08/02/2023 New rumors claiming to confirm that this feature will be available in Assassin’s Creed Mirage have emerged, the copy of this article has been updated to reflect that.
If, like me, you’re a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, this really is a very exciting time – for more than one reason, too. Assassin’s Creed Mirage really is looking like one of the best Assassin’s Creed games yet and Ubisoft has Codename Hexe, Codename Red, and even more multiplayer games in the works; we haven’t seen any sort of multiplayer Assassin’s Creed game in years. On top of all this, Ubisoft has confirmed that Assassin’s Creed Mirage will feature a full Arabic dub and subtitles – the first in the series’ history. This is, of course, fantastic news. However, I am concerned about how this feature will be implemented and I think Ubisoft could learn a thing or two from Sucker Punch Productions’ Ghost of Tsushima when it comes to this. Yes, Assassin’s Creed Mirage needs Arabic lip-sync features.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed playing through Ghost of Tsushima with English audio. However, the Japanese-langauge audio really elevated the experience to another level with me. It’s not something I do often when it comes to games set in non-English speaking countries with, but I found that it helped immerse me even further in the rich world being presented to me. However, on PS4, there was still something holding this back: the Japanese-language audio didn’t match up with the facial animations. Every time I noticed this more readily, I lost the precious immersion I craved.
But, that’s what makes Assassin’s Creed Mirage so exciting. It’s the first Assassin’s Creed game to offer Arabic-language audio support and the ever-talented Jordanian actor Eyad Nassar is lending his talents to the game’s leading man: Basim Ibn Is’haq. Do you see where I am going with this?
Fast forward a handful of months from Ghost of Tsushima’s initial launch date, to August 2021, and Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut arrived with the full suite of PS5 features and the Iki Island expansion. For someone confident that this was one of the best PS5 RPG games available, if not one of the best games of all time, this was truly fantastic news. We were getting even more adventures with Jin Sakai and Yuna, in 4K, with haptic feedback support and faster loading times than ever before; what’s not to love about that? Well, nothing. However, the thing that really interested me was the fact that Sucker Punch Productions had introduced Japanese-language lip syncing to the game. Could this really solve the one major problem I found myself having with Ghost of Tsushima?
Actually, yes – it could. Just take a look at this comparison from GameSpot.
Thanks to the awesome power of the PS5, Sucker Punch Productions was actually able to render Ghost of Tsushima cutscenes in real-time – meaning anyone playing through with Japanese-language audio would be able to experience accurate lip-syncing in-game. It wasn’t perfect, and it was sadly only available on the PS5 version of the game, but it was good enough to be a wonderful improvement on the mis-matched animations of the game’s initial release.
This truly fantastic experience inspired me to check out several of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed games – a large percentage of which feature a protagonist that would logically not speak English as their first language. These games always do a wonderful job of pulling you into the world of the historical setting they’re portraying and – I thought – playing through one with the relevant non-English language audio would bring about the same level of immersion and enjoyment as playing through Ghost of Tsushima with Japanese-language audio enabled.
Yep, you guessed it – it was not the same, at all. Here’s the opening of Assassin’s Creed Unity in French – just as an example.
While you can play games like Assassin’s Creed 2 in Italian, as it’s a language Ubisoft deems popular-enough to warrant audio support, it’s a far cry from the experience I was hoping for. The voice-acting itself was great, but Ghost of Tsushima had invited me into a world where this voice-acting and the animations matched up – and it was a world I didn’t want to leave.
With hope in my heart, I booted up some of the newer Assassin’s Creed games to see if this was something that had been improved upon over the years – and it hadn’t. Origins doesn’t have Egyptian-language audio support, Odyssey doesn’t offer any Greek-language audio options, and you can certainly forget about sporadic Norwegian-language audio in Valhalla. I know the languages accurate to the periods being portrayed wouldn’t be identical to their modern counterparts, but it’s still something that would have improved upon the immersion these gargantuan RPGs are offering.
However, is Ubisoft just adding Arabic language audio support really enough? Well, there’s no mention of lip-syncing in the announcement – which you can see below.
It’s a step in the right direction, but I think Ubisoft should do one better – and we shouldn’t have to wait for a Director’s Cut for it to do it, either. Even if this is only available for the PS5 version and Xbox Series X version of the game, Ubisoft should present players with a version of Assassin’s Creed Mirage that supports both the English-language audio and the Arabic-language audio with lip-synced cutscenes. You don’t see too many pre-rendered cinematic cutscenes in modern Assassin’s Creed games, so it would certainly be possible – if Ubisoft can harness the power of an internal SSD in the same way, of course.
Interestingly, there are rumors circling online suggesting that Assassin’s Creed Mirage does indeed have Arabic audio lip sync; this audio option is also rumored to be the default setting for the game. While we don’t think the latter is true, as Assassin’s Creed games are designed for English-speaking audiences (and we don’t think that’s changing with Mirage), content creator ‘Bunny_G69‘ has claimed that this is true alongside confirmation that NPCs will speak Arabic in-game.
This information is presented without a source, though – and it’s hard to find this information anywhere official. So, I am taking it with the largest pinch of salt I can. I hope it’s true, but I’m sceptical.
Thankfully, the Assassin’s Creed Mirage release date is edging closer so we should find out more about whether this is something we can look forward to in the future,or not, pretty soon. However, with a milestone like this, I just feel like Ubisoft needs to go big and make sure they’re delivering the best-possible experience they can with Assassin’s Creed Mirage. With rumors that it’s kicking off the hub-like experience Assassin’s Creed Infinity, it’s going to be one people remember for a long time. I really can’t wait to bribe my way through Assassin’s Creed Mirage, I just hope the Arabic-language audio matches up with the facial animations. Is that really too much to ask?