Return to the past and above all to the Middle East for Ubisoft’s most famous saga
16 years have passed since the debut of the Assassin’s Creed series in 2007. A franchise that has gone through multiple evolutions, moving from the historic stealth formula to vast open worlds and RPG systems. However, the divide between traditional fans and those who appreciate the new mechanics seems to be marked. Assassin’s Creed Mirage manages to combine the classic charm of Assassin’s Creed with innovative elements: the protagonist, Basim Ibn Ishaq, already present in Valhalla, guides us through a vivid Baghdad of the 9th century: although he is the protagonist of the plot, he is the city itself to steal the show: the setting evokes nostalgia, recalling the very first chapter of the series, the one with Altair as the protagonist. The historical reconstruction of Baghdad is meticulous, with details that reflect the developers’ attention to creating an authentic world. The vastness of the map, which extends beyond the Round City, offers a myriad of activities. From collecting ancient manuscripts to completing missions for city factions. The gameplay, focused on assassination, parkour and stealth, is a return to the roots: however, the mechanics have been adapted, eliminating RPG elements such as character leveling, for a greater focus on skills. Combat, based on attacks and parries, requires precision and attention. While it is possible to engage enemies openly, stealth tactics are heavily encouraged. Tools like throwing knives and smoke bombs can be upgraded, offering a variety of approaches to missions.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage responds to a long-standing fan demand for a return to origins, but raises a fundamental question: is it always worth getting what you want? This new chapter does not bring significant innovations to the series, but rather offers a set of elements already presented previously: although some of these work harmoniously, in other circumstances the plot is repetitive, despite a reduced overall duration. Some additions, such as the return of the code that fills pages as you progress, have been introduced, but without significantly impacting the gaming experience. Not only that: the theft mechanic, once central to the series, now seems to have lost its relevance. Additionally, many years have passed since the very first Assassin’s Creed episodes, and while Assassin’s Creed II’s parkour was considered cutting-edge at the time, current standards have evolved considerably. In conclusion, Assassin’s Creed Mirage appears as an attempt to relive the nostalgia of previous chapters, but without adding distinctive or innovative elements.
Format: PC, PS4, PS5 (tested version), Xbox One, Xbox Series publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Ubisoft Bordeaux Vote: 7/10