Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a return to the classic Assassin’s Creed format that shows the back story of Basim, an assassin in the Round city of Baghdad. Here is our Assassin’s Creed Mirage Review.
The game was developed by Ubisoft Bordeaux and published by Ubisoft, it was released on October 05, 2023, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC (Epic Store), and Xbox Series X|S. It will also be released on iPhone 15 at a later date.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage originally started as a DLC for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla but ended up being a brand new game that picks the best of all Assassin’s Creed games and makes the ultimate classic Assassin’s Creed experience. The story is about a young Basim, who is plagued with nightmares and doesn’t know where it’s coming from. He is tasked with getting information on an artifact for the Assassin’s group in Alamut. To prove his worth, he goes behind their back and get the artifact for them but in doing so, he uncovers a secret plan the Order is cooking up.
After the heist, Basim has nowhere to go, but luckily, Roshan takes Basim in, helps him escape his city, and brings him to Alamut to train him in the ways of the Assassins. During the game, you go back to the round city and try to take down the order one by one. For this review, I wanna keep spoilers low, so I won’t tell any more about it, but the story is absolutely amazing.
The map is a jungle gym heaven, you can climb and run almost everywhere, and it’s so smooth and satisfying that I completely forgot about fast travel multiple times and just did free-running everywhere. throughout the whole game, everything you do is an enjoyable experience, even the more frustrating moments of getting seen give you some kind of satisfaction when you get out of it by sneaking or beating up the enemies. The missions throughout the story are just amazing and don’t feel like you are locked behind a linear path. There are so many options to complete an assassination that you truly can do the mission any way you like.
There are a lot of tools you can use and most of them we have seen before, but a lot of them are returning from older titles like the distraction tool and the blowdarts. You don’t need to use them, but they are fun to use and make the missions a lot easier. The throwing knives felt extremely overpowered, almost every enemy was a 1 hit kill, and with the armor piercer upgrade you can basically 1 hit everyone with it making short work of some of the enemies that are out of reach. One of the new powers is the teleport assassination, this power lets you mark around 5 enemies when upgraded and take them down in 1 sweep. The animation of that just looked absolutely gorgeous and made situations with a group of enemies easy to deal with.
The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the hand-to-hand combat, but this is something that is not a massive bother but does make me feel just a tiny bit less satisfactory than the combat of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood or Black Flag, I just really miss the chain kills that you used to do in the classics. Either way, when you pick the right weapons and upgrade them, it does feel a lot better and you can take down a small group pretty quickly by just taking them head-on.
Something else that is missing is some type of money-making system or the Assassins to use to quickly take someone out, but this has been missing from the recent RPG-style games as well, so I don’t really mind it missing this time, but something that did come back are the mercenaries for hire, the people you can hire to get past gates from the 1st Assassin’s Creed game, and even some new ones like musicians to distract guards. I absolutely loved seeing this back and it also came with a new and cool mechanic: coins you can trade in for their services.
The coins can be traded for help with things around the city like the ones I mentioned before, but also in story stuff, they can unlock things and can give you a discount in stores, if you wanna upgrade all your tools that discount is much needed because the gears it costs to upgrade everything is a bit much. Something else that the coins can do is remove your notoriety, another returning mechanic that I absolutely love. You can remove it by taking down posters, bribing a person, or by taking down the strongest enemy type in the game that only comes after you at maximum notoriety. It’s a simple mechanic but one that makes the game so much more interesting and fun because it does make you change up the way you play. The 1st level of notoriety is that people in the streets snitch on you on the streets and it’s fun to see all their reactions to you.
There are also some side-missions you can do in the form of contracts, there are some smaller stories going on in those and besides that, there are also missions in the city called “Stories of Baghdad”, they give you a bit of insight into some of the people living in the city like a Christian monk who is looking for a grave and a kid that wants to become an Assassin when he is older. Some of the collectibles also have a tiny bit of story tied to them, there is a merchant who wants some stuff that you need to pickpocket and a scholar who wants some unique books. Each type of collectible will reward you with something after collecting enough or when it comes to chests you get something straight away like a new weapon, suit, or an upgrade scroll.
Pickpocketing is also back but with a tiny minigame you have to complete that takes about 2 seconds where you need to push the button at the right moment to successfully pickpocket, but I personally ended up turning this option off in the settings after a few hours, but if you are not like me and play the game at a normal speed and take your time and take a few days to complete the game, I wouldn’t have turned it off because it was fun for a bit. While pickpocketing you could also find these coins and there doesn’t seem to be a downside to pickpocketing, so go wild with this because it will help you a lot. I even noticed that in the “richer” areas and the round city, there were more people to pickpocket as well, that was a nice little detail.
At first, I didn’t think I would like the characters, especially Basim, its been a while since I played Valhalla, but I do remember not liking Basim that much, but I was pleasantly surprised by how cool his character was here and his backstory makes him a super interesting main protagonist. The same goes for the majority of the other characters you meet, at first they might not always seem that great, but the more you interact with them, the better they get, especially Roshan. I hated her voice the first few minutes but quickly learned to love it and how mysterious she acts towards Basim makes her really stand out among the majority of mentor characters in the Assassin’s Creed games.
The visuals of the game are just stunning, each area has some cool landmarks but they all do look a bit similar with the sand coloring. In the beginning, I thought it would bore pretty fast, but everything did end up having its own character and the inside layouts made every building look a lot more different and memorable. Especially the Round City itself was just amazing, it was so colorful and fun to walk around it. The whole city feels alive and the people doing their thing really makes everything come together.
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