When I first saw Assassins Creed: Mirage trailer, I thought to myself that are we going to get another origin/AC2 style game or will it be like another fetch XP progression based like gameplay experience. Glad to say instead of XP based progression, Mirage is a narrative driven game which is linear in fashion in terms of story progression.
Mirage takes place almost nine centuries after AC Origins, at a time where the Assassins are still known as the Hidden Ones. Mirage explores the story of Basim Ibn Is’haq backstory as a young thief growing up in the 9th century Baghdad to him joining the Hidden Ones. Even though we saw Basim on the previous game, Valhalla where he followed the Ravenclan in their Viking invasion of England, Mirage can be fully appreciated without prior knowledge of Valhalla’s context which is much appreciated.
Gameplay and Optimization:
Gameplay wise, mirage runs exactly like origin did with little improvements to parkour which feels even smoother now. There are areas which will give players AC2 feels and now the focus has been shifted to staying hidden and players using stealth are rewarded handsomely during missions.
Mirage may be one of the few Assassins Creed games to run very well pre-launch. There is also a day one patch which will release that would further improve things but from my experience, I didn’t face any major issue or crashes on my playthrough which makes me appreciate the work put in on optimization.
I played on my PC running an AMD Ryzen 7800X3D with 32GB of DDR5 Ram clocked at 6000mhz with an RTX 4080 Amp extreme from Zotac. Yes, this is a high-end build but I was able to get almost 150+ fps on almost every area at maxed out settings at 1440p resolution which says a lot. Entry level builds won’t have much of an issue to run this game provided it’s on medium-high settings.
Open World Elements:
Pickpocketing exists in mirage and you can come across valuables as well which can be sold as trinkets to the trader for more credits. Credits known as Dirham are used to refill ammo such as daggers and smoke bombs and other tools.
Weapons can also be upgraded by using upgrade materials such as Leather, steel ingot and other materials to improve the damage and rarity of such weapons by visiting the local blacksmith. You can also visit the local Taylor to upgrade your gear and outfit.
If you are found stealing or killing, then the nearby civilians will call for help from the guards and a notoriety meter will turn on during which you will be hunted by the guards. In order to remove or lessen the meter tiers (Three thresholds exists), you can remove wanted posters nearby to decrease such threshold tiers, first one being the lowest to third one calling for Elite Skakiriyya guards wearing tough armor to hunt you down.
There are also favor tokens which can be bribed to reduce your notoriety levels as well as pay musicians nearby to attract guards while you infiltrate inside their places. You can also pay a group of mercenaries to attack nearby military guards which helps to simplify infiltration. These favor tokens can be acquired by doing side activities in all over Baghdad.
Other activities include World contracts which reward you with Favor tokens and upgrade materials and also there are mysterious shards scattered all across the world, collecting them will unlock special set of Isu gear.
The world map isn’t as big as Valhalla which helps focus on a closely put linear story and player progression. As I mentioned earlier, Mirage is not built in XP Loop, instead is a more linear and story driven experience. Here is an area or part of the map below
Like other games in the franchise, Skill points can be obtained by completing main story and other open world activities which can be used to level up your character. Power is obtained by reaching new Assassin’s ranks, representing the power of Basim which can be obtained by completing the different arcs of the main story. Eagle vision is also present here like previous games which helps you scout locations for secret entrances, treasures and various other opportunities.
You can also fast travel between unlocked areas once you have synchronized from the top of the tallest tower in every area like previous games making your journey convenient.
Mounts can be used to roam around the map freely with ease with an option to follow the road if you wish to do that automates the experience to reach your objective at your own convenience.
And yes you can pet the cat in Mirage
Speaking of level design, the whole of baghdad is beautiful with lush environment filled with greenery and cities with detailed monuments and outskirts full of sand and closely knitted smaller houses and water bodies.
Road and city textures are very detailed with major monuments having beautiful sculptures
My only grip with Mirage is with facial animations which look dated in 2023 and in some activities look way worse that it usually is. Enough work hasn’t been put in when it comes to facial animations or even faces in particular not those previous games had it better. Some Cutscenes run at 30 FPS locked which hinders the fast-paced immersive gaming experience.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Ubisoft for sending us a PC code for the review
Assassin's Creed: Mirage PC Review
Dated facial animations aside, Mirage has brought back the Assassins Creed we loved by bringing in and improvising on stealth mechanics and rewarding players for the same. The details present in the environment making the whole of Baghdad lived in and the linear progression of the story instead of XP based makes Mirage a good entry in the series for both the newcomers as well as the beloved fans of the franchise.