Ubisoft’s new Assassin’s Creed Mirage gameplay footage is finally here, and it’s very exciting for long-term fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise and, of course, those of us looking forward to exploring Basim’s rise in Assassin’s Creed Mirage. However, while this is shaping up to be one of the best Assassin’s Creed games we’ve seen in quite a few years, there’s a lot to unpack. So, here are seven things we learned about Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s gameplay during the recent walkthrough.
Basim can teleport to his targets
Firstly, we need to talk about Basim’s new combat ability – something so new to the Assassin’s Creed franchise that we don’t even have a proper name for it. Teased in Ubisoft’s first Assassin’s Creed Mirage gameplay trailer, this combat ability appears to be something akin to the Mark and Execute ability found in Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell Conviction and Splinter Cell Blacklist. It’s also something you could call similar to the Shadow Strike ability from Ghost of Tsushima Legends’ Assassin class.
In the footage, which you’ll be able to see below, Basim is shown to be able to enter an advanced state of Eagle Vision in order to ‘target’ multiple enemies before ‘launching’ an attack that allows him to effectively teleport between them, dispatching of them quickly and quietly, before returning to standard gameplay.
This cinematic sequence isn’t something tied to a specific gameplay moment, from what we can tell, but rather a combat ability that players can choose when and where to utilize – with a divided meter on the HUD showing how many targets Basim can target at any one time.
Chain Assassinations are back
Similarly, Ubisoft’s gameplay walkthrough also confirms that Chain Assassinations are back – something that we have seen before in previous Assassin’s Creed games, but not to the same extent in franchise’s older releases.
During the footage, we see Basim assassinate a guard at the foot of a staircase – something quite standard for any Assassin’s Creed game. However, as he dispatches with this one guard, the game prompts the player to assassinate another guard in view – one walking down the staircase towards Basim and the player.
With this being something locked behind a skill tree upgrade in some previous titles, it’s unclear whether Basim will be able to take advantage of this ability from the off. However, it’s welcome news to see abilities like these will be available in-game for players to take advantage of.
It’s also worth noting that this successful assassination also charges the meter for the aforementioned Mark and Execute-like ability. So, this could be something tied to stealth-action as opposed to open combat – given the nature of the ability itself.
Parrying is pretty powerful again
Another interesting returning combat mechanic that is worth highlighting from the gameplay walkthrough is the apparent return of instant-kill parry attacks to Assassin’s Creed through Mirage. However, all is not what it seems.
In pre-Origins Assassin’s Creed games, where combat was counter-based, being able to instant-kill an enemy after a successful parry was quite common. In fact, combined with the fact that you could dispatch enemies in one hit after a successful counter, this was the life-blood of the combat system in place.
However, post-Origins Assassin’s Creed games moved to a Stagger system. With hack-and-slash combat introduced, the Stagger system would mean that multiple parries, blocks, and staggering attacks would be needed before a player would be able to one-hit kill an enemy. In some cases, the enemy would die before the Stagger indicator was depleted fully, or the special attack that lands after the Stagger bar is depleted may not even deal enough damage to one-hit kill an enemy at all.
In the new Assassin’s Creed Mirage gameplay footage, however, we see Basim parry an enemy and then proceed to one-hit kill him with a lethal sword lunge. At a glance, this does appear to be a return to the old combat system. However, looking closely, you can actually see a Stagger indicator depleted when Basim parries the guard’s attack. So, it doesn’t look like the open combat in Assassin’s Creed Mirage will be a complete return to the old systems – although, we could see parrying have more weight than it does in Ubisoft’s RPG-focused Assassin’s Creed titles.
Marksmen take aim at your eagle Enkidu
One gameplay feature we’re glad to see return in Assassin’s Creed Mirage is Eagle Scouting and Eagle Marking. Joined by Enkidu, just like Bayek is joined by Senu in Origins and Kassandra is joined by Ikaros in Odyssey, Basim will be able to use his eagle companion to scout enemy locations and mark enemies. This is something that was absent from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, but it has been confirmed to be returning in Mirage prior to this gameplay walkthrough. However, what we have now learnt is that Ubisoft is introducing a new challenge when it comes to utilizing this feature in Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
In the gameplay footage, when Basim tries to use Enkidu to locate his target in the stronghold situated at the center of the “Locate Area” for his mission, we see it interrupted by a Marksman. Then, a message that states “Enkidu is fleeing due to a Marksman in the area” appears on the screen – prompting players to deal with said Marksman, if they want to take advantage of Eagle Scouting in the future.
This isn’t a feature we can recall seeing in an Assassin’s Creed game before and, when you also consider the fact that Basim isn’t built for open combat like Bayek, Kassandra, or Eivor, it makes Marksman enemies a significant threat. Not only can they deal damage from afar, something we’re not sure Basim will be able to counter with his own long-range weaponry, but they also limit your ability to scout areas and mark targets.
You’re free to choose your tools
While the gameplay footage may not have shown us as much as we would like regarding progression in Assassin’s Creed Mirage, one interesting detail was included when Basim is talking to Abu Jafar Muhammad in the Assassin’s Bureau. Here, we see Basim unlock the Blowdart tool – something we have seen in Assassin’s Creed games before, that will allow him to put enemies to sleep at a basic level.
If you look closely at the text pop-ups that appear while the player is unlocking the Blowdart tool, you’ll notice that it doesn’t look like there will be any set unlock order for these tools – meaning they’re likely not attached to any specific story moments or missions.
Instead, it appears as though Basim will unlock a new tool, whichever one the player decides upon, at certain story milestones. When choosing the Blowdart, the text reads as follows:
“You are about to choose the Blowdart as your tool. This is a permanent choice that can’t be undone. All tools can be unlocked later in the game.”
Prior to this, before selecting this specific tool, the text on the right-hand side of the screen reads as follows:
“Here you can unlock a new tool. Choose your tool wisely. All tools can be unlocked later in the game.”
This level of freedom isn’t one many may have expected, but it is a welcome one that should help players hone-in on particular playstyles by unlocking tools that suit their needs in an order they choose throughout Assassin’s Creed Mirage.
You can take odd-jobs around the Bureau
In this same section of the gameplay walkthrough, we see Basim accept a mission from a Contracts Board located inside the Assassin’s Buerau – and, then, he is thrown into the mission he has chosen to accept.
While side missions and assignments are an important part of Assassin’s Creed games, showcasing that this feature can seemingly be accessed at any point – as Basim is supposed to be meetin Roshan – offers us a fantastic insight into the level of freedom this game is going to offer players, despite it’s apparently condensed narrative and shorter experience.
We don’t learn too much from this gameplay walkthrough when it comes to the types of Contract mission Basim will be able to accept in Assassin’s Creed Mirage, or how many of them there will be. However, we do know that they will offer a variety of objectives – such as assassinating targets or stealing valuable objects and items – while also presenting players with bonus objectives to encourage varied playstyles – such as “do not kill anyone” or “do not take any damage”.
With additional rewards and resources on offer – and, we can imagine, some rather fun gameplay scenarios – these could add valuable depth to the shorter game and, with any luck, present players with some real challenges.
You can use Baghdad to your advantage
Finally, we need to talk about how it appears as though Basim can utilize environmental hazards to distract and discourage guards – aiding his escape after engaing in open combat or assassinating a target.
As you can see in the early moments of the gameplay footage below, we see Basim is able to pull down some loosely constructed scaffolding to aid his escape from oncoming guards. This is a button prompt action, so optional, and could mean that these opportunities are scattered throughout Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s Baghdad. The buttom prompt itself says “collapse” – so, there’s no telling whether this is the only type of environmental hazard Basim can take advantage of or not. However, we hope it isn’t.
Personally, I do think it’s a shame that we didn’t get to see everything this game has to offer – as I can’t wait to bribe my way through Assassin’s Creed Mirage – but this gameplay walkthrough certainly gives us a better look at what to expect, and how similar this game appears to older Assassin’s Creed games. However, I am also quite impressed at how Ubisoft has been able to integrate and implement features from newer Assassin’s Creed games (namely, Valhalla, Odyssey, and Origins) into a gameplay loop that seems distinctly ‘old-looking’.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s Basim is one of the most well-equipped and accomplished Assassin’s Creed protagonists we’ve ever been able to play with and, so far, it looks like this game will deliver on what it’s promising.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage might not qualify as a contender for anyone’s list of the best RPG games available, but it’s certainly shaping up to be a fantastic blend of everything Ubisoft has done with the series so far. Could you argue that it’s going to be one of the best games of all time? Well, you could if you wanted to? We’re just going to wait until we get hands-on to make that call, though.