|Assassin’s Creed Mirage
|Windows (Ubisoft & Epic Games Store), Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Amazon Luna
|Ubisoft (multiple studios)
Since the series’ introduction in 2007, there have only been four years that the Assassin’s Creed “Mainline” game hasn’t been released. However, if you include pop-ups and smaller titles, 2008 and 2016 can also be selected and 2019 and 2021 will still be. Ubisoft appears to have slowed down a bit with Assassin’s Creed games, because while Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is still being supplied with new content, the calendar hasn’t been new For a long time when it comes to Assassin’s Creed.
That’s changing now, as during the Ubisoft Forward Show, Ubisoft not only unveiled Assassin’s Creed Mirage, but also announced three more Creed games, titled Codename Red, Codename Hexe, and Codename Jade. In addition, the company is also working on Assassin’s Creed Infinity, a central platform that will connect games together and also become a hub for multiplayer content in the future. Red will be a full-fledged Assassin’s Creed game set in feudal Japan, Jade is a mobile game with China as its setting and nothing is known about Hexe, other than that it looks like a horror-like environment. There is also a VR game in development, but we haven’t heard anything about it.
Red, Jade, and Hexe are still far from us. It’s different for Assassin’s Creed Mirage. The game is on the agenda for 2023. That means 2022 will join 2021 and 2019 as the only two years without an Assassin’s Creed game, but with several new projects on the radar, as well as a live TV series in development. As for Netflix, we can’t really speak for myself.
Back to the old style
With Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the series will take a new path in 2023. Or rather: an old one. In the week leading up to Ubisoft Forward, we saw a presentation about the new game, which specifically made it clear that Ubisoft is returning to the foundation of the series with Mirage. This applies to the setting, which is very similar to the setting of the first Assassin’s Creed game, but also to the design of the game. Assassin’s Creed Mirage will not be an open world game like Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla. The game will be more linear, more stories, and will mostly be in one city, as was common in the series a few years ago.
This time Baghdad is the scene and the story begins in the year 861. However, the game takes place about twenty years before the events of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. This is no accident, because the main character of Assassin’s Creed Mirage is an old acquaintance. If you’ve played Valhalla, you know that the main character Eivor encountered two members of the Assassin Guild at some point when she arrived in England. One of these was Bassem bin Ishaq and yes: in Mirage we see Bassem himself, but then in his younger years in Baghdad. The player experiences how Bassem changes from a no-nonsense street rat to a full-fledged killer. It seems obvious that the story ends in the direction of or in the direction of England, because of course we already know that Bassem ends there at the end.
But those times are still long before him, when Roshan (Shahreh Aghdashloo) kidnapped him from the street in Badgad, who appeared as a mentor with the name. Roshan is the representative of The Hidden Ones, founded by Aya and Bayek, the main characters from Assassin’s Creed Origins. Working from darkness to serve the light, as the famous slogan says, they fight against the Order of the Ancients, the organization that would later evolve into the Knights Templar. The player will also travel to the Alamut in Mirage, where the legendary headquarters of the Assassins is located. It is the castle where Altair was once exiled for twenty years, and centuries later Edward Kenway visited the ruins of the castle, which will still be under construction at the Assassin’s Creed Mirage when he visits them.
Several quick kills
Under the care of Roshan and the others, Bassem grows into a master assassin. This will, of course, be done in stages, as he rises in the name of also his rank. When he reaches the rank of Master Assassin, he will wear the famous white suit with red detailing we know from classic assassins like Altaïr and Ezio. Like these two, Basem can move around town while running and under obstacles, as parkour remains an important part of the game, even in Mirage. However, the name also features new tricks. For example, it has a special focus mode that slows down the time a bit and allows the player to quickly select multiple targets, which Basim quickly kills. In this way, the player can quickly make several consecutive kills.
Collaborating with a bird is now also a regular feature in Assassin’s Creed games and this part will be preserved in Assassin’s Creed Mirage. In the name of him an imperial eagle is called Enkidu. Players can mark enemies and valuable loot from a bird’s-eye view, as has been the case in Assassin’s Creed games for a long time. What’s new, however, is that there are now specific eagle shooters. The player can choose to take out these shooters so that Enkidu can explore the area in peace, but skipping this step and starting a “blind” mission is also an option. Whether it will be a successful option is largely a question, as the focus in Mirage is more on stealth gameplay than it was in Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla.
“Stealth ring” as the basis
The latter seems obvious, even without seeing images of the in-game mirage. In the presentation about the game, the game makers described “ghost ringFinding your target undetected, taking out your target, and disappearing after committing the attack as the basis of the gameplay. To help players do this, Ubisoft has addressed and improved the detection system and the feedback players receive from it. Players should now see more clearly which enemy they are tracking and how far away that enemy is. Basem also possesses special tools that can help him undetected, such as mines and blow arrows.
Of course you will encounter a lot of enemies in and around Baghdad, but the gameplay of the old Assassin’s Creed games always culminated in the important assassinations of the story which would be no different in Mirage. Ubisoft calls these black box tasks. Within these missions, the player has a certain amount of freedom to decide how to take out a name for his target and this is also an aspect we know from the Assassin’s Creed games we played when Ezio Auditore was still the great hero.
Freedom is a misleading term for Assassin’s Creed, because the game naturally follows a trilogy in which the player always has the freedom to explore an open world. Well, that freedom was relative, because the areas were divided into levels and if you entered an area too early where the enemies were much stronger, you wouldn’t really have a good time. But nonetheless: You can go where you want and do the extra tasks or activities that you feel like doing. Mirage is more linear, but still retains some aspects of this freedom. For example, Baghdad, as far as we can appreciate now, is entirely or largely free of passage. In addition, players sometimes get a set of tasks that can be completed in any order. In this way, a small aspect of “doing what you want” is preserved.
We have already referred several times to the presentation we received about Assassin’s Creed Mirage. Aside from the trailer shown during Ubisoft Forward and some artwork, we haven’t seen anything yet. This makes it difficult to say anything about the technical side of the game. Mirage is obviously made with the Ubisoft Anvil engine, but what improvements to find are still unclear at the moment. However, Ubisoft has already indicated that Baghdad should appear as a busy and lively city and that all the animation, especially the one about carrying out assassinations, is completely new to Mirage. This sounds really good, but until we see the game itself in action, we can’t say more about it.
It’ll be a while before we truly appreciate Assassin’s Creed Mirage, but if you remember just one element of the game at the moment, let it be that Ubisoft is going back to the foundation of the franchise with this game. One city as the main place of action, a character making their way inside the Assassins and a less open and more linear structure, in which specific assassination missions important to the story play a leading role. It’s the recipe that has brought so much success to games like Assassin’s Creed II and it certainly likely works great with Mirage as well, but it’s too early to say anything meaningful about that. Assassin’s Creed Mirage will be released in 2023 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Amazon Luna, and Windows via the Ubisoft Store and Epic Games Store.
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