Celebrating 15 Years
Assassin’s Creed is an absolute massive franchise spanning across the course of 15 years and multiple iterations through those years. In that time frame, Assassin’s Creed has taken us to many different locations meeting all kinds of characters across different eras in time. In the course of these 15 years, we’ve seen the franchise grow not only in its audience but in scope. For the past three iterations, the franchise took on the role of becoming an open-world RPG jam-packed with content. But does Assassin’s Creed: Mirage follow this same suit?
I used to love the AC franchise up until Origins was released in 2017. Not from the lack of trying. I was there for AC Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla on day one. Out of those three in the span of six years, I never reached the credits to any of them. I felt the charm and joy of the franchise fell away and in its place became filled with bloated content. I could never say the games were bad as they have seen an audience that loves these types of games. However, for me, Assassin’s Creed was no longer a franchise for me.
When looking at How Long to Beat for the franchise Assassin’s Creed went from averaging around 20 hours to complete. To over 60+ hours in Valhalla to complete. This is where I want to talk a little bit about my history and where I fell off with the franchise.
That is until Assassin’s Creed: Mirage
When Assassin’s Creed: Mirage was first announced I won’t lie I was a bit intrigued. Being announced back in September of 2022. Touting that this game will be a smaller iteration ranging from 15-20 hours for the main campaign. Celebrating the series 15 years. Paying homage to the very first Assassin’s Creed game and at a lower price point? I was sold on Mirage at that moment.
Back to its roots?
This question is on everyone’s mind. I can answer it with a Yes and a No. Assassin’s Creed: Mirage perfectly blends the more tighter condensed style of the original Assassin’s Creed games. With the mix of the updated controls and fighting scheme from the more current iterations. On top of that the scale of Mirage is smaller and more focused.
There are still tons of collectibles to gather and areas to explore. But I can thoroughly say I enjoyed the smaller scale of this game. No longer is there a never-ending quest log to overwhelm the player. It is easy to keep track and stay focused on the task at hand. This is by far a positive for me.
Less is More
Mirage’s structure is simple to follow. Gone is the never-ending quest log and in its place is a web-like structure with missions that are available from the bureaus across the games world. In that web there will be tasks for you to complete items for you to discover to lead you to your next assassination point.
Some of these tasks will be to eavesdrop on local civilians or guards to listen to their conversations giving you information on your next mark. Running errands for vendors to provide you with information on where to go next. In this journey and gameplay loop. You will complete these assortments of tasks to expose your next mark. Once you do and find them it is up to the player how to tackle their assassination.
There will be choices you can make. You can either hire mercenaries to follow you along your path to help dispatch any enemies that come after you once you’re exposed. Find someone on the inside to assist you through locked doors. Or use a disguise to close the distance between you and your next target. The feeling of choice is back and up to the player to decide how they want to proceed.
The Perfect Blend of Old and New
Now Mirage doesn’t fully go back to its roots but it is close enough to what we will get to a classic Assassin’s Creed game in 2023. A few of the other things that I enjoyed were the setting and main protagonist. Baghdad is an absolutely beautiful setting to explore. The city is packed with civilians littering the streets, heights to overcome, vantage points to be synchronized and so much more. There was more than a few instances where I just stopped what I was doing and just took in the scenery. The developers definitely put in work making this world a joy to explore.
While the scale of the city is much smaller in comparison to the franchise’s past releases. There are still four districts to explore all with their own set of missions, side activities, and items to collect across all four.
Basim while not as charming as other protagonists (I don’t believe any character can top Ezio.) He still has a lot of heart. Coming from being a street thief and wanting to score favor with The Hidden Ones. Stealing a relic for them is where his journey begins and through each target taken down his rank across The Hidden Ones grows.
The Journey to being an Assassin
Along this journey, Basim has an array of tools at his disposal to take out his foes. Including of course the assassin’s signature hidden blade. The player also has an assortment of tools as well. They range from Throwing Knives, Poison dart, and Smoke bombs. All tools and weapons as well as your assassin suit can be upgraded through different means.
These upgrades allow an assortment of effects depending on what you are upgrading. They can range from your extended range of the throwing knife to your poison dart having a longer effect on its intended target. You can also upgrade your armor and weapons to do more damage.
Also, be careful of your surroundings. One thing that I noticed is that the civilians in the game will actually rat you out. If you openly assassinate a guard or get caught pickpocketing someone the NPC’s will actually alert guards of the deeds you commit. Another nice touch I noticed was that even when you run through the map the NPC’s will react to you and call out for guards.
It really adds another risk in your journey and really pushes you to think about your actions or you will find yourself being hunted down by a squad of guards.
While Assassin’s Creed: Mirage does not push the franchise forward in any crazy stretch of the mean. It is a great smaller addition to the franchise that for me is very welcomed. The smaller scope and scale and the balance between the new combat style with a throwback to the original game’s mission structure. Mirage will be a pleasure to be played by old and newcomers of the franchise.
Logan spent 17 hours digging into the world of Assassin’s Creed: Mirage. Dispatching all foes across Baghdad. All while unlocking 24/50 achievements. The review code was provided by the developers for the purpose of this review.