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Assassin’s Creed Mirage arrives 2023, drops RPG elements, wants to go “back to the series’ roots”

The story of Basim Ibn Ishaq will take place 20 years before Valhalla, and offer a more classic Assassin’s Creed experience.

It's one of the year's worst-kept gaming secrets, but at least now we know that Assassin's Creed Mirage is real. After leaks, a formal tease from Ubisoft, and a report that listed the game alongside a slew of other titles, Ubisoft has finally announced the next step in the Assassin's Creed universe at Ubisoft Forward.

"In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, you are Basim, a cunning street thief with nightmarish visions, seeking answers and justice," reads a blurb for the game. "After an act of deadly retribution, Basim flees Baghdad and joins an ancient organization – The Hidden Ones. As he learns their mysterious rituals and powerful tenets, he will hone his unique abilities, discover his true nature, and come to understand a new Creed – one that will change his fate in ways he never could have imagined."

The new game will focus on one of the secondary characters we saw in Assassin's Creed Valhalla – the Middle Eastern member of the order, Basim Ibn Ishaq. The game will take place some 20 years before the events of Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and offer a more classic Assassin’s Creed experience. Ergo, it won't be so similar to the likes of Assassin's Creed Origins, Odyssey, or Valhalla.

Instead, since we're returning to 'the same global region' that we saw the series kick off in some 15 years ago, we're going to return to more classic Assassin's Creed tenets. Per comments made by Ubisoft during a press-exclusive stream, the studio wants Mirage to be a narrative-driven game: focusing a lot on stealth, and taking a step back from the RPG elements elsewhere in the series.

Image credit: Ubisoft

Ubisoft noted that it wants to pay homage to the whole series with this new title, but specifically the first game. As such, you can expect a "modern take on gameplay and features of the early games", with Mirage being mostly built around the three pillars of "stealth, parkour and assassinations."

To lean into this idea, Ubisoft says it made Basim "one of the most efficient, agile and masterful Assassins in the series". He can multiple stealth kill at once, and has more tools – smoke bombs, mines – at his disposal to better evade enemy detection once he's made his kill(s).

Ubisoft notes that it wants the main cycle in the game to revolve around "identifying, hunting, eliminating, then vanishing" – albeit with "more granularity" than we're used to in recent games in the series. As such, the developers have "sped up the pace of the parkour, so you feel agile and empowered when exploring the city". Most assassinations are new to Mirage, too; the team really is as dedicated as possible to making you feel as fast and lethal as it can.

Ubisoft is selling the game as "a tightly-crafted, narrative-driven, action-adventure game" that is more linear and driven than what you experienced in Valhalla and Odyssey. There’s a clear beginning and end, here, in this story (and it sounds like it's not going to take you 100+ hours to finish, either).

If you lament the loss of those RPG-lite titles, fret not: there are plenty of other Assassin's Creed games in the work, too, and the next flagship RPG instalment in the series – currently titled Assassin's Creed Codename Red – will come along after 2023 to give you the modern-era Assassin's fix you're after.

Assassin's Creed Mirage will launch for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC in 2023.

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Assassin's Creed Mirage

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Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt


Dom is a veteran video games critic with 11 years' experience in the games industry. A published author and consultant that has written for NME, Red Bull, Samsung, Xsolla, Daily Star, GamesRadar, Tech Radar, and many more. They also have a column about games and music at The Guardian.