Assassin’s Creed Mirage is the latest game that has joined the Assassin’s Creed series. When it was announced, I got all excited because I am a huge AC fan; I even have a tattoo! It takes place in Baghdad and the surrounding areas, including some small towns, and is set 11 years before AC: Valhalla, explaining all about Basim and how he became a Hidden One.
As I loaded up the game and started playing, I was a little disappointed with the graphics because I was playing it on the PlayStation 5, and yet they looked like they were for the PlayStation 4. This didn't affect how I felt about the game in general, but I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed. The game runs smoothly with just a small amount of what looks like glitches: clothes flapping about, or donkeys walking into things, normal open-world game issues that don’t really affect how the game runs. However, I did have two issues with people getting stuck, so I had to save and reload the game to get them unstuck so that I could continue.
In the world itself, while not on a mission, you get a variety of things to do, like collecting Gear Chests, Lost Books, Enigmas, Dervis’ Artifacts, Historical Sites, Mysterious Shards, and Tales of Baghdad. I do admit while trying to do some missions as well as some contracts (side quests), I would often get a little distracted when I saw a Gear Chest or Historical Site icon on the compass that is in the top centre of the screen.
If you want to leave Baghdad and go somewhere else, you’ll need to ride a horse or a camel. I’ve never ridden a camel, but this game didn’t make me want to, as it makes noise for every single step, which got a bit annoying. At least it has auto navigation, so it will follow a road and let you rest your hands.
You also have an eagle, named Enkidu, which you can use to scout out areas before you go in so you know where to avoid. But it can be shot down by a marksman if you don’t eliminate them! Enkidu does come back, but it takes a while.
Since you play the game by killing people and going into restricted areas, you build up notoriety. The only way to remove it is by pulling down Wanted Posters or bribing a Mundadi, just like in Assassin’s Creed II; otherwise, you end up being chased around town by some angry-looking guards. When you do get into a fight, you can see the enemy's health bars so that you know how many more hits they will take to kill. Combat felt easier than I thought it would be, but I’m not complaining as I was playing on Easy!
As you progress through the game, it is always a good idea to upgrade your Outfit, Sword, and Dagger. You can go around collecting Gear Chests, which will get you either a new weapon, outfit, or schematic. Schematics are the important one, as they will help you create upgrades. Basim doesn’t level up in the normal way, but you get skill points for completing story missions, which let you unlock new skills.
One thing that Mirage has added that is super helpful when it comes to avoiding fights is how it shows where guards are looking. When you go into Eagle Vision, there's a beam of red light coming out of their eyes, so you will know even from a distance and not have to guess which way they are facing. Basim also has some tools to help you avoid combat, such as smoke bombs and blowdarts. The effects can be upgraded and changed, but you don’t have everything straight away. If you find yourself walking around and needing to buy a few extra throwing knives or elixirs (health potions) and notice you’re running short on some coins, just go and pickpocket some people for spare change. Pickpocketing, however, has a mini-game where you have to time it just right to succeed, and if you don’t, well, they shout, “Guards, there's a thief”. Luckily, in the settings, you have the option to turn this off, or you can wait till you upgrade your skills, one of which lets you get better at pickpocketing, only sometimes using the mini-game.
Whilst you are running around town, you may come across some cats, and yes, you can pick them up and hear them purring so adorable! Which I just had to give it a go.
I enjoyed Assassin’s Creed Mirage a lot, despite the dated graphics, and it took me roughly 30 hours to finish. That’s the main story and all of the side stuff that I could find. I am already excited for when it releases to see if they bring out any new weapons, outfits, or missions. I am even wanting to go and play it all over again. In fact, I might just do that now…
Assassin's Creed Mirage (Reviewed on PlayStation 5)
Outstanding. Why do you not have this game already?
Nice to see another Assassin’s Creed game to explain yet another exciting story on another character, well done Ubisoft.