Assassin’s Creed Mirage – A Masterpiece or Just a Mirage of the Initial Sales Success?

REVIEW – The Assassin’s Creed franchise is an instantly recognizable name that has become one of the most dominant players in the gaming industry over the past 16 years. The latest gem in the series, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, is a fitting tribute to the memory of the first AC episodes, reviving the classic stealth elements and dedication to parkour. Mirage takes us into the magical world of 9th-century Baghdad, during a tumultuous period of anarchy in Samarra, and follows Basim Ibn Ishaq’s challenging journey to adulthood as he joins a brotherhood of mysterious hooded assassins. We tested the game on Xbox Series X and Steam Ceiling.



From a technical point of view, Mirage is still an open-world game with freedom of exploration and the ability to complete missions in any order, but the overall progression and campaign has a fairly linear structure. The main thread revolves around exploring different areas where members of the Ancient Order have to be tracked down and eliminated. However, it’s not immediately clear who they are, as they lead double lives and hide their true identities, so you’ll have to piece together the clues on the investigation board and draw conclusions about your next moves. Don’t worry, this is no Sherlock Holmes game and most of the detective work is limited to collecting evidence from the crime scene. The game does the rest for you.


ELŐZETES – Az Assassin's Creed Mirage a 9. századi Bagdadban játszódik, a főszereplő pedig egy sokkal fiatalabb Basim lesz.


Back in synchronization with our “ancestor”!


In addition to the main missions, there are a number of side activities. The concept of synchronization returns in Mirage, where you must climb tall towers or landmarks to survey the environment. At the same time, you can unlock fast travel points. Special kudos to Ubisoft for Tales of Baghdad, an optional series of missions where you can randomly meet and help different citizens. A highlight for me was meeting a young boy who was trying to learn how to jump off a cliff and needed some encouragement from the Master Assassin! The rest of the map offers many points of interest, including shops, treasure chests, and relics.

The campaign takes about 15 hours to complete, depending on the difficulty level you choose and how much you discover. A 100% completion should take between 20 and 30 hours. This includes whether you watch the dialog scenes at standard speed or scroll through them after reading the text on the screen. I encountered some minor visual bugs related to this, which forced me to reload the game to fix them. The rest of the gameplay was smooth, the game never crashes or freezes.


Az Assassin's Creed Mirage hivatalosan is a Ubisoft legújabb slágere, a cég ugyanis elárulta, hogy a cím nagyon jól fogyott a megjelenést követően.


Once again, we can sneak and dash across rooftops by the thousands


Parkour has always been a central element of the Assassin’s Creed series, and Ubisoft is bringing it back in full force in Mirage. This time, 9th century Baghdad is our new playground, with a myriad of different architectural structures where we can sneak or run through the crowds, ride and camel, climb on top of mosques and jump into a straw pit. You can jump between rooftops, fight in alleyways, walk on ropes, climb tall towers and find your way into a fortress – among other things! Baghdad’s compact, urban map size gives you more parkour freedom and versatility than the Valhalla location. Unfortunately, the back and side jumps familiar from previous AC titles are not included here, so Basim won’t be jumping back and forth from one place to another in a single move.

The other iconic AC mechanic that has been brought back to the fore is stealth, and it’s been developed to the max here. While you have the option to approach missions in any way you like, stealth is ultimately the recommended and most rewarding – at least in terms of gameplay and sense of achievement. Various hiding places are conveniently placed, from abandoned stables and empty benches to hay bales and bushes. As you progress through the campaign, you’ll also unlock a number of useful tools to encourage a stealthy playstyle, including blow darts, smoke bombs and throwing knives. In Mirage, Basim also has an ability called Assassin’s Focus, which lets him slow down time, select targets and kill them in a chain reaction with a single move – a bit reminiscent of 2010’s Splinter Cell: Conviction – and it’s pretty brutal.


Az Assassin's Creed-akció visszatér Bagdadba, új ellenségekkel és új túlélési lehetőségekkel, miközben egy mobiljáték is gőzerővel készül...




But what if you don’t want to sneak out of the shadows and fight your battles by mowing down everyone? Well, Basim has been trained by the Brotherhood and is definitely a skilled swordsman. Light and heavy attacks can be performed by holding down the R1 button. The focus is on parrying incoming attacks with L1 or dodging unblockable red-colored attacks with the square button. Both dodging and attacking use stamina, so keep an eye on it. Because the game encourages you to do more than just swipe, you can quickly get overwhelmed when multiple enemies attack at once, so you’re better off luring enemies out one at a time for a duel if you prefer to fight.

I found the enemy types to be quite limited, there are only about two types in total. The first one is just a simple soldier type, equipped with a sword, spear, or longbow, and can be taken down quite easily. In fact, once you successfully parry them, their run energy is completely depleted and you can kill them instantly. The other type of enemy is the larger, coarser, armored enemy. Attacking them from the front is futile, as your sword cannot penetrate their heavy metal armor, so you must either turn behind them to attack their backs, or throw knives at their legs to stun them. Aside from these two main archetypes and the occasional enemy beast (dog, snake, etc.), there isn’t much variety, which is a disappointment compared to previous episodes – including the classics.

The control of your hero is pretty okay, but it’s less smooth and fluid than in other open world games. You won’t necessarily get stuck on the terrain, or rarely, as in previous episodes, you won’t be able to make certain jumps, but overall, Basim’s controls



Improve yourself and your Falcon!


Progression takes a different route here than in a typical RPG, as you don’t have the usual progression system where you can move up by earning experience points. There are no rewards for killing guards or engaging in more “exotic” battles with unique aliens, except for special items that can be picked from the corpses of defeated opponents. Instead, successful completion of the main and side missions earns skill points that can be used to purchase new abilities in a dedicated skill tree. The tree is divided into three categories: Phantom, Trickster, and Predator, each with a different purpose. For example, one tree gives you the ability to chain-assassinate, another increases your maximum elixir, and the third enhances the abilities of your bird companion, Enkidu. You earn money mainly by pickpocketing aliens, which is done in a Quicktime event (which irritated me a bit, but fortunately there’s an option to turn it off), looting various chests and jars, and discovering hidden treasure chests.

In terms of equipment and Basim’s best equipment, we have a main weapon, a secondary weapon, a talisman, a suit of armor, a paint shop and a costume shop. Ubisoft has brought back the ability to dye Basim’s clothes, so you can customize his appearance to your liking! Both your main and secondary weapons, as well as your armor, inherit passive abilities, such as making less noise when you assassinate an enemy, and can be upgraded in special blacksmith and clothing shops. The suit slot is purely cosmetic and only changes your appearance without overriding your armor stats, but some unique suits can also act as camouflage for certain missions.


A Ubisoft szóvivője kifejezetten tagadja, hogy az Assassin's Creed Mirage tartalmazna loot boxokat vagy valódi pénzes szerencsejátékot a téves Xbox-listák után - ráadásul az AC első részének remake-jéről is nyilatkozott...


It’s as if you’ve really stepped into medieval Baghdad


The atmospheric soundtrack further immerses you in the game world and captures the essence of ancient Baghdad. The voice acting is also outstanding, with the actors effectively conveying the emotional nuances of their characters. It’s nice that Ubisoft has brought back Arabic voice acting, and I turned it on (just like the Italian in Assassin’s Creed 2) because even though I don’t speak a lick of Arabic, it adds to the immersion. The dialog is well-written and engages the player in the political intrigue and personal drama of the story.

Visually, the world of Mirage is a sight to behold. From the bustling streets of the Bazaar to the lush gardens of the Round Town, every location is a work of art. The attention to historical accuracy is commendable, with architecture, clothing, and landscapes meticulously recreated. The game’s lighting effects, weather transitions, and character animations are breathtaking, making exploration of the ancient world a truly immersive experience. However, the character’s facial animations could use some work – something that has caused outrage among Reddit users.

In terms of performance, Assassin’s Creed Mirage excels on Xbox Series X (where it was most tested), PlayStation 5, and Steam Ceiling; there’s nothing particularly outstanding or terrible about it on any platform. Initial loading times are not super-fast, taking 15 seconds from a fresh start. On the PS5, the DualSense controller features are barely used, except for the rumble feature during combat. The game offers both High Frame Rate and Quality modes, but even the former can’t always maintain a stable 60 fps.

As for the performance on Steam Decks, it’s quite erratic, and in the middle of a crowd in downtown Baghdad, the fps can drop from 28 to 24 (on medium settings), while in a smaller crowd, outdoors or inside a building, you can expect around 40 fps.

Like all Ubisoft titles, Mirage uses the classic cursor-style menu controls, turning the controller into a mouse cursor – not a fan of this… There are microtransactions, but as in previous games, these are just cosmetics to change the look of your character, horse or armor. Fortunately, there is no pay-to-win mechanic, and all of these cosmetics can be found and earned in-game if you look hard enough.



Back to the roots


Mirage also has three different difficulty levels: easy, normal and hard, which can be changed at any time in the settings menu. The game is generally harder than the classics (with which it is more comparable), so the normal difficulty is actually “normal” and provides a meaningful challenge, while the hard difficulty is specifically so. Fortunately, the developers have also included options such as guaranteed pickpocketing, aiming assistance and the ability to turn on the familiar Assassin’s Creed color filter. Of course, the ability to change the size, color, and background of menu text and subtitles is also included.

Ubisoft wasn’t kidding when it promised to bring the series back to its roots with Assassin’s Creed Mirage to please longtime fans. While it doesn’t revolutionize the franchise, it takes players on a journey to a vibrant Baghdad with the expertise of the AC series, and tells a truly compelling story from the perspective of one of the series’ most beloved assassins.




+ Captivating story with colorful characters
+ Stealth options and abilities are fun
+ Return to the roots of the franchise


– Clumsiness of movement and combat
– Not perfectly optimized on PS5, XSX, or Steam Deck
– Minor bugs

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Ubisoft Bordeaux, Ubisoft Montreal

Style: Action-adventure, open world

Release: October 5, 2023.

Assassin's Creed Mirage

Gameplay - 8.2
Graphics - 8.6
Story - 8.4
Music/Audio - 8.5
Ambience - 8.4



Assassin's Creed Mirage is a fitting tribute to the early episodes of the franchise, reviving classic stealth elements and parkour mechanics in the stunning and vibrant setting of 9th-century Baghdad. The game's story is compelling, the stealth options are fun, and the gameplay is challenging, though movement and combat can feel clunky at times and technical issues can arise on various platforms. Mirage brings back some much-loved mechanics and atmosphere while revealing a truly immersive medieval Baghdad with every nook and cranny to explore as it returns to the franchise's roots.

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines – including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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