Assassin's Creed: Mirage – Review & Analysis
Written by: Sorrosyss, November 1st, 2023

Warning: Spoilers from the game and across the franchise

It's a little hard to believe, but Assassin's Creed Valhalla released three years ago. Naturally with its extended life cycle from a continuous live service model, that feels somewhat less than that, but with the recent October release of Assassin's Creed Mirage, it still represents the largest gap between mainline releases for the franchise.

For the first time in their history, Ubisoft Bordeaux led the development of an Assassin's Creed title in Mirage. This was primarily as the title was originally planned to be developed by the studio as an expansion for Valhalla, but was subsequently reworked to a full title, partly in recognition and celebration of the 15 years anniversary of Assassin's Creed.

Let us take a look at the new game in detail then, and decide which elements I consider were a success, those that partially worked, and those that did not work well at all. Finally, let us also analyse the story conclusions and where it may take us next!

Note: This review was made of the state of the game from launch to patch 1.0.2.

The Positive Aspects


The most impressive aspect to the game for me was undoubtedly the reworked stealth system. Coming from Valhalla, where you would randomly get spotted even through walls, it's really refreshing to have a detection system that not only works but actually gives you a somewhat sane amount of time to react before you attract a guard's full attention. This completely changed my approach from Odyssey and Valhalla, where I somewhat reluctantly would just zip into areas and melee the opposition down, simply because it was faster than the unreliable stealth mechanics in those games. Within Mirage, it is the complete opposite. Stealth feels stronger, faster, and frankly more efficient than melee – the latter of which now really feels like your option of last resort.

There are several tweaks made by Ubisoft that have really helped contribute to this. For one, Eagle Vision now being a permanent toggle again is huge, as it really allows you to play like the focused hunter that you are. It's a wonderful return for an older mechanic, and when coupled with your eagle Enkidu's scans from the sky, it really helps to determine where your opposition is. Moreover, the sight lines of your enemies are now clearly visible through cones of vision, which makes a big difference to ensuring you remain completely unseen.

The tools that we are given this time around compliment each other well, and when used in unison they really make the gameplay quite a joy, allowing you to play really aggressively too if you so desire. The whistle now has a much larger range and brings enemies to you faster. Smoke bombs make a triumphant return and allow us a quick escape or assassination as we desire. Blowdarts and throwing knives even give us a degree of long range capability. A special mention to the knives actually, which I fell in love with quickly, especially when coupled with the skill to replenish your blades, and the poison that disintegrates your enemies. I've long argued that we needed some ability to remove bodies from scenes quickly (as indeed Watch Dogs Legion has with its AR tech), so to see it realised like this is quite wonderful, and it works so well – really speeding up the stealth gameplay without the need or worry for dragging bodies around. Admittedly the potency of the poison completely melting a body might be a stretch on realism, but I'll take it when it's this useful of an ability.

Fortunately, the mechanics have improved when we do need to perform assassinations too. I was really impressed with how well corner/cover assassinations perform, with Basim pulling the bodies out of line of sight quickly and effectively. As I have always argued, a Hidden Blade strike should always be a one shot kill, and I was especially happy to see that philosophy return here. It is, after all, our signature weapon as Assassins. Finally, we also have the Assassin’s Focus ability, that lets us effectively teleport kill up to five enemies at once. I know some fans were not particularly happy about this being added, but the rationale of an Animus glitch is perfectly sensible for this fun ability to my mind. It's overpowered nature is kind of offset by the fact that you can only really fill the focus meters by playing stealthily anyway though, and even then it can only be used sparingly. I think it's fine for what it is and has certainly led to some fun video clips being shared across social media at least.

Social stealth mechanics also have a stronger presence here, with small crowds and benches pretty much everywhere. Ubisoft were wise to bring back the “Black Box” options for the main assassinations, which really highlight how many different options players actually have here when it comes to missions, even being able to use mercenaries or musicians as very prominent distractions. One method I was particularly fond of was the inclusion of disguises, which is a callback to the Persona system that we had in Assassin's Creed Liberation. It's a system that the likes of the Hitman games use very well, and I would love to see this expanded upon for future Assassin's Creed titles, allowing them to be used more openly rather than the restrictive specific missions like we have here. After all, nothing says “hiding in plain sight” better than disguising yourself amongst the enemy's own clothes.

In short though, the stealth gameplay of Mirage is a massive triumph and tremendously enjoyable to play. I would say arguably the best stealth system we have had in over ten years even. If nothing else, I hope Ubisoft brings the stealth lessons learned here into future titles, as it is arguably the main gameplay template and identity of the entire franchise.


After the humongous maps of Odyssey and Valhalla, I know a lot of fans were mildly terrified of how big the Mirage map would actually be. Thankfully, the overall size of the map is much smaller, but equally in turn a lot more effective in what it does and achieves with it. There's clearly been a much welcomed systemic approach to removing the bloat from the map. It's honestly a breath of fresh air to not run into a bandit camp every 50 yards, as often felt like the case in the last few games. There are also far less collectibles (finally) for completionists to lose sleep over. I really enjoyed my time running through the wilderness at the start of the game, as you could visually spot areas of interest at a great distance, without needing to resort to looking at the map. This kind of natural inducement of direction was most welcome and rewarding in of itself. On the other hand, there are several parts of the map where there is literally nothing, especially in the south-east. I suppose it's nice for players to explore into the farthest reaches, but it would have been nice to place something that far out as reward at least.

I went into Mirage expecting it to look pretty similar to Origins, but I was quite surprised that the biomes used were certainly quite unique and distinct in appearance even compared to the older games. Fortunately, Baghdad itself is truly a wonderful design, and rightly dominates the majority of the overall map. The developers clearly kept parkour in mind from the outset, as we are treated to many lower level buildings, and an assortment of planks and ropes for players to navigate through the city. That's not to say that there aren't quite a few standout buildings too, with some beautiful domed structures dominating the skyline, which are fun to climb upon themselves. The art team really did a great job of creating new textures, as I very rarely saw any re-use of assets from Valhalla. It really gives Baghdad its own individual character, as it so rightly deserves.

Compared to recent games, the city feels a lot more alive too. It felt to me that I saw more NPCs doing random tasks and jobs than in recent games, and I really liked how you hear a lot more dialogue from people as you wander around. It's a shame that we did not get any mini-games or our own base to engage with this time, but at least there is a good variety of vendors to interact with. Certainly though, it is really nice to be playing an Assassin's Creed game in a proper urban setting again.

Exploration is further rewarded by the “History of Baghdad” codex entries, which give us a good amount of historical facts and trivia as we explore the city. It's certainly inspired by the Discovery Tours of the recent games, and it's certainly a welcome addition to have this present in the codex from the launch of a game as well.


Speaking of NPCs and their frequent conversations, I thought it was lovely how you could often hear singing and prayers throughout the city. Coupled with animal sounds (nothing quite like a braying donkey), there was always something in the ambience treating your ears to add to your immersion. Though I will say, the sheer noise coming out of my camel mount made me switch to a horse pretty quickly! Still, the sound team put together a really well layered ambient experience within Mirage.

Composer Brendan Angelides also did a great job with the soundtrack, offering us an electro-synth twist to Arabian music, which is very reminiscent of Jesper Kyd's work on the original Assassin's Creed game. The mix between the traditional and the modern instruments works really well here, with several tracks that I found particularly soothing and perfectly suited to the calm exploration of the world map.

Dialogue within the game is pretty well voice acted, with Lee Majdoub offering a suitably nuanced performance as Basim. I really appreciated how he was able to go from the high noted young care-free street thief, down to the more sullen sounding Basim, who once he becomes an Assassin sounds very reminiscent of Carlo Rota's depiction from Valhalla – especially on the internal monologues. Shohreh Aghdashloo reprises her role of Roshan, once again giving authority with her very iconic voice. Overall though, the English voiceover is consistent across the board, and apart from the very occasional French/Irish tinges by performers, it is nice to hear voices that sound appropriately accented to Baghdad. Nothing worse than a random American or British voice to pull you out of the immersion!

The Mixed Opinions


On the face of it, there should be a lot here to be happy about. After years of several “proto-assassins”, mercenaries and Vikings, it is definitely a preference amongst the fanbase for us to be playing an appropriately trained Assassin – or Hidden One as we have here. There is also a great deal of nostalgia to the original Assassin's Creed game, most notably with the use of feathers and bureaus to really remind us where it all began.

On the flip side, the story rattles through at a pretty rapid pace. By token, the villains of the story feel very poorly developed, and pretty forgettable as we barely get to interact with them at all. After a week, I could barely even remember the names of the Order of the Ancients members if I'm honest. If you contrast them to the likes of Cesare Borgia or Haytham Kenway, where we would have frequent scenes with them before the conclusions of their respective stories, it does feel like Mirage was simply trying to fit a distinct number of enemies into a pre-determined schedule here.

I do not think this is helped by Basim himself being simply not very compelling either. In most scenes he just seems to be agreeable to whatever is going on around him, and I sometimes struggled to reconcile that this was the same man as the scheming mastermind we saw in Assassin's Creed Valhalla. There was of course a reason for that though.

Speaking of, the conclusion to the story was ultimately a letdown. Whilst I enjoyed the deception surrounding the imaginary Nehal, with her clearly representing the personality element of Loki's DNA within Basim, I know that many fans were wholly expecting an appearance from Loki himself, ideally with a performance by Carlo Rota, the actor who portrayed him in Valhalla. This would have been consistent with the way that Eivor interacted with the Odin consciousness in her own mind as well. For the benefit of those who were confused, the Jinni in Mirage would appear to be a representation of Loki's trauma, specifically represented by the jailer/torturer shown in the Isu hologram scenes, with the Isu temple below Alamut evidently being the prison where Loki had been held during a specific time of his life. It's probably not a huge leap to suggest that the jailer in the depicted Isu era scene might have been Odin as well, though you can see that the individual evidently has two open and working eyes. Given that the jailer seems to wield the dagger Samsaama, it makes a lot of sense that this could actually be the Isu known as Milad, whose armor and dagger we are able to obtain from a hidden chamber. Although the Isu content was sparse, it was nice to get some included into the overall story at least. Plus, I always love obtaining Isu equipment for the playable character.

The ending does wholly rely upon the player having completed Valhalla, and possibly, to a lesser extent the Dawn of Ragnarok expansion. I've noted comments from returning players who played the Mirage game standalone after years away from the franchise, and they truly couldn't understand what was going on with the ending. Without the context of who Basim is, who Nehal is, and what the Isu temple imprisonment represents, there's a huge narrative hole there that some players quite rightly are left utterly confused by, as it's really not explained at all. Still, for those Valhalla players who did understand the references, there is a degree of satisfaction to be had. This would include Loki being accepted by Basim in a contrast to how Eivor rejected Odin in the same scenario, or Enkidu attacking Basim as he was no longer the same man. However, I would question why did we need to see this story in the first place? What exactly was William Miles looking at it for? After all, the Basim that we spent our time with within the game, understanding and developing his character, is technically replaced at the ending by merging with Loki. There was ultimately little to be gained knowing the man that existed prior, save for perhaps demonstrating to William Miles how the Brotherhood had once operated. In terms of the wider Assassin's Creed meta plot though, Mirage does not significantly move us any further forward unfortunately.

Is this the last time we play as Basim then? Possibly. Even though he has become a playable protagonist in the Modern Day, I still struggle to let go of accepting his antagonistic tendencies from the end of Valhalla. For many of the above reasons, I'm still not particularly fond of the character and would happily like to move on to someone new going forwards.


Naturally with the game serving as a nostalgic reminder to the earliest releases in the franchise, we kind of expected some of the RPG elements would be pared back. What I will say is that I actually enjoyed not seeing an XP bar, nor level numbers above enemies. Zones are simply separated by your Assassin rank, which is a smart way to do this, given that your skills and tools steadily increase as the game continues.

Thankfully the Skills system here is a much more sensible approach to what Valhalla offered, with players clearly able to see and plan out their path of upgrades to their desire from the outset. Most of them feel pretty impactful as well, as opposed to the “1% extra damage” incremental type stuff we saw in the last game.

The mission structure also gives players a pretty open approach as to how they want to proceed thanks to the Investigation menu. Although the individual missions are all pretty mandatory, you can still elect to go to certain areas before others, and follow a specific narrative track that you are interested in. It's obviously a slight variation on the information gathering missions you used to perform in the original Assassin's Creed game, but I feel it works well here. Every investigator likes to have a suspects board to work from, as you often see in any TV crime drama. This all being said, some of the investigations were pretty basic, with some aimless wandering around to click on text files occasionally. These were often compounded by one of my pet hates from Valhalla, that of barred doors. I appreciate there is supposed to be a puzzle element to them, but sometimes you can spend minutes trying to find some ridiculously acute angle to throw a knife through a window to smash open the door. They're not particularly fun or satisfying to interact with honestly.

The Khidmah tokens are a new type of currency, often used to obtain favours from merchants, mercenaries, and musicians alike. However, despite pickpocketing NPCs quite frequently, I often found myself with no tokens to use. This was especially frustrating on some of the black box missions, where I essentially could not utilise some of the options given to me, simply from lacking the token in question. To my mind, we want players to always have as many freedoms as we can, therefore this kind of currency gating isn't particularly appreciated. Certainly from my own side, I didn't end up doing the vast majority of the contract missions until after the main campaign. A failing on my part sure, but putting most of the tokens behind that content ultimately means that some players like myself who might skip them initially, will certainly find their stealth options somewhat limited as a result. This can be especially brutal with the notoriety system in place, which is of course a reflection of the one originally found in AC1. Without tokens to reduce your notoriety, you are forced into the monotonous tedium of tearing down wanted posters continually. It’s definitely an older style of mechanic, whereas more modern games tend to use a time decay to let your status subside naturally and much more quickly. I'd certainly not like to see this system return again.

Dialogue options in the game are also very sparse in comparison to recent games. Beyond vendors, you only really can question your Assassin colleagues at the bureaus, which is a shame. This certainly makes for some tighter cutscenes, but you can definitely tell that this is another RPG system that has been cut back considerably.


For those who follow my reviews, you'll know how vocal I have been about the general stability of Assassin's Creed games in recent years. Every single game released has crashed for me since Black Flag in 2013, whilst Valhalla crashed well over 20 times during its two-year content cycle. It is therefore quite comforting to find that Mirage runs very well by comparison. I only had the one crash in my playthrough, and that was at the 38 hours mark after the story but whilst I was trying to complete all the achievements, so it had been a very strong run until that point.

The Anvil engine has clearly been optimised quite a lot in the last few years. Indeed, I found running the game in performance mode on the PS5 left me with a very nice and stable frame rate, which certainly looked like it mostly ran at 60 fps. I was especially impressed with how it still ran like this even within the city itself, despite there being hundreds of NPCs around me at any given time. Admittedly there was a slight bit of screen tearing at the Bazaar location but given the density of the crowd in that area, it is slightly forgivable. Overall though, it runs tremendously well, right up there with the likes of Horizon Forbidden West in terms of outright performance.

Another area that I was pleasantly surprised by was the Connect platform. This time around all the achievements and trophies simply... worked. For a completionist, this is a welcome relief after the horror show we had with Valhalla's glitching achievements, some of which even uncompleted themselves months after being achieved.

So with all this praise, there has to come a negative, and it is regrettably the Store. Prior to the release of the game, there had been multiple media reports that the game would contain no micro-transactions. It's therefore sad to see them once more present in Mirage, though at time of writing there are appreciably a lot less cosmetic packs than the sheer number we saw within Valhalla. One of my particular bugbears is the store item unlock for map collectibles, which always annoys me with each game release. Fortunately, players can obtain the same maps within the game world this time around, which is an acceptable compromise. Still though, it is galling to see this tacky financial structure still being pushed on a standard (or even reduced) priced single player game.

Nitpicks of Negativity


When you consider the controls of Mirage, you really need to take it with the context of knowing that it is a modified version of the existing Valhalla systems. With this in mind, the parkour is fundamentally not that different from the previous game, though there are some tweaks. Namely, it's a touch faster, with some animations slightly sped up. As a result, sometimes you can get a jarring effect where the motions do not exactly overlap smoothly. That all being said, the lower height design of the Baghdad city certainly helps the parkour opportunities come more freely than some higher scale western buildings which we saw in Valhalla. Admittedly there are few little nuances added, like the poles you can lean across gaps, and even some flair side ejects, but overall there is no particular revolution on the parkour system here, which may well have to wait for the next iteration of the Anvil engine. Hopefully ninjas can bring us some much needed acrobatics. Fortunately, we are still pretty freely able to climb upon most surfaces in Mirage, though I appreciate that they added a few climbing puzzles to the likes of viewpoint towers, which serves as a nice callback to similar puzzles within the older games.

As we touched upon in the Stealth section, melee combat really does feel like the tool of last resort to Basim. The contrast to the last few games is pretty steep, with Basim visibly slower in movement and mechanics really feeling pared back to basics. This is in part due to the fact that we're restricted to just swords and daggers, which is quite a step backwards from the huge array of weapon choice that we've become accustomed to. To be honest I really missed the bow for one example, as I would regularly use it to trim down the guard lookouts from a great distance. Reducing the weapon choice for future games is not necessarily a bad thing though, if we can get some refinement in this approach. An Assassin carrying an 8-foot axe is not exactly hiding in plain sight after all. Weaponry that can be concealed to a degree makes the most sense, so for Codename Red for example you could easily have a short bow, shuriken (throwing knives proxy), daggers, grappling hook (for quick ascent) and a short sword.

Moving back to Basim though, I found that when I was ultimately pushed into combat it usually turned into a waiting game. With a comparatively lower variety of enemy types here versus the last few games, most guards will parry your standard attacks, leaving you to become reactionary to whatever they are throwing at you. This will typically be an 'unblockable' attack which you cannot parry, forcing you to use your dodge instead. When you add more guards to the fight, you quickly find yourself in a circle of repetitive dodging looking for an opening. This would be fine, except that the stamina system usually depletes and pulls you out of this dodge dance pretty quickly.

I complained about the stamina resource on previous games, and I still feel that it holds things back too much. This is not only in regards to combat, but also in simple traversal as well. I lost count of the amount of times I was running from guards, only to find that Basim had suddenly stopped sprinting for whatever reason, and my attempt to re-toggle it continually failing. You even see this on the mounts as well, where your horse will typically run out of stamina in around 20 seconds or so, leaving you crawling along at barely walking speed. In short, I understand why the resource is presently there (if nothing more than for realism), but I do think we need to have a serious look at either heavily improving its efficiency or possibly even removing it all together. Perhaps then the melee combat will feel a bit more brisk and fun, but certainly compared to Valhalla and especially Odyssey, it definitely feels like a major step backwards in enjoyment to me.


Source: JorRaptor

Let's get this out of the way first. It staggers me that there is no hood toggle option in Mirage, after years of fans complaining to get one in Valhalla, only for it to be removed again by the next game. Many fans have commented as to how the hoods are synonymous with the Assassin's Creed brand, so I do find it a bit strange why this toggle was omitted. Admittedly, some players like to leave their hoods down, but it was the agency of player choice in the matter that fans liked. On the plus side, at least the hood stays up in conversations, combat and swimming this time around.

This all being said, customization in general is really pretty poor here. Talismans remind me of the swinging charms you add to rifles in shooters, and are not particularly remarkable, to the point I ultimately left them unequipped. There are only a handful of outfits, with few dye options amongst them. The costumes are certainly a good addition, but equally are a poor substitute for the appearance options we had in Valhalla, that ultimately allowed us to distinct our appearance down to individual armor slots. It was also a little disappointing that in certain cutscenes, Basim is reverted back to his standard white Alamut initiate outfit, despite whatever outfit/dye/costume you are wearing. To be blunt, it's a real step backwards from what we had, and again at the expense of player choice – something we should be trying to avoid.

I've already touched on the restricted weaponry on offer; therefore it is also a bit sad that when you upgrade weapons there are no visual changes applied to them. This is also the same for the armor pieces alas. It's a shame as it used to be fun in the likes of Valhalla to upgrade items, and see what variations you might get to your shiny new weapon.


Source: LeoKRogue

To be fair to Ubisoft, they did state upfront that Mirage would not have a playable Modern Day section. This was a disappointment for fans that were looking forward to a continuation of the “resurrected” Basim story from the conclusion of Valhalla.

On the one hand, the absence is understandable. Mirage was an expansion that was getting upgraded to a full game, therefore it was probably a bit beyond the standard scope with a constrained development time. However, if we previously gave the likes of Unity and Syndicate criticism for also not having a playable modern day section, the same rationale has to be applied to Mirage.

This is perhaps the last time we can levy this complaint though. From Codename Red onwards, the Infinity platform will become the home of all new Modern Day material. In terms of framing narrative, we can but hope that the Modern Day story continues to receive adjacent updates alongside each subsequent game release, but that may not be the case.

Certainly, what we got in Mirage was pretty disappointing. It amounts to a pretty vague cutscene narrated by William Miles, to an unknown person, who is evidently not Basim. There is not much to glean from it, as it is mainly a primer for the historical story of Basim, but it does leave us with a warning of darker times ahead for the Assassin Brotherhood. What exactly that could be, we simply don't know.

Or do we? Following the release of Mirage, some fans have located video and audio files within the game data that indicates that there was an unused/cut ending cinematic at one point. More on that in a moment...

Conclusions & Analysis

Source: SliderV2

So, after the narrative events of Mirage, what comes next? Well, Basim's historical story effectively continues a decade later within Valhalla. He then remains within the Yggdrasil facility from 878 AD until the year 2020 AD. As such, we already know that he cannot be the protagonist of Codename Red or Hexe for example, as both take place hundreds of years after the events of Valhalla. In terms of his Modern Day story, we know that he still seeks a way to resurrect his Isu lover Aletheia, and that he has joined back with the Assassins to achieve his aims. Will we see Basim's story continue within the Infinity platform? Possibly.

If you want my honest assessment though, I have a suspicion that the Modern Day is effectively heading for an overhaul in its direction. I've written quite a few articles now on why I think we should be heading for a futuristic setting within the franchise, and on the evidence of the unused cutscene from Mirage, it certainly feels like that is the plan.

It certainly offers Ubisoft a lot more freedom in their storytelling as well. If you site the “Modern Day” several hundred years into the future, then all of the dates before it become a theoretically playable past. That too would include our current present, in 2023. As such, if Ubisoft wanted to continue looking at Basim, they could quite easily do so. To my mind though, a fresh start is long overdue and exactly what the Modern Day narrative needs, especially if we get to create our own characters to take forwards through the future of the Infinity platform.

Whilst it is technically not canonical at the time of writing, the aforementioned unused Mirage cutscene may yet be implemented in a future patch in some way. Either way, on the evidence of its content, it certainly feels like it was a teaser of what is to come with Infinity. It also gives us some interesting points to consider:

  • The 21st century is “ancient”, therefore exactly how far into the future has Abstergo survived and thrived to?
  • What is “The Great Shift” that occurred in the 21st century? Was it a global pole shift? Has humanity been wiped out and survived only in bunkers along with AI? Or is it perhaps the point that the Templars finally defeated the Assassin Brotherhood in their eternal war? Certainly the way they describe William Miles as one of the last Assassin Mentors does seem to suggest that they have been wiped out. Perhaps it was even at the hands of Basim himself?
  • What is our role as players in this new futuristic environment? The Animus Operators appear to be searching for precursor genetic memory, termed as a memory ghost here. Presumably Abstergo are still looking into a way of restoring the Isu and their technology even long into the future. Traditionally we have always sided with the Brotherhood, therefore could our own Abstergo employee happen upon the teachings of the Creed, and with belief in them inadvertently reboot the Brotherhood within the future?

The latter point would certainly give an impetus to continue 'researching' Assassins through history, and by token the Isu for any advantage that could be gleaned from their technology. A good friend of mine also pointed out that the codename for the Infinity Multiplayer project is none other than Invictus – latin meaning “unconquered”. Certainly, the two factions have faced complete adversity many times throughout history, yet they always seem to return eventually. It all certainly makes a lot of sense both narratively, and with what we know that Ubisoft are presently working on. I personally cannot wait to see what the Infinity platform brings to the table for us all.


On a separate topic, I did also want to point out a fun little easter egg that is present within Mirage. In the south-eastern area of the world map you will find a set of ruins known as Seleucia-on-the-Tigris, where you will find the Lost Book titled Kitab al-Azif. This is actually a fictional book more commonly known as the Necronomicon, which comes from the Cthulhu Mythos, a universe primarily created by the author H.P. Lovecraft. Around the area of the ruins, you can also find notes written by someone who was haunted by the power of the book, the dark forces it evokes, and even a reference to a primordial being known as Yog-Sothoth. The latter, within the Lovecraftian lore, belongs to a race of “Outer Gods”, some of which are referred to as Eldritch creatures. Indeed, there is even a couple of talismans you can equip that depict some of these entities, which often resemble squids with their tentacles.

Why am I specifically mentioning this? Well, of course, it could just be a fun easter egg. But what if it is something more? For those who regularly follow my articles, I have speculated before about evidence of another race of entities existing prior to the Isu. Certainly, some kind of primordial being that exists outside of time and space may certainly fit that description, and given how Assassin's Creed likes to take pre-existing mythical gods and turn them into Isu, it would not be completely out of the question for yet another interpretation of a god to be adapted into the franchise, as indeed this Yog-Sothoth could be.

Admittedly, I am likely over-reaching here. But I leave you with this curious oddity. Within the Cthulhu Mythos there is also an Aletheia. As with the greek goddess of the same name, she is dedicated to truth. However, as a means of deception she's also been known to take on the form of Yog-Sothoth. Given the relationship between Basim and Aletheia in the wider Assassin's Creed universe, this certainly makes you wonder what the implications could be. Who... or what... exactly is Basim attempting to resurrect? Certainly, if anyone is going to know how to call upon dark forces, you'd have to keep in mind the proposed “witches” coming in Codename Hexe.


To conclude this review then. In short, considering it was their first foray into being the lead studio on an Assassin's Creed title, Ubisoft Bordeaux did a terrific job with Mirage. When you appreciate they are a smaller sized team, and that they only finished the Wrath of the Druids expansion to Valhalla in May 2021, to turn around a full Assassin's Creed game in only two years is very impressive indeed, even with support from other Ubisoft studios. Given the widespread attention that Mirage's shorter gameplay experience has garnered, I personally hope it opens the door for more of the smaller sized Ubisoft studios to continue to produce these lower scale Assassin's Creed titles. Frankly, I much preferred the more condensed and shorter title that I found in Mirage. Looking at some online polls, it seems many of you do too.

I know that many fans have cried out for an Assassin's Creed 1 remake for many years, but I suspect Ubisoft avoided doing so knowing that Mirage was coming. This honestly feels like the closest you are ever going to get to that remake, and it certainly brings back much of the nostalgia to that original game, but also some of its challenging nuances as well. I do find it a little amusing as to how the fandom and media can flip on concepts though. I distinctly remember many complaining that the traditional formula of Assassin's Creed was becoming stale and dated by the point of Syndicate, and that was ultimately what pushed the franchise into the RPG route in the first place. Yet now we are cheering for the old ways to return. Some irony there I feel.

This all being said though, there are clearly two distinct camps of fans now. Those who prefer the oldest stealth heavy games, and indeed those who prefer the RPG model. Is there a point somewhere between that both camps could be pleased? Honestly, I feel Mirage got close to achieving this. It has some genuinely good ideas and improvements to the overall formula, most notably on the stealth side which I truly hope is brought forward to the next game. However, I do feel it also pared back on many useful decent features that newer fans had come to expect from the RPGs – namely player freedoms in the respect of gender select, customization, and weapon choice. To my mind, on the evidence of Mirage, there is definitely potential for such a “halfway house” title that could try to combine all of these concepts to the one game. Perhaps we will even see it within Infinity in the next few years.

I award Assassin's Creed Mirage a score of 7 out of 10.

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