Assassin’s Creed Mirage Returns the Series to Its Stealthy Origins

Ubisoft's upcoming title aims to revive the series' classic stealth mechanics while delving into uncharted territory.

By GamesRecon

After a hands-on preview of the soon-to-be-released Assassin’s Creed Mirage, it’s evident that Ubisoft aims to bring the series back to its roots while pushing boundaries. The game, which will be released in October, successfully combines updated gameplay with a nod to the 2007 original Assassin’s Creed game.

A Blast from the Past

Mirage takes the series back to where it all began—well, sort of. It’s a step back in time, set a decade before the events of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and several centuries before the very first Assassin’s Creed. The game centers on the popular character Basim, exploring his rise from street thief to master assassin.

Setting the Stage

Instead of the oft-visited Holy Land, Mirage sets its stage in Baghdad’s bustling streets and rooftops while also reviving classic locations like Alamut—the Persian fortress familiar to fans of Altaïr and Ezio. It’s a glorious blend of the new and the old, with narrative threads tying into the “Hidden Ones” plotline that began with Assassin’s Creed Origins.

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Where Shadows Lie

The gameplay mechanics have changed drastically, especially with the emphasis on stealth being brought back. Recent titles in the series shifted towards a more combat-centric approach, often making stealth feel more like an option than a necessity. In Mirage, the emphasis is back on sneaking around, and it’s not just for the sake of nostalgia. Attempting to hack and slash your way through enemies is a surefire way to kill yourself, as we learned the hard way during our gameplay session. This concept aligns more with the core of what an Assassin’s Creed game should be about.

Ubisoft has also moved away from the sprawling open worlds of its recent offerings, opting for a tighter, more urban setting reminiscent of earlier titles like Assassin’s Creed 1, 2, Unity, and Syndicate. While the game still features a giant sandbox, the part we could play shifted the emphasis to urban discovery and removed naval gameplay.

A Gentle Restart? Not Quite

The series went through a soft reboot with Assassin’s Creed Origins in 2017, redefining itself yet again with Odyssey and then arguably stagnating with Valhalla. Mirage doesn’t feel like another reboot but more like a recalibration. It’s a slight variation on the tried-and-true that manages to feel new while retaining the essence of the original.

As we approach Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s October release date, it’s clear that Ubisoft is taking some calculated risks with this installment. By marrying the classic stealth focus with the expansive storytelling the series is known for, Mirage may breathe new life into the franchise. It’s a return to basics that we hope will appeal to both diehards and newbies. And maybe, just maybe, it will finally fulfill the promise set by the original Assassin’s Creed game over a decade ago.