Assassin’s Creed Mirage Gameplay First Look: Please Don’t Screw This Up

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Thomas Richards
| June 2, 2023
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PlayStation held another State of Play week, and it had some exciting news. There was the announcement of the Metal Gear Solid 3 remake, updates on Final Fantasy 16 and Alan Wake 2, and even some gameplay of Spider-Man 2. But I’m not gonna talk about any of that; instead, I want to look at the gameplay reveal of Assassin’s Creed Mirage. As someone who’s put way too much time into this silly sci-fi/historical series, let’s see if this gameplay reveal does anything to differentiate itself from the recent entries in the series (please, oh god, please, let it be different).

While the trailer only clocks in at under two minutes, it still shows off quite a bit. We got a first proper look at Baghdad, which looks incredible. We didn’t get to see uninterrupted gameplay of the streets, so who knows if it feels lived in, but from a strictly visual standpoint, it’s one of the best in the series. We also got a first look at the parkour of the game. While it still looks like the parkour system from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, they seem to be incorporating some variety into the free running instead of just holding forward and climbing over everything (I’m looking at you, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey).

Combat also looks similar to the past three games, although it did seem a little faster. Hopefully, this means they got rid of those stupid health bars and level scaling (I hate them so much). We also got confirmation that eagle vision is back, which I loved. I didn’t mind having a bird following me, but I longed for the days when I could tag enemies and see their bright red outlines through walls. Everything they showed kept reminding me of previous AC games, and I’m not mad about that.

Now that’s a nice-looking city. (Ubisoft)

People have been saying that the past couple of AC games are fun games but not good AC games (I’m people). When Mirage was first announced, the main marketing point was that this game would be a return to form for the series. After this trailer, I’m more inclined to believe that. I noticed a bunch of details that my AC-filled brain couldn’t help but make connections. The setting is reminiscent of the original Assassin’s Creed, both in the look and how you’ll move through the dense streets.

Speaking of moving through streets, the parkour gave me mad Assassin’s Creed Unity vibes. While I highly doubt that we’d get that masterful parkour system back, hopefully, this is a step in the right direction. The combat also looks like a combination of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and Valhalla, with the flashy animations of Valhalla and what I hope to be the speed of Black Flag (also the dual wielding of blades). All these things have given me hope that Mirage might return to form, but I still have some concerns; it is Ubisoft, after all.

Classic assassin maneuvers here. (Ubisoft)

My biggest gripe with the recent games in the series is that the maps are too big. I know, blasphemy; how could I not want the maps to keep getting bigger and bigger? It’s more content. But that’s the problem; it’s too much. The recent games have felt bloated and a chore to get through with copy-and-paste objectives everywhere. Seeing as it appears Mirage will be set in a single city, I hope this problem is nowhere to be found. Something that wasn’t hinted at in the trailer, though, was the story.

We’ve got a tease from the cinematic trailer and some snippets of cutscenes in this trailer, but we still don’t know much. Because Mirage is a prequel, we know where Basim’s story leads, but I still would’ve liked something more than what we have now. Also, I hope they bring back the modern day. I know everyone hates the modern-day, and they just want to stab historical figures in the jugular, but the modern-day is what got me invested in the series in the first place. I’d be disappointed if it isn’t touched on in Mirage, but I’m also aware that I’m in the minority, so we’ll have to wait and see on that.

Right in the jugular. (Ubisoft)

The State of Play trailer for Assassin’s Creed Mirage has alleviated some of my concerns about the game. The single-city map looks fantastic, and the changes to parkour and combat seem to be heading in the direction of the older titles. While I don’t expect massive changes to the gameplay loop (this game started as Valhalla DLC, after all), I hope the team at Ubisoft Bordeaux can stick the landing and create a fine addition to the Assassin’s Creed series.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage releases October 12th on most consoles and PC. Check out the trailer below.

Did you watch the Assassin’s Creed Mirage trailer? What did you think? Do you like the changes, or do you loathe them? Let us know in the comments where we can discuss everything Assassin’s Creed.

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