Players are transported back in time by Assassin’s Creed Mirage in many ways. It is an action-adventure game rather than an action RPG, it covers Basim’s background before (chronologically) his involvement in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and it returns to the Middle East. Since its launch, AC Mirage has been described as a love letter; to the franchise’s first titles, and it’s far apparent how intently related it is to the ones predecessors.
It may be a double-edged sword, however standard, Assassin’s Creed Mirage does feel like a sequel to the 2007 game Assassin’s Creed. It captures the essence of what made the primary action-journey video games so extremely good, however it also every now and then gives the impression of being stuck within the overdue 2000s. The outcome is a charming, nostalgic experience that toes the line between paying respect to and feeling out of date, but it is immediately apparent that the positives outweigh the negatives.
Because it will swiftly let players loose both inside and outside of its walls, the Assassin’s Creed Mirage sandbox is where it really shines. Baghdad is divided into a few districts, including the Round City in the center, Karkh, the market district, and Harbiyah, the industrial zone. Abbasiyah is the city’s cultural center. The Wilderness, which includes sand dunes that separate a caravan, a significant historical site, and a bandit camp, may be found outside the city’s walls. The majority of the game takes place on Baghdad’s rooftops, and although there are few differences across the districts, those differences are sufficient to keep players interested in the city. Not to mention that gamers will interact with a variety of NPCs and crowds in Baghdad, making it feel quite alive.
Players in Assassin’s Creed Mirage get tokens (Power, Merchant, and Scholar) by robbing NPCs, finishing tasks, and performing various other odd jobs. Players can enter the game quickly and covertly by hiring mercenaries to fight guards using Power Tokens. While Scholar Tokens can be used to blend in with the crowd, Merchant Tokens can be used to influence vendors or bargain for reduced costs. Each of these tokens has additional applications, but the system as a whole encourages players to interact with the real world.
But that doesn’t always imply that Baghdad is a big fan of Basim. The notoriety system is returning in AC Mirage, and it has three tiers that determine how guards respond when players are nearby. Depending on their notoriety, regular residents will likewise respond by requesting guards if they see Basim. The roof is always the safest area for Basim because it is simple to become encircled by guards on the streets of Baghdad, depending on where players are. But in the end, both the reputation and the supporting detecting system are excellent. It’s well known that guard detection in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was so delicate that stealth wasn’t really a possibility, but this time around, it’s the opposite. The entirety of Assassin’s Creed Players are encouraged to use stealth in Mirage.
Avoiding confrontation with more than four enemies is advised in one Assassin’s Creed Mirage loading screen warning, and that is wise advice to follow. When engaged in open battle, players can utilize their swords and dagger to reduce enemy health or parry an attack, leaving enemies vulnerable to an easy kill. Players must pay close attention to timing when parrying an attack for that opening because, unlike in many earlier AC games, adversaries can attack simultaneously. As the combat in Assassin’s Creed Mirage gets more intense, it is possible to parry one’s way to victory, but it is difficult, and Basim is quickly overpowered.
Players must concentrate on stealth because several missions require infiltrating locations and carrying out assassinations. The weapons in Assassin’s Creed Mirage are a fantastic addition to this, allowing players to kill opponents from a distance with throwing knives, create openings with noisemakers, or employ stealth bombs both offensively and defensively. Additionally, players can utilize Enkidu (Basim’s eagle) as a scout while using their Eagle Vision to spot nearby foes. Players are equipped with everything they need to be lethal, stealthy, and effective.
To assist its gameplay, Assassin’s Creed Mirage does contain a few RPG-style upgrade systems. Three tiers of upgrades are available for tools, enhancing their functionality, carrying capacity, damage output, and potential status effects. Assasin’s Creed Mirage also features a very basic set of skill trees that are split into three categories: Phantom, Trickster, and Predator. The new Assassin’s Focus skill is a great addition that allows players to build charges from stealth kills for instant eliminations (yet another feature that encourages stealth gameplay), and Phantom mostly focuses on refining it. Trickster aims to make some broad advancements and unlock tools. Predator concentrates on enhancing Enkidu and a few stealth abilities.
There are typically a few options available to gamers when it comes to assassination missions. For instance, the game may advise them to bribe shopkeepers to obtain access to a place, or they may overhear NPCs discussing a hole in the wall that would make a good entrance. Black Box missions in Assassin’s Creed Mirage don’t have as many alternatives as this; the game normally only presents two or three, but players can entirely disregard these options and choose their own route. The reason Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s sandbox sticks out so much is the sheer flexibility players have in it.
Its flaws are simple to overlook because Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s basic gameplay and environment offer so much. However, mileage may vary based on what supporters specifically demand before the game. The city layout and sandbox nature make parkour work well, but it lacks a lot of the fine-tuning that the later action-adventure Assassin’s Creed games offered. Assassinating people in groups is possible through social stealth, but it is never the optimal strategy. Tailing missions, eavesdropping, and chases are all back, but they’re all so simple that players will have to try to fail them in order to see the Game Over screen. The brand has previously used these components a lot, and although they have a place in Assassin’s Creed Mirage, they contribute significantly to the game’s tendency to feel dated at times.
The story of Assassin’s Creed Mirage likewise appears to have been compromised in part for the broader workability of the sandbox. Despite a great start, the majority of the gameplay is spent on a small number of basic missions that players are given free rein to finish. Players are given the story in small doses, with the last two missions serving as the setting for nearly all of the crucial plot points. Overall, the structure is intriguing, yet some people might adore it and others would despise it. The narrative of Assassin’s Creed Mirage provides players with a fascinating, interesting sandbox with plenty of gameplay options. If someone wants a compelling tale, they will be kept waiting for a while. Without giving anything away, it’s important to note that in order to comprehend the Assassin’s Creed Mirage tale ending, players must be familiar with what happened in AC Valhalla and much of the series’ mythology because the huge disclosure happens out of the blue and wouldn’t make sense otherwise.
The roles played by the Order of the Ancients and the Hidden Ones are also a part of the plot framework. Assassin’s Creed Mirage will have a lot of Hidden Ones and really feel like an Assassin and the Brotherhood-centric game. Undoubtedly, those who have missed this emphasis in the last several games will greatly benefit from this. However, the Order of the Ancients falls short in comparison and feels more like stage dressing than anything driving the action.
Overall stability is another area where AC Mirage falls short, but it should get better with patches. We encountered a number of tough crashes, stutters, physics issues, and trendy system faults while gambling the sport. Although we’re unable to prove it at this second, it seems that there is a flaw that forestalls some gadgets from being positioned or made available on the map. We have looked everywhere but without success. These faults will be apparent to even the most bug-blind player, but fortunately, nothing has ever been a game-breaker.
In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, certain things must be sacrificed in order for others to advance. If gamers are comfortable with the tradeoff that Assassin’s Creed Mirage seems more like an AC1 sequel than a 2023 game, they are going to have a blast in the sandbox. AC Mirage is a tribute to these timeless games, and fortunately, the design’s extreme flexibility ensures that players are the ones who write it.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage releases October 5 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Game Rant was provided an Xbox Series X/S code for this review.