Assassin’s Creed Mirage has just been released after the series spent the last 10 years strongly focusing on in-depth RPG mechanics at the expense of actually feeling like an assassin. Assassin’s Creed Mirage seems to have done the unthinkable and made some decent changes to the formula. So let’s take a leap of faith into Assassin’s Creed Mirage and find out if it is worth your time!
Basim’s Story in Assassin’s Creed Mirage
Assassin’s Creed Mirage rewinds the clock to tell us the beginnings of Basim Ibn Is’haq, who we first met in Valhalla, and his journey into the brotherhood, or Hidden Ones. I really enjoyed the story here, as unlike Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Valhalla in particular, it doesn’t intertwine a whole string of narrative questlines. The focus is instead on investigating the Order, whilst learning more about Basim and the Hidden Ones along the way. Honestly, the narrative is really intriguing and I felt myself quickly getting invested in the characters. Even though Mirage does start out a little slow, once it gets going, it gets addictive!
Assasin’s Creed Mirage makes you feel like an assassin again!
The cumbersome RPG mechanics from Origins, Odyssey and Valhalla have been significantly altered to provide a much smoother experience. No longer will you have to level up your assassin to be able to use your hidden blade effectively, as almost every enemy can be taken out with a traditional assassination. I am so glad that they reverted to this style, as I was really starting to tire of the grind to get myself levelled up enough just to assassinate certain targets. Now I am aware that some of the previous entries had an option that allowed you to enable instant kill on any assassination attempt. However, when they add it as an extra feature, it kind of feels like cheating.
Combat has also seen some significant improvement this time round. It is still using the modern shoulder button approach that we have become well acquainted with. But with the added bonus of the return of the counter kill. It is finally back and in full effect, though it is not as easy to pull off as it was with Ezio. Instead of just chipping away at large health bars, the challenge now comes from learning how to tackle each type of enemy. This feels much more true to what Assassin’s Creed should be, even when it can get a little frustrating, because on the flip side of this… Once you are surrounded by enemies, chances are you are going to die. So, you have to be vigilant before deciding to rush in head first. Which again, I really like, but I am aware that some may not.
Some really smart design choices in Mirage!
Mirage does not boast a large map, however, with the level of detail in what is available, I don’t see a problem with this! With the likes of Odyssey in particular, I found myself getting a bit bored with the significant length of the traversal between locations and objectives, which almost led to me not finishing the game. However, with Mirage, the map is big enough to provide a variety of locations to explore, without making you feel like you have to travel for hours to get anywhere.
One other big difference between Mirage and the previous Assassin’s Creed titles is in the items. Whilst items, weapons and outfits do have basic stats and/or buffs, due to the absence of a leveling system, you won’t find yourself grinding away just to be able to use that sword you just happened upon. Instead, the benefits of the different weapons are the unique buffs that they provide, rather than just dealing more damage. This again just shows that the developers wanted us all to feel like a skilled assassin!
The fascinating open world
Assassin’s Creed Mirage is easily the most stunning game in the series. Character models and landscape design have seen a decent upgrade. However, you can still tell that this is an Assassin’s Creed title. Some of the character models can look a bit strange and the graphics still aren’t the prettiest out there. I didn’t mind this too much though, as it means that it isn’t taking up a stupid amount of space on my PS5, unlike a recent Star Wars title… Instead, it currently sits there using up only a measly 33gb of space.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a welcome change to the recent trend of AC titles. The narrative is really intriguing, and the gameplay feels reminiscent of older titles whilst keeping more of the challenge of recent entries. It may not be the largest game in the series, but it’s fascinating open world and unique stories will keep you hooked for hours on end!
By Samuel Incze – Reviewed on PS5
Assassin’s Creed Mirage is absolutely phenomenal! The story does start out a little slow, but once it picks up, it becomes one of the more interesting narratives in the franchise. Ditching the cumbersome RPG stylings of Valhalla, Odyssey & Origins, Mirage will finally make you feel like an Assassin again! The map may not be as large as some of the earlier entries in the series, however, this only serves as a benefit as you won’t be traversing through a mass of unused space just to get to your next objective. Overall, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is the title that many AC fans have been waiting for, and serves, to some degree, as a bit of a nostalgia trip as well.
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