Assassin's Creed Mirage: Unveiling the Refined Art of Stealthassassins-creed-mirage,stealth,refined-art,video-games,gaming
Assassin's Creed Mirage: Unveiling the Refined Art of Stealth

Assassin’s Creed Mirage: Unveiling the Refined Art of Stealth

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Assassin’s Creed Mirage: A Stripped-Back Stab in the Right Direction

A Focused Return to the Series’ Roots

Ubisoft’s latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, takes players back to ninth-century Baghdad, offering a more focused and streamlined experience. The game sheds the excessive extras that have bloated recent entries, leaving you with just a sword and dagger, emphasizing stealth and assassination over large-scale battles and open-world distractions.

The Storyline and Morality

Set in a time preceding Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Mirage follows the journey of a pickpocket-turned-hitman-in-training named Basim Ibn Ishaq. After a failed palace burglary, Basim is forced to flee his village and align himself with the Hidden Ones, a group fighting against the Order, a secretive club trying to infiltrate Baghdad’s powerful elite. While both groups commit extrajudicial murders, Ubisoft emphasizes that the assassinations carried out on behalf of the people by the Hidden Ones are considered honorable, while those performed by the Order are seen as villainous.

At this point, one might begin to question the game’s morality, as the protagonist is not only an assassin but also capable of pickpocketing and robbing innocent people. However, it is important not to delve too deeply into the game’s moral compass, as it is ultimately a work of fiction. The distinction made by Ubisoft between “murderers in hoods” (the player’s character) being good and “murderers in masks” (the Order) being bad seems to be a narrative device meant to create clear lines between the protagonists and antagonists, rather than making a profound ethical statement.

Returning to Basics

Assassin’s Creed Mirage takes a step back, drawing inspiration from the original 2007 game, both in terms of its Middle Eastern setting and simplified toolset. While some may view this as a regressive move, the game benefits greatly from its tighter focus. Recent entries in the series became bogged down with extraneous features, such as gear upgrades and large-scale battles, diluting the core assassin experience.

Stealth Gameplay and Combat

Ubisoft makes a conscious effort to guide players towards stealth gameplay in Mirage. Combat has been streamlined, discarding the plethora of weapons introduced in previous games and leaving players with only a sword and dagger. Engaging with multiple enemies simultaneously is still possible, but players must exercise caution, as health does not automatically regenerate and can be quickly depleted by just a few hits.

A notable addition to the game is the Assassin’s Focus ability, which allows players to pause time and target nearby enemies for silent kills. However, this power can only be used when the player remains undetected. This further reinforces the game’s emphasis on stealth, as using the ability requires players to execute unseen assassinations. While the grand battles and raids of previous games have been eliminated, players now have the option to hire help within the city to create distractions and aid in covert missions.

A More Accessible Experience

In returning to its roots, Ubisoft has crafted a more focused Assassin’s Creed experience that appeals to players with limited time. By setting the action within a single city and its surrounding areas, the development team has been able to populate the game world with captivating snapshots of life in ninth-century Baghdad. From bustling bazaars to rooftop aviaries, Assassin’s Creed Mirage offers a rich and immersive environment that captures the essence of the time period.

A Familiar Storyline

While the game’s world-building is commendable, the story itself falls into well-trodden territory. The narrative lacks originality, which does detract from the overall liveliness of the game world. However, after a series of open-world games lacking direction, Ubisoft’s return to a more focused experience in Assassin’s Creed Mirage is indeed a step in the right direction.

In conclusion, Assassin’s Creed Mirage offers a refined and streamlined version of the Assassin’s Creed formula. By prioritizing stealth and assassination, the game returns to the core principles that made the series successful in the first place. Though its morality may raise some questions, it’s important to remember that Mirage is ultimately a work of fiction. With its tighter focus and captivating depiction of ninth-century Baghdad, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a welcome addition to the series.


<< photo by Matt Artz >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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