Once each enemy is marked, Basim will teleport between them
The Assassin’s Creed franchise is nearly 16 years old and the newest game is titled Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
It will take place in 9th-century Baghdad.
Artistic director Jean-Luc Sala says that at this time, Baghdad was effectively at the centre of the world, and “a key place for knowledge, art, innovation, science, commerce, and power”.
As 9th century Baghdad was effectively destroyed five centuries later, Ubisoft looked to historical documentation and other cities of the time (such as Samarrah) to recreate Baghdad with as much accuracy as possible.
Players will take control of Basim Ibn Is-haq, a few decades before his appearance in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.
Mirage marks a return to the more streamlined stealth and assassination focus of the older Assassin’s Creed games.
As the game prepares to release on October 12, 2023, we look at what to expect from the upcoming title.
In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, you will be able to chain assassinations together.
So when Basim is analysing several enemies with his Eagle Vision, he will be able to mark several at a time to initiate the new feature.
This feature is similar to the Mark and Execute feature found in Splinter Cell Blacklist.
Once each enemy is marked, Basim will teleport between them, killing them off silently one after the other in quick succession.
This ability is a contrast to the grounded nature of the game but it is one that surprised fans.
Since it seems like it will be upgradeable, it is hard to argue against the fact that it will grant the player so much more freedom in their assassination strategies.
Parkour has always been a feature in the Assassin’s Creed series and it looks to have been accelerated in Mirage.
While Baghdad has a few rivers and canals which separate many of the streets, Basim will be able to cross these gaps in no time by using a pole to vault over these bridges.
This will be a brand new method players can use to explore the open world.
This means that the player always has a way to move forward, keeping the movement fluid and fun, and there are even a few fan-favourite animations from some past titles that have made a return.
This includes the corner swing, which was first introduced in Assassin’s Creed 2 as a handy way to navigate around the streets of Florence.
“We have sped up the pace of the parkour so that players feel agile and empowered when traversing the city.”
In order to harken back to the rhythm-based movement that was present in the early games, Ubisoft has completely reworked the animations of Basim, which allows him to feel much faster than previous assassins, even when he’s simply walking.
If players want to relive memories of racing through Israel as Altair in the first Assassin’s Creed game, the developers have included a ‘Nostalgic Visual Filter’ in Mirage.
This filter desaturates the vibrant green and gold colour palette, replacing it with a mixture of blue and grey that defined the look of the original game.
Currently, it is not clear whether this will be an unlockable setting or if it will be available to players from the start.
Nevertheless, it is an honourable tribute to the 2007 classic that started this fantastic series of games.
Leap of Faith Changes
Longtime Assassin’s Creed gamers are used to viewing a Leap of Faith as a sort of safe haven.
They act as a way to escape and evade pursuing guards because the player’s leap will always be cushioned by a well-placed haystack.
But this classic feature has now been made a lot more unreliable thanks to the introduction of spearmen in Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
From time to time, the spearmen who patrol Baghdad will poke a haystack if they are near it, which will immediately cause Basim to leap out if he is already inside.
This small feature makes a huge difference in how stealth works, specifically because it forces players to rethink the best ways to hide rather than always resorting to the haystack.
Better Enemy AI
In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the enemy AI has been reworked to improve the detection system so that it is more realistic and fair for the player.
Fans of the older games will know how easy it can be for enemies to detect the player, with them usually giving chase as soon as they even suspect that someone might be hiding around the corner.
In this title, enemies can spot Basim from further away but they also will not recognise him straight away.
Instead, they will enter an ‘Investigation’ state, letting the player know that they need to carefully plan their next move.
This new AI behaviour opens up many more avenues for stealth gameplay since players will now be able to safely lure enemies out of position much easier than before.
Players can even place a trap around the corner to cause real chaos.
In the past few RPG-focused Assassin’s Creed games, there has been more focus on the combat.
It forced players to attack an enemy while also executing successful parries and blocks multiple times before they finally become staggered.
Once staggered, the enemy could be killed with a final blow, but this did involve a lot of button mashing to even reach this point.
But recent gameplay trailers of Mirage have shown that the Stagger meter is actually much easier to deplete, requiring one successful parry until the prompt to instantly kill them pops up.
The combat, therefore, doesn’t seem to be returning to exactly how it was in early games, but it’s definitely much faster to eliminate enemies in open combat, which allows players to get back into the stealth gameplay as quickly as possible.
New Stealth Gadgets
Whether it be main missions or side missions, Basim will have access to a wide array of tools to help his mission go as smoothly as it possibly can.
While a few of these tools have been a mainstay for the series for many years, including the blowdart, which was first utilised by Aveline in Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation, Basim also has a few brand new tricks up his sleeve.
The most powerful new addition is the Detection Mine, a weapon that can be used either offensively or defensively depending on the player’s situation.
Once a guard approaches the mine, a cloud of smoke will obscure their vision and send them to the floor.
Therefore, it will be a must-have tool for the trickier assassination targets when the player needs a quick way to escape.
Creative director Stéphane Boudon says:
“For stealth, we also reworked the Stealth tools and their evolutions, some of them are legacy tools (the smoke bomb, the throwing knives) you already know well, but the team worked on specific upgrades that will allow you to reinvent them to fit perfectly with your playstyle.”
When it releases on October 12, 2023, Assassin’s Creed Mirage will be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One.
Ubisoft has also confirmed that the game will be released on PC through the Ubisoft Store and Epic Games Store.
While Assassin’s Creed Mirage will be far smaller than the worlds of previous games, Ubisoft has promised that Baghdad will be a bustling and dense city.
Artistic director Jean-Luc Sala says that “inhabitants react to your every move”.
And when combined with these features, the game honours the style of older games while also incorporating innovative elements.