Three years on from Ubisoft’s most sprawling action RPG yet, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is finally here, taking the stealth series back to basics. For better or worse, it features a much leaner campaign that demands you spend around 20 hours in Baghdad rather than miss the birth of your newborn child to complete every aspect. Reviews are out there for everyone to see, and the consensus is pretty clear: it’s better received than Unity, but not quite the heights of its open-world counterparts.
That’s a bit of a sweeping statement, underpinned by the aggregate of Metacritic, and the scores are so close that they don’t matter too much. Mirage sits with a healthy 77 out of 100, while Origins hit 81, Odyssey landed 83, and Valhalla has a score of 80. What matters more than anything is what people have to say about the new game, which is generally quite positive.
- TechRadar Gaming (4.5/5) – “Finding and reading each clue in a restricted area, tracing each lead, and cracking each case, working towards the climax of each investigation in Assassin’s Creed Mirage is such a thrill. You’ll feel like a spy as well as an assassin and, with each clue, you’ll find the mysteries become increasingly gripping.”
- IGN (8/10) – “Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s return to the stealthy style that launched this series doesn’t do everything right, but everything it does feels like it was done with purpose. This means a shorter game with a smaller map, fewer collectables, smaller scope in combat, and a limited selection of gear to play with – all of which I found refreshing relative to the arguably bloated scale of 100-hour games like Odyssey and Valhalla. It also means an overly simplistic plot with mostly forgettable characters, but what the story lacks in depth it makes up for with its straightforward quest progression and fast pacing.”
- PCGamesN (8/10) – “I leave Mirage not only satisfied with my experience but also with a renewed love of a series that once lost me under the weight of its own bloated legacy… It doesn’t break new ground – and it’s impossible to overlook how it suffers from congenital issues with core mechanics and geriatric systems – but given the desperate attempts at innovation and terminal feature creep that’s dogged the series in recent years, it’s refreshing to see Ubisoft Bordeaux trim that fat to prove why Assassin’s Creed has stood the test of time.”
- The Loadout (9/10) – “Its gameplay, whether you’re sneaking around or stabbing everyone in sight, is beyond satisfying; a huge improvement on Valhalla’s offering. When it comes to the story, Ubisoft keeps everything compact, and you’re not left waiting too long to find out what the next major plot point is – which is, again, wonderfully satisfying.”
- PC Gamer (77/100) – “Mirage gets so close to great that it’s annoying, but also encouraging. It may not be the complete return to form that I imagined, but it’s the best stealth game to ever have the Assassin’s Creed name on it, and I hope Ubisoft sees this new “classic” branch of AC as something to build on.”
- Eurogamer (4/5) – “The way it mixes the old and the new, polishing up classic Creed features for a modern game and audience, creates something special.”
- GameInformer (8/10) – “Not everything is perfect, but the “less is more” design philosophy goes a long way to making this one of the most consistently engaging titles within the series for some time.”
- Wccftech (8/10) – “Each new objective in these multi-step missions usually mixes up the gameplay – one moment you’ll be sneaking past guards, the next you’ll be eavesdropping, searching for clues, or trailing a suspect. These are easily some of the most complex, satisfying Assassin’s Creed missions Ubisoft has ever delivered.”
Most reviews praise the game shedding the bulk of the last few predecessors, taking a more streamlined approach, including gameplay mechanics and a smaller world. Reviewers were generally pleased with the structure of the missions and even the increased focus on stealth. I’m sure this will be hit-and-miss to some, depending on how likely you are to throw your mouse or controller when you get caught.
There’s a consensus that the story is the weakest part, particularly with strange turns during the conclusion. According to some, however, it’s mostly self-contained, sidestepping the complicated history the series has with its overarching narrative. Regardless, reviewers are happy to recommend the game and don’t believe this dampens the experience too much.
Just short of an average 8/10 is impressive on its own, but even more so when you consider the shoes it needs to fill from renowned past games. Throw in a particularly competitive year, with 2023 bringing us gems like Baldur’s Gate 3, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and Starfield, and it must be a good game to hold its own.