:
You can refer to our other site for guides on AC Mirage.