Experiencing the way of the Assassins one more time
On August 31st, I had the chance to be invited by Ubisoft to a gaming session on the brand new Assassin’s Creed Mirage, allowing me to learn more about the life of the skillful thief, Basim, taken of nightmarish visions who live in poverty and can no longer stand injustice.
For one of the first times in the franchise, you will face a complete story about the transformation of a young rebel thief who joins a group of assassins to become a Master Assassin.
More than three hours in Basim’s shoes
During our preview session, we were treated to an introductory video on the brand-new Assassin’s Creed Mirage to prepare us for what awaits us. Then, we were paired with a representative from Ubisoft to test the game in three parts, allowing us to see the character’s evolution.
The first part, entitled “The Call,” introduces us to Basim, Baghdad, and the whole narrative, which allows us to understand a little more about who the character is and in what era we will experience the adventure. This part, lasting approximately 45 minutes, allowed us to go through a tutorial where we learned the basics such as walking, running, climbing different structures, camouflaging, and stealthily eliminating our adversaries using tall grass and decorative elements.
The second mission, entitled “Initiation,” tells us more about Alamut and the first contact between Basim and the Assassins. This session allowed us to experience the rigorous training of young assassins and a mission which will teach us the use of weapons such as the sword and the throwing dagger. It is a symbolic rite of passage that we will experience!
Finally, we participated in an investigation in a mission called “The Black Box,” which will allow us to walk around with a full arsenal used by the Assassins. This was when we had full access to control Basim throughout Baghdad for a long hour and a half to understand better the game’s complexity, the importance of stealth, and the difficulty level of melee combat against multiple troops.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage Feels Like A Return To The Series’ Roots
What a pleasure it was to play Assassin’s Creed Mirage! Being a big fan of the series, especially the first games in the franchise, this new version brought back nostalgia from the moment I saw the importance of stealth. Forget being able to fight an army on a sunny day in an open area with nothing to protect you: as soon as there are three or four guards on your toes, you will most likely bite the dust!
The controls are simple, the action is fluid, and the narrative side of the game is intriguing. Artificial intelligence, while limited at times, is much more intense and thoughtful. Of course, there are still those times when you’ll stab an enemy while hiding in some tall grass and a guard will get up looking at you while stabbing the other guard but sit back as if nothing happened, but generally, they will get up to search where there was noise. If you get caught, there is a good chance that the enemy will rush in on an alarm to rally the troops, and you will quickly find yourself surrounded by fierce opponents who will want to kill you.
The soundtrack is very pleasant to listen to and quickly demonstrates the intensity of the different scenes you find yourself in. The audio aspect of the fights and the surrounding elements, such as the crowds discussing, are also very well balanced, quickly immersing us in this universe crowded with citizens, merchants, and shady people but also friendly folks.
We can see here that Ubisoft has worked hard on the game, but some bugs persist. These famous problems, which I affectionately call “Ubibugs,” are the classics:
Basim walks up a flight of stairs, but when you look at the movement of his body, he does not bend his knees, and his feet do not touch the steps. It’s more like he’s walking up a slightly inclined hill;
We have a bad sense of Earth’s gravity in that, in a particular cutscene, we see Basim chatting with a young thief and tossing him a coin. It’s as if it was floating in the air before falling into the young boy’s hand;
Still, there’s a certain lightness in Basim’s movements when he jumps or falls, without forgetting that it happens ever so often when a corpse is looted; its arms and legs begin to gesticulate in all directions, and the body moves as if it were an ordinary sheet of paper;
Don’t worry; I have already reported this situation to Ubisoft, who noted it. So I hope that, when the time comes, the final and definitive version of the game will already have specific bug fixes in this sense.
In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, you can attack your enemies in an open field, but you risk being seen that a citizen alerts guards or that these guards catch you while fighting and sound the alarm. Not to mention that the opponents are much more challenging than they appear.
The melee combat mechanic has been worked on, and I have to say that I like it: the enemy will try to hit you, and a yellow halo will appear, telling you that you can block or parry the attack, that is, if you time your parade well. On the contrary, A red halo means that the blow cannot be parried or blocked. You will dodge the blow by rolling or stepping back to avoid it.
It’s fast, it’s fluid and, above all, it leaves no room for error. Miss your parry or dodge the blow too late, and you will be injured, sometimes even seriously or fatally.
Ubisoft has mentioned in the past wanting to go back to the origins and offer a title that would be like a “tribute” to what Assassin’s Creed was in the beginning, and I have to admit that this seems to be the case with Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage will be available starting October 5, 2023, and pre-orders are already available. Subscribers to Ubisoft+ will have access to the game in its Deluxe edition from the day of its release at no additional cost.