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Assassin’s Creed Mirage returns to the classic Assassin’s Creed style, exploring the backstory of Basim, an assassin in Baghdad’s Round city. Developed by Ubisoft Bordeaux and published by Ubisoft, the game was released on October 5, 2023, for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC (Epic Store), and Xbox Series X|S and, as a surprise reveal at the device’s launch event, will also be available on iPhone 15 at some stage next year. Does this return to the more classical Assassin’s Creed formula work in 2023? Here’s our Assassin’s Creed Mirage Review.

Assassin's Creed Mirage Review | TheEffect.NetStory

Assassin’s Creed Mirage was initially conceived as a DLC for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla but evolved into a standalone game that amalgamates the best elements from previous Assassin’s Creed titles, crafting the quintessential classic Assassin’s Creed experience. The narrative revolves around a young Basim plagued by inexplicable nightmares. Tasked with procuring an artifact for the Assassin’s group in Alamut, Basim, in a bid to prove his value, acquires the artifact and inadvertently stumbling upon a clandestine plot devised by the Order.

Assassin's Creed Mirage Review | TheEffect.NetPost-heist, Basim finds sanctuary with Roshan, who aids his escape from the city and mentors him in the ways of the Assassins within Alamut. Throughout the game, players revisit the Round city, systematically dismantling the Order. To avoid spoilers, this review refrains from revealing further plot details, but suffice it to say, the story is undeniably compelling.


The game’s map serves as an extensive playground, a paradise for climbing and running, offering such smooth and satisfying movements that I often abandoned fast travel, opting for free-running throughout. Every action in the game, even the tense moments of getting spotted, provided a unique sense of fulfilment, whether through sneaking past foes or confronting them head-on. The story missions, far from feeling constrained, were remarkable, allowing for a non-linear approach to assassinations. The game grants abundant freedom, enabling players to tackle missions in whichever way they prefer.

Assassin's Creed Mirage Review | TheEffect.NetThe array of tools at your disposal includes familiar ones, such as distraction tools and blow darts, some making a return from earlier titles. While not mandatory, these tools add a layer of enjoyment and ease to missions. The throwing knives, in particular, felt exceptionally potent, often resulting in one-hit kills. With the armour-piercing upgrade, dispatching even distant enemies became effortless. A notable addition was the teleport assassination ability, allowing players to mark and swiftly eliminate up to five enemies. The fluid animation of this move not only looked stunning but also proved invaluable in managing encounters with larger groups of adversaries.

One aspect I wasn’t particularly fond of was the hand-to-hand combat. While not a major issue, it did diminish my satisfaction slightly compared to the combat in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood or Black Flag. I especially missed the chain kills featured in the classics. However, selecting the right weapons and upgrading them significantly improved the experience, enabling me to handle small groups effectively by confronting them directly.

Another absence was a money-making system or tools for the Assassins to swiftly eliminate targets. However, this absence wasn’t surprising, given the trend in recent RPG-style games. What did make a welcome return were the mercenaries for hire, reminiscent of the ones from the first Assassin’s Creed game, along with new additions like musicians to distract guards. The reintroduction of this feature brought with it an innovative mechanic: the ability to trade coins for their services, which I found intriguing.

Coins in the game have numerous uses, ranging from city assistance, unlocking content, to providing store discounts essential for upgrading tools, given the hefty gear costs. Notably, they serve to reduce your notoriety, a mechanic I deeply appreciate. Notoriety removal methods include dismantling posters, bribing individuals, or confronting the game’s most formidable enemies at maximum notoriety. This simple yet impactful mechanic transforms gameplay, forcing strategic adjustments. At the initial notoriety level, street inhabitants report your activities, adding a delightful layer of immersion.

Additionally, engaging side-missions appear as contracts, each with unique narratives. The city hosts “Stories of Baghdad” missions, offering glimpses into residents’ lives, from a Christian monk searching for a grave to a young aspiring Assassin. Certain collectibles intertwine with brief stories, such as a merchant’s request for pickpocketed items and a scholar’s desire for rare books. Each collectible type rewards you upon completion, ranging from instant gains like new weapons or suits from chests to upgrade scrolls, enriching the gameplay experience.

Pickpocketing has made a return, featuring a brief 2-second minigame where precise button timing is essential. Personally, I disabled this option in the settings after a few hours, preferring a faster pace. However, for players who enjoy a more leisurely gameplay style, especially those who take their time and savor the experience over several days, this minigame can be a source of enjoyment. During pickpocketing, you can discover additional coins, and remarkably, there appears to be no downside to this activity. Notably, richer areas, especially within the Round city, offer a higher density of potential targets, adding a nuanced touch to the gameplay environment.

Initially skeptical about the characters, particularly Basim, due to my previous experience with Valhalla, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of his character in Mirage. Basim’s intriguing backstory transformed him into a captivating protagonist. The same depth applied to other characters I encountered. While their initial impressions might not have been stellar, prolonged interactions revealed their richness, especially in the case of Roshan. Despite my initial disliking of her voice, her mysterious demeanor toward Basim made her stand out significantly among the mentor characters in the Assassin’s Creed series.


The game’s visuals are truly breathtaking. Each area boasts impressive landmarks, although the predominant sand coloring initially makes them appear somewhat similar. Surprisingly, every location develops its unique character, with distinct interior layouts that enhance the individuality of each building, making them more memorable. The Round City, in particular, stands out as an astonishing spectacle.

Vibrant and lively, it offers a captivating environment to explore. The city’s bustling atmosphere, with its inhabitants engaging in various activities, brings the entire world to life, creating a cohesive and immersive experience.


Mirage offers a highly enjoyable experience, providing a refreshing departure from the recent convoluted storylines while significantly streamlining its gameplay – a positive change.

This is the accessible Assassin’s Creed I’ve longed for, enhanced by its immersive setting. Despite minor control issues and a storyline lacking some impact, preventing it from completely revolutionizing the franchise, it remains a nostalgic and warmly welcomed return to its roots.

Assassin's Creed Mirage Review | TheEffect.NetAssassin’s Creed Mirage Pricing & Availability

Assassin’s Creed Mirage is available now for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC (Epic Store), and Xbox Series X|S, priced at €49.99 for the standard edition.

REVIEW: Assassin's Creed Mirage - Baghdad to Basics
  • Story
  • Gameplay
  • Visuals


Mirage offers a highly enjoyable experience, providing a refreshing departure from the recent convoluted storylines while significantly streamlining its gameplay – a positive change.

John Reilly

John is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheEffect.Net. His favourite gaming series is Uncharted and his favourite film is Interstellar. He is also known to quote 'Father Ted' and Keith Lemon more than is normal.