When a philosophy moves away from its original path, we may lose faith in it. That’s what has happened with Assassin’s Creeda series that caused a sensation 15 years ago for its focus on infiltration, the measured hunt for our prey, and its mix of historical reality and science fiction. Assassin’s Creed Mirage for PS4, PS5, One, Series X|S and PC wants us to honor the Creed again.
We have been able to test, via remote play, an almost definitive version of the gamewhich arrives on October 5, to see first-hand that, indeed, the more role-playing, action and extensive exploration approach seen in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is behind us.
They were spectacular games, but maybe they were… Too different for many players. Now, The idea is that we recover those same sensations that we had when following the story of Altaïr or Ezio: cities full of details but more “concentrated” and less combat for an experience in which we have to work harder for each murder.
As you already know, The protagonist of AC Mirage is Basim, that veteran assassin we met in Valhalla. This character proved to have a tremendous dark side and, precisely, here we will see what his first years in the company were like. order of the Hidden and how that darkness began to consume him little by little.
To do this, we will travel to the Baghdad of the 9th century, when the city was a melting pot of cultures. We have been able to test three general sections. In the first, we see how Basim leaves behind his past as a street thief to begin to delve into the missions of the Hidden Ones (the order that would later become the Assassins).
In the second section we are already under the tutelage of Roshan, a high-ranking member who will be our mentor and will give us all the keys to stop being novices, by overcoming tough tests.
Finally, we have seen a section in which, now converted into a full-fledged Hidden One, Basim has to find one of his main objectives, based on investigate the huge bazaar of Baghdad.
The first section, logically, teaches us the fundamentals of the game, from pickpocketing (a dynamic that was becoming less and less important) until take advantage of our parkour to climb the roofs and get key objects without being detected by the guards.
Here we find one of the first changes and it is that, while Eivor could climb practically any wall, Basim has to find specific ledges to help him climb, in the style of the first games. He finished being a Spider-man of life.
We also see that there will be many moments in which we will come across closed doors and you will have to try to find the guard who has the key, to steal it or eliminate him without his companions finding out. You know: Aerial assassinations from rooftops, whistles from bushes…The usual routine.
From there we jump to a Basim already in an initiate’s suit, at the foot of the mountain where the iconic Alamut fortress, a crucial place in the history of the Assassins. It is in this part where we once again immerse ourselves in the mysticism that surrounds the Order.
For example, Roshan will insist on the importance of the Leap of Faith as a demonstration that we have understood everything that being a Hidden One entails. Do you remember when, in previous games, even the pointer seemed to dominate him? Here it will be a very important initiation rite and we liked that a lot.
We also get into the ins and outs of combat and ranged attacks. Roshan teaches us to attack softly and strongly, to dodge and block. There are changes here too, because The attack is done with a single button and the strength will depend on whether we leave that button pressed for a few moments or not.
The unstoppable attacks that must be avoided return and it becomes very important to block the others in time to momentarily stun the opponent. Times have become more technical and it’s no longer worth getting a huge weapon and hitting buttons.
In fact, there won’t even be levels when it comes to fighting (no more farming for level ups) nor will we have a rage barIt all depends on us winning little by little, with patience.
In this section we also begin to see the wheel of weapons, from which we can choose which one to use. At first, we will only have a simple torch and throwing daggers, but later we will have smoke bombs, traditional footfinders or even a type of proximity mine.
Also the blowgun, which we can improve so that it poisons or provokes the traditional rage attacks.
Contain your sword, Basim
The murders begin to become more important and here We learn to do them in pairs with a companion of the Order. We also remember that it is important to stay in the shadows and use our tools with caution. This time, an open fight, face to face, is only an emergency resource. The stealthier, the better.
That does not mean that the eradication zonesin which it is once again mandatory to kill all enemies.
Afterwards, we witness a moment that clearly demonstrates the philosophy of this installment: a training montage in which we see how little by little Basim masters his calm, his discipline, and understands what makes a good Hidden One. Once again, the fact that so much importance is given to the process of improvement, to understanding the norms of the Creed, does a great favor to the setting.
The longest stretch we tried already took place in Baghdad. Here starts a “black box” type mission, similar to those we saw in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate or Unity. One has to collect clues, listen to gossip, interrogate people, read manuscripts… Everything, with the aim of finding out who our target is and where he is, to put an end to him.
Although the way to get this information is similar to that of those games, what we collect is shown in a research tree that is reminiscent of those we saw in Odyssey or Valhalla. Thus, we have a research routine with a more classic style, but a more modern and intuitive way of presenting your results.
Our investigations will take us through the usual investigation areas, where we will have to find different clues before we can move forward. Of course, it will not be enough to walk around and search like in Valhalla or Syndicate. There will be guards involved here, so you will have to do it with caution.
From here, it becomes more important than ever to use eagle vision. As always, it will discriminate between allied, enemy or key characters. In addition, a cone of vision will be displayed on enemies so that we are clearer about where they are focusing their attention.
To obtain some information, there may be more than one method. For example, we know that our target is interested in a valuable item at an auction. If we have enough money, we can bid on the object to keep it and attract that person. Or we can let someone else win the bid and then steal it from them.
In that sense, the presence of not only normal currency, the dirham, but also some emblems that we can use to bribe some confidants or to silence those who are spreading rumors about us, in order to lower our notoriety and so that people do not call the guards when they see us. We can also tear down “wanted” posters, of course.
And how do we get those emblems? From what we’ve seen, mainly stealing. With eagle eyesight, we can see who has something “stealable” and based on its color, we will know the value. gold ones are usually more valuable and therefore may have emblems. We will also find them in chests or when completing certain challenges.
The theft dynamic is based on a simple minigame of pressing the button at the right moment. If we fail, the victim will notice and notify the guards.
They are not the only secondary objectives that we will find. There are also secret chests, some of them with their corresponding key, small distortions that can give us information about the historical context or archers that we must eliminate to clear the way for Enkidu, our faithful eagle.
As is customary, we can make Enkidu take flight whenever we want to scan nearby targets.
When it comes to killing our objectives or the guards, we will not have a fury bar, as we had said, but we will have a special stealth attack meter: From a safe distance, we can mark up to 3 targets so that Basim can “teleport” next to them and eliminate them without risk. It is a special maneuver, yes, but also linked to stealth.
Although it is still unclear how Basim can have this “superpower”, Its execution is accompanied by Animus distortion effectsso it’s likely that things have a problem… To recharge the skill, it will be enough to eliminate enemies in a traditional way.
As you see, except for this last super attack, Most of the elements were already present in previous games, but everything has been redesigned and refined so that the experience is more meticulous, more research and clean and discreet eliminations.
The craft of hunting
Although that aspect in itself is fine, What we are liking most for now is the feeling that we have to work on each key murder, which has merit when we achieve it. And that’s something that had been lost lately, in favor of more indiscriminate fighting.
The technical section once again stands out in the meticulous and realistic recreation of the scenarios and, above all, in ulighting that inevitably reminded us of Assassin’s Creed Unity.
The character models do not seem to have advanced compared to previous games, but everything related to their recreation, their character and their way of speaking is very careful.
By the way, We have already been able to play it with the Spanish dubbing and, as is usual with Ubisoft, it will be very polished. Roshan’s voice stands out, imitating the actress’s unmistakable all-torn tone. Shoreh Aghdashloo in the original version.
5th of October We will leave no doubt about its total capabilities, but for now it seems that Assassin’s Creed Mirage has enough prosperity to win back a good part of those who were disenchanted with the franchise. Stranger things have happened. After all, nothing is true and everything is allowed…