Throughout development and our wait for the Assassin’s Creed Mirage release date, Ubisoft has consistently been making it absolutely clear to everyone that AC Mirage is going to be a smaller-scale Assassin’s Creed game. In more ways than one, Mirage is paying homage to the original 2007 release ahead of the launch of Assassin’s Creed Infinity – but, that isn’t a bad thing. However, where does removing the heavy RPG mechanics of Valhalla, Odyssey, and Origins leave the Assassin’s Creed Mirage skills and Basim’s progression throughout the game? Well, from what we’ve seen so far, the skills you’ll be able to unlock in Assassin’s Creed Mirage lend themselves perfectly for epic action and cinematic escapes. So, there really is nothing to worry about.
In a behind-the-scenes look at Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s Basim and how Ubisoft has developed the Valhalla character into a fully-fledged playable protagonist, we got a glimpse of some of the skills and abilities you’ll be able to unlock as you pick your own path to Master Assassin in ninth-century Baghdad. As you can see in the video below, there’s at least 16 skills for Basim to learn – and, with there being 20 skill points to spend – there could be a couple more lurking just out of picture.
From what we can tell, these skills are split into three categories, each one underpinning a core focus of Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s gameplay: Phantom, Trickster, and Predator. Where the Predator skills look like they’ll take full advantage of Basim’s eagle companion Enkidu, and the Trickster skills are all about taking advantage of tools and equipment, the Phantom skills seem to promise some truly cinematic gameplay sequences – if used to their full extent.
At around the 03:40 mark, we see that Basim can take advantage of the Breakfall skill, the Air Strike skill, and the Kick Back skill in the Phantom skill tree.
Breakfall, as the name suggests, will let Basim break his fall with an automatically performed roll. This isn’t going to fully eliminate fall damage, but it will reduce the damage taken when falling from dangerous heights. Breakfall is also, more importantly, going to look really cool – as this skill’s appearance in other Assassin’s Creed games is proof-enough of.
While Breakfall alone lends itself quite well to cinematic escapes and dramatic combat sequences, you’re going to be able to combine it with Air Strike – which will slow down time while aiming throwing knives mid-air. Can you see the vision, yet?
Ubisoft hasn’t shown us what Air Strike will look like yet, but the fact that you’ll be able to throw throwing knives mid-air by default isn’t something we expected to see; we can only imagine skilled players will be able to take full advantage of this mechanic to achieve some amazing assassinations. There might not be a lot of skills to choose from, but that isn’t going to stop this being one of the best RPG games out there – if, of course, it’s as good as we hope it is.
In open combat, we’ve already seen that Basim is something of a master swordsman with a new suite of combat animations showcasing his agile-yet-ruthless fighting style. However, Basim will also be able to take advantage of skills like Kick Back – which will let him push off from a successful parry and strike in another direction. After the hack-and-slash focus of Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla, a return to what appears to be a counter-based combat system in Mirage is very exciting for those of us who enjoy flashy swordsmanship and those all-important one-hit kills.
Beyond these three skills, Ubisoft hasn’t detailed what else fans can expect from Basim’s progression system – other than the fact that it will be based on milestones, not EXP. Still, looking at the icons you can see below, it appears as though a number of the Predator tree skills will be related to Enkidu – meaning the eagle companion could play a much larger role than first thought in combat.
In addition to this, it looks like we’ll be able to unlock skills relating to healing and medicine effectiveness, looting and pick-pocketing, and more. We don’t know if this will be one of the best Assassin’s Creed games when it launches, but it’s certainly shaping up to be one. We just hope Ubisoft introduces this Ghost of Tsushima mechanic to Assassin’s Creed Mirage – that could be what elevates it to one of the series’ best.