Assassin’s Creed is going back to the series’ roots for its 15th anniversary, with Ubisoft finally, officially revealing the first details of the long-rumoured Assassin’s Creed spinoff game, Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
Mirage will be set 20 years before the events of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and focus on the character of Basim as he learns how to be an assassin in 9th century Baghdad. The game will be an action-adventure game focused on stealth and parkour, and will not incorporate the RPG-style character progression systems of most recent mainline games – Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla.
Development of Mirage is being led by Ubisoft Bordeaux, the studio that previously worked on the Wrath of the Druids expansion for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, with several international Ubisoft studios providing support.
In a media briefing held in advance of Ubisoft Forward, key developers on Assassin’s Creed Mirage described the game as one that paid homage to the entirety of the Assassin’s Creed series, but especially the first entry. We can see this most obviously in the game’s Middle East setting and stealth mechanics (AC1), as well as a focus on large, dense crowds (AC: Unity).
Mirage takes place in Baghdad during the year 861 – described as a peak golden age for the city, where knowledge, art, and innovation flourish. The city will be split into four distinct districts – an industrial one and a garden one were mentioned – and is designed to enable the game’s larger focus on stealth and parkour.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage was described as a ‘tightly-crafted, narrative-driven action-adventure experience’, with Basim’s coming of age and ‘conflicted destiny’ being core to the story. Developers also described Mirage as a more ‘driven and linear than what you might expect compared to recent games’, with a very clear beginning and end to the experience. However, there will be moments when you will be able to choose which missions to take on.
Developers also stressed there will still be freedom within the game’s major assassinations. These take place in what they call a ‘black box’ mission, meaning you are still able to choose how to find and approach your target, and how to escape from the premises.
Basim himself was described as being one of the most agile assassins in the entire series. He will have the ability to slow down time, mark several targets at once, and perform a series of assassinations in quick succession.
Basim will also have a bird partner, as has become common in the series. The eagle, named Enkidu, will be able to tag enemies and resources, however, some missions will feature enemies that can shoot down the eagle. This means that Basim can choose to go into a mission without Enkidu’s help, or spend extra time and effort making sure the skies are safe and that he has an advantage.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed Mirage will have a bigger focus on the stealth loop the more recent entries have moved away from – identifying your target, hunting them, and then vanishing in the crowd. The game will also feature a reworked detection system, which will help you see which enemies are tracking you, and how far they are. New parkour moves will also be incorporated, including a pole vault manoeuvre.
No gameplay footage of Assassin’s Creed Mirage was shown, however, a CG trailer for Mirage was unveiled at the Assassin’s Creed 2022 Showcase, a part of Ubisoft Forward 2022. It’s narrated by Emmy-award-winning actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (Lakshmi-2 in Destiny 2), who plays a key character – Basim’s mentor, Roshan.
The trailer sees young Basim as a street thief, who flubs a parkour maneuver running away from guards, and is saved by Roshan and her band of Hidden Ones – the first iteration of the Assassin order. Roshan trains Basim, and eventually severs his finger, the initiation ritual that allows him to equip the iconic hidden blade weapon of the series. We see Basim’s parkour skills improve, see him using social stealth to hide in crowds and perform assassinations, and watch as he uses tools like smoke bombs and gas traps to disable his pursuers.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage will release on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S sometime in 2023. No specific date was given. Ubisoft announced that preorders of the game would receive the supernatural-themed expansion content, 40 Thieves, as well as cosmetics inspired by Ubisoft’s other Middle East-themed series, Prince of Persia.
In addition to unveiling Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Ubisoft also revealed several other upcoming titles for the series: Assassin’s Creed Codename Jade, an open-world mobile game set in Ancient China; Assassin’s Creed Codename Red, the next mainline RPG-styled game, set in Feudal Japan; and Assassin’s Creed Hexe, described as a ‘different’ kind of Assassin’s Creed game, led by Clint Hocking (Far Cry 2, Watch Dogs: Legion), and purportedly set during the witch trials of the Holy Roman Empire.