VOICE OVER: Aaron Brown
WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Johnson
If you're interested in "Assassin's Creed Mirage," we've got you covered on what you need to know! For this list, we'll be looking at the most important details regarding Ubisoft's upcoming "Assassin's Creed" game. Our list of things to know before playing "Assassin's Creed Mirage" includes the Multi-Takedown mechanic, the Alamut Castle stronghold, a Return to Stealth, Collector's Edition details, and more!
Welcome to MojoPlays! Today, we’re looking at 10 Things to Know Before Playing “Assassin’s Creed Mirage”. Are you excited to go back to the Middle East?
From the minute it was officially revealed, fans were thrilled to see Ubisoft going back to the well of the Middle East, more than fifteen years after the original game. Ubisoft has been open from the start about “Mirage” being inspired by the game that started it all, an homage to Altaïr and his travels across the Holy Land. Basim’s going to be doing lots of things Altaïr did; working his way through the ranks of an established Brotherhood, climbing into those classic Assassin Bureaus from the roof, and hiding in rooftop gardens, which have made a return. Perhaps this time Ubisoft will actually render some plants in the gardens, but don’t hold your breath.
You definitely CAN be stealthy in the last three games, now dubbed the “Mythology Trilogy” by Ubisoft, but it’s not the approach the games want you to take and it wasn’t necessarily easy to pull off. That’s not going to be the case for “Mirage”, which is returning to the stealth-focused gameplay we haven’t seen for years. Yes, that includes the true return of social stealth, not the lackluster version of it we had in “Valhalla”, with Basim able to stand and blend with groups of civilians. He’ll also seemingly be able to don disguises and a stealthy approach to missions is encouraged. However, from what we’ve seen, it doesn’t look like enemy tagging is returning; enemies couldn’t be tagged in “Valhalla” like they could in past games, which was what made stealth more annoying, though we do have another eagle to make use of.
We’re heading to Baghdad in the 9th century, the height of the Islamic Golden Age, when Baghdad was one of the most advanced cities in the entire world. Despite being set earlier than “Valhalla”, Baghdad is so different to Europe in the Dark Ages that it will feel totally new. The game is also going to be contained almost entirely in Baghdad. This means the map will definitely be smaller – probably MUCH smaller – than the maps of the previous three games, but that it will feel more vibrant and densely populated. Many fans have nostalgia for those older games that were centered around one or just a few cities that all felt distinct, and finally it looks like Ubisoft is listening.
We don’t know that much about the story yet, but it’s going to focus on Basim, who appeared as an ally and eventual antagonist in “Valhalla”. He’s also the new modern-day protagonist, at least for now, after he tricked Layla into uploading herself to the Isu computer Yggdrasil. “Mirage” will follow Basim’s youth, from his early days as a street thief in Baghdad to his rise through the ranks. As we know, he’ll eventually become a Master Assassin and take on his own apprentice, Hytham, until journeying to Norway and then England. But we know very little about how he got there. We’ll also see how Basim unlocked his Isu memories, since he’s the reincarnation of Loki, Loki who will take the form of a djinn in Basim’s memory corridors.
This is an interesting change to the gameplay and we’ll be interested to see how it plays out. It looks as though Basim’s going to be able to carry out multi-takedowns, something seen in “Splinter Cell”, but also in games like “Arkham Knight”. On the one hand, this finally gets rid of the problem of assassinating someone surrounded by guards and then having to fight all the guards – which has never been very stealthy. On the other hand, there’s a worry that this multi-takedown might make Basim too powerful and the missions too easy, since you can wipe everybody out in one move and then make your escape. But we’re also going to be getting lots of new assassination and combat animations, which was something lacking in the last three games.
You could equip tools in the mythology games, but you had to go and unlock them through the skill tree and even then, you can definitely get by in all three games easily enough without them. That might not be the case for “Mirage”. Since it’s going to be focusing more on stealth, making use of an array of distinct tools will be just as crucial here as it was in older games. We’re seeing things like traps and smoke bombs, as well as the return of an old classic, the blow dart. This is, again, harkening back to the older games where you could craft and equip many different tools. It also looks like there will be separate tool vendors, so it won’t be unlocked through the skill tree anymore.
So far, the only location we know of beyond Baghdad is Alamut Castle, the stronghold where the Assassins – still called the Hidden Ones at this point in time – have their main base. This is clearly an homage to how Masyaf Castle functioned in the original game, but it’s been a while since we had an “AC” game with a proper home base like this. Sure, “Valhalla” had Ravensthorpe, but it wasn’t quite the same as returning to Masyaf, the Auditore Villa, or even the Fryes’ train hideout in past games. We’re glad to see the Assassins in a place and time where they have such a fortress, and we’re sure it will be fun to explore and return to.
Something else Ubisoft has been keen to show off is the parkour. Parkour hasn’t gone anywhere in the series, it’s still been there the whole time, but with the mythology games, they’re set in times and places where there are very few tall landmarks to climb and dense cities to traverse. Yes, there are SOME, but it’s not on the same level as traveling through Paris or Venice. That’s set to change with “Mirage”, which brings back many older parkour techniques, like swinging around corners, and also a wealth of new animations, as well as speeding up Basim’s climbing. We’re glad to see the focus on traversal come back, instead of it being an afterthought.
As this is still a Ubisoft game and as Ubisoft wants to get as much money out of its players as possible, there is a collector’s edition for “Mirage” that you can already pre-order. Called the “Collector’s Case” to make it sound a little fancier, it’ll cost $150 and contains a statue of Basim, a map of Baghdad, an art book, steel book, the soundtrack, and a brooch. It’ll also include all the Deluxe Edition content, including “Prince of Persia” cosmetic items and a pre-order bonus quest about the “Forty Thieves”, one of the more famous tales from the “Arabian Nights”.
Finally, Ubisoft has given us a release date, and it’s about what you’d expect from “Assassin’s Creed”, releasing in the fourth quarter of the year. It’ll be available from October 12th, 2023, and will interestingly come in a little cheaper than most modern games, costing only $50 for the base game. This is probably because it’s going to be smaller and shorter than a game like “Valhalla”, especially since it was originally meant to be DLC for “Valhalla” that outgrew it. But it has the double-edged sword of releasing on PS4 and Xbox One as well as PS5, Xbox Series, and PC. This means that more people will get to play it, but also that we can’t really expect it to have out-of-this-world graphics and performance even on ninth gen machines.