Assassin’s Creed Mirage is another part of the legendary series, which will take us back in the 9th century to the Abbasid caliphate. In this installment, you will be getting in the shoes of a 17-year-old Basim in the city of Baghdad. Our main protagonist grew up on the streets of the oriental city, making his way through life with the involuntary help of other citizens. Pickpocketing and small thefts got him enough to live his everyday poor life. But when Basim met a member of the Hidden Ones, everything changed. Desiring to join the fabled brotherhood, he and his friend Nehal depart into Chalifs Winter Palace. And what is supposed to be a quick robbery, turns into a night that flips everything upside down, and sends Basim on the road that he never expected before.
The game welcomes us with a tutorial that feels incredibly natural. Through this we get a short peek into the story and life of young Basim, we are introduced to the lively city of Baghdad and get our first experience with freerunning. This version of parkour is something that has been around for a long time, but never has it felt so natural. Basim reacts to his surroundings intuitively and with grace. Then on the other hand to make the movement so smooth, you might find yourself Jumping, falling, or running in directions you didn’t plan to. Sometimes even a small angle change can send you on a completely different route.
Because Assassin’s Creed Mirage has decided to return to its roots and focuses much more heavily on the stealth side. Expect loads of planning for your next moves, setting up tactics, and making sure your steps will lead to success.
Scouting which is supported just like in previous parts with your eagle, can get upgraded through a simple but easy-to-use skill tree. Basic upgrades like more equipment slots, upgraded battle techniques, or better eagle skills. They might not sound like a lot, but they can change your whole game experience.
Another important part is hiding. Yes, there is still an option to take out your sword and deal with those who deserve it with a justice of your own. But don’t expect the city guards to go easy on you. Once they notice you, it is much better to just run and lay low. Whether you hide in the hay bales, bushes, or just out of sight, for example on roofs, all you need to do is wait until your enemies stop looking for you.
Unless you get yourself a bad reputation. This is dealt with in a Notoriety system, where not only guards will try to catch you, but when you get a bit too infamous, civilians will start to recognize you and report you to authorities. The only way to do something about this is to either buy yourself some positive reputation from specific NPCs or if you are brave enough, you can descend to streets between regular citizens and tear down Wanted posters with your picture, which is again something that makes the game feel immersive and real.
Another thing that has the same effect is the way the story is being told. Yes, I must admit the story feels like it might be the weaker point of the game. But I have to appreciate the style of it. Instead of a regular quest log, where you just gather checkmarks for completing the quests, what you will get is kind of a string board. Several separate stories that slowly put together merge into one single line.
The whole adventure is happening in a beautifully crafted world of searing hot deserts, lush oases, narrow streets of the city, spatial bazaars, and luxurious palaces. All of this tied together with the people, animals, and even nature itself, creates an environment that feels alive and real.
And while on this subject, one of the graphic settings remakes the lighting and colors into the one we are used to from the first Assassin’s Creed, which is a very nice nod to it, and also a reminder that the developers didn’t forget about the past of the series and are still acknowledging it.
And to complete your experience with the game, you will be met with a very pleasant and matching soundtrack. It does make you feel like you’re in the city. The music also helps a lot with reading the situations. If there is some action happening, you’re being chased by the guards, or find yourself in the middle of an epic fight, the style will switch to a much more dynamic and fast-paced one.
Also, the sound effects are made in a way to feels natural and helps paint the town as a real place and not just some spot in a computer game. Whether it’s the sounds of nature, the ringing sounds of clashing swords, or the general sounds of a busy city, all of that combined with a very well-made voice acting, make a package I enjoyed.
When it comes to controls, I was very pleasantly surprised about how easy to handle the whole game is. Even for players not used to Assassin’s Creed games, It feels very natural and intuitive.
But a thing I want to talk about is the HUD. In itself, it’s very minimalistic, but there are incredible amounts of options to adjust it. Almost everything you can see on the screen can be turned off. Do you want a challenge and not see your health bar? Nobody is stopping you. Is the compass too distracting? Let’s get rid of it. I have never before seen this many ways of changing your game experience through something so simple.
On the other hand, we get a plethora of options to make the game either easier or more accessible.
Turning off the camera shaking can aid if you are sensitive to rapid movement.
I appreciated the option to change the size and background of subtitles. Closed captions for the in-game sounds, where you can see in text with a pointing arrow what is happening around you, are very helpful for either hearing-impaired players or for players who need to keep the game quiet for any reason.
Then there are many visual aids, like light beams showing you important places, maps, and compass marks to help with reaching your goals, distance meters, to assist with spatial orientation, or even a possibility to minimize blood FX for people that can’t or don’t enjoy it.
And last but not least, gameplay modifiers such as aim assistant, or a guaranteed pickpocketing option to avoid possible quarrels with citizens in case you have issues with the way it is done in the game.
All things considered, Mirage makes me want to play more. I would recommend it not only to the fans of the previous parts but also to players that never had any experience with the series. If you are someone who can enjoy a good stealth game, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is something worth trying.
- Easy to play
- Lifelike environment
- Movement can get confusing sometimes
- Weaker story
Coipher gives Assassin’s Creed: Mirage a Drastik Measure of 8.0 out of 10.0 (80)