Thursday, 16 May 2024

Assassin’s Creed Mirage: A Return to Stealth and Dense City Roots

After six years of massive open-world RPGs, the Assassin’s Creed franchise is making a comeback to its stealth-based, dense city roots with the highly anticipated release of Assassin’s Creed Mirage. As a long-time fan of the series, I couldn’t be more excited for its launch in October. While I enjoyed the series’ foray into RPGs, the extensive gameplay time required by 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla left me feeling exhausted and burnt out. However, after a recent preview event that showcased new gameplay and details about Mirage, I’m confident that it will reignite my love for this beloved franchise.

A Fresh Narrative and Setting

In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, players assume the role of Basim, who fans may recognize as the Assassin who introduced Eivor to the Hidden Ones in Valhalla. However, Mirage delves deeper into Basim’s journey, exploring his transformation from a street thief to a skilled assassin. Set in 9th century Baghdad, the game offers a sprawling city comparable in size to the iconic locations of Assassin’s Creed Unity’s Paris or Assassin’s Creed Revelations’ Constantinople.

Narrative director Sarah Beaulieu promises that Mirage’s storyline will provide a self-contained coming-of-age experience for Basim, focusing solely on his past and avoiding any modern-day segments. The game aims to deliver a captivating tale that sheds light on Basim’s origins and his ultimate destiny.

Enhanced Parkour and Stealth Mechanics

In the glimpses of gameplay I witnessed, the city of Midinat-Al-Salam within Mirage appears to offer a parkour experience unlike any seen in recent Assassin’s Creed titles. Its tightly packed streets and crowd-blending mechanic create an environment that facilitates seamless infiltration of otherwise impenetrable areas. Moreover, players can utilize the rooftops for fast-paced traversal, utilizing a variety of parkour moves such as corner swings and pole vaulting. Basim’s parkour abilities are complemented by the presence of local street heralds, who can help lower his notoriety, ensuring a smoother passage through the city.

Stealth remains a core aspect of Mirage’s gameplay, with Basim needing to maintain a low profile while infiltrating fortresses and enemy outposts. His eagle companion, Enkidu, aids in reconnaissance, but players must be cautious of new marksman enemies that can interfere with this process. To assist in stealthy assassinations, Basim has access to a range of upgradable tools, including smoke bombs, blow darts, throwing knives, and noisemakers. Additionally, the introduction of a new ability called Assassin’s Focus allows Basim to slow down time, facilitating the swift elimination of multiple enemies.

Assassin Bureaus: Classic Gameplay Returns

One feature that particularly excites me is the inclusion of Assassin Bureaus in Mirage’s gameplay. These hubs provide Basim with contracts for assassinations, side quests, and rescue missions, reminiscent of the classic gameplay elements the series is known for. The Investigation Board, replacing the quest board from previous Assassin’s Creed games, allows players to track the activities of the menacing Order of the Ancients. This return to the franchise’s roots, combined with borrowed UI elements from the RPGs, contributes to the nostalgic feel of Mirage.

Overall, Mirage seems to strike a perfect balance between the RPG elements introduced in recent entries and the classic stealth-oriented gameplay that established the Assassin’s Creed series. As a fan, my only concern is whether it will further highlight the potential exhaustion that comes with Ubisoft’s large-scale RPGs. However, this is a worry better reserved for the next installment, Assassin’s Creed Red, as Mirage appears to be a smart and refreshing decision by Ubisoft for the franchise’s 2023 entry.


Q: Will Assassin’s Creed Mirage include modern-day storytelling or segments?

A: No, Mirage’s narrative is solely focused on Basim’s backstory and does not feature any modern-day storytelling or segments.

Q: How does Mirage compare in size to previous Assassin’s Creed cities?

A: Mirage’s city of Baghdad, specifically Midinat-Al-Salam, is comparable in size to Assassin’s Creed Unity’s Paris or Assassin’s Creed Revelations’ Constantinople.

Q: What tools does Basim have at his disposal for stealth assassinations?

A: Basim can utilize various tools, including smoke bombs, blow darts, throwing knives, and noisemakers, to facilitate his stealthy assassinations.

Q: Does Mirage feature Assassin Bureaus and side quests?

A: Yes, players can visit Assassin Bureaus to pick up contracts for assassinations, side quests, and rescue missions, enhancing the immersive gameplay experience.


With Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Ubisoft is returning to the franchise’s beloved stealth-based, dense city roots, offering players an engaging narrative, enhanced parkour mechanics, and thrilling stealth gameplay. Mirage’s focus on Basim’s journey and the absence of modern-day storytelling make it a promising entry in the series. As a long-time fan, I eagerly await its release and anticipate the reinvigoration of the franchise that I fell in love with all those years ago.

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