What sets Assassin’s Creed games apart is their ability to adapt to various genres within their lore. Starting as historical murder simulators, the franchise evolved, introducing memorable characters including Ezio Auditore and thrilling sea battles in Black Flag, set during the golden age of piracy. Following the trend of open-world RPGs like The Witcher 3 and Skyrim, recent Assassin’s Creed titles have become epic masterpieces, recreating Ancient Egypt, Greece, and the Viking era. However, this expansion had somewhat diluted the core Assassin’s identity.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage aims to bring the series back to its roots, set in ninth-century Baghdad. It tells the rags-to-assassin story of Basim Ibn Ishaq, familiar to those who played Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Basim’s mysterious past and character, with the potential to shape the franchise’s future, make him a compelling protagonist. Mirage explores his journey from a street thief to a high-ranking Assassin, pitting him against the Order of the Ancients, the predecessors of the Templars.
While Mirage‘s storyline is straightforward and lacks standout moments, it retains the typical Assassin’s Creed progression. The presence of Master Roshan, voiced by Shohreh Aghdashloo, adds depth to the narrative. Yet, the story primarily serves as a backdrop for assassinations.
Mirage feels like a return to Assassin’s Creed‘s roots, divided into two aspects: the large RPG formula and the “black box” assassination concept seen in earlier games. The smaller, detailed overworld encourages open-ended assassinations of the Order of the Ancients members.
In stealth-oriented gameplay, combat is perilous, pushing players to rely on shadows and gadgets. Mirage revives the beloved stealth and parkour elements that had been downplayed in recent RPG-focused titles.
Despite its smaller map (compared to Odyssey or Origins), Baghdad is beautifully crafted, bustling with people to pickpocket, emphasising parkour mobility. Mirage may seem like a cautious step, but it holds promise for the series’ future, offering a smaller, intimate experience that classic Assassin’s Creed fans will appreciate, filling the parkour assassin-sized void in hearts.