Assassin’s Creed Mirage Review: A Homecoming for Die-Hard Fans or a Missed Opportunity?

 | October 20, 2023

Three long years have passed since fans were treated to the behemoth of a game that was Assassin’s Creed Vahalla. With the promise of the series returning to its origins similar to the days of Ezio and Altair, how exactly will fans respond to the original formula with a modern-day take? Well, a few of Couch Soup’s own initiates have come together to give you our impressions and reviews of Ubisoft’s newest release, Assassin’s Creed Mirage.

Jake Brown:

Upon starting Assassin’s Creed Mirage, players become Basim, an ordinary street rat who is thrust into the life of becoming a hidden one (later known as an Assassin) when a job goes wrong during the game’s opening hours. The name Basim may sound familiar to you because it’s the same Basim who lends Eivor and the Raven clan a hand (or blade) in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. This time around, however, the story takes place in 9th-century Baghdad, two decades before the events of AC Valhalla.

Basim is perched on a vantage point. He is looking out at the city of Baghdad.
Perched like an eagle. (Ubisoft)

A younger Basim is on a quest of self-discovery as he tries to understand the mysterious nature of his nightmarish dreams that haunt him in the form of a horrific Jinni. The game takes players back to the series’ roots, with much of it playing similar to earlier games; you visit an Assassin bureau, do a tailing or eavesdropping mission, or collect evidence that is found behind an annoying amount of barred doors. Then, when your target has been identified, infiltrate their hideout however you see fit to take them out. Despite its somewhat entertaining storyline, I was left wanting more by the time I rolled credits around 14 hours into the game. As a result of the ending feeling rushed and a bit unsatisfying, as well as the fact that there is almost no modern story following Valhalla’s ending, I felt extremely disappointed. 

The combat feels like a watered-down version of Valhalla due to the lack of variety in weapons. Still, now you have the option to parry an attack and instakill an enemy using your sword and dagger (the only weapons Basim can equip). You also have access to a new focus bar that you fill by stealth-killing enemies, unleashing a chain attack that teleports you between targets and assassinates them in an instant. Although this new skill looks and plays great, I find it to be a little disbelieving in terms of realism. One thing I was extremely fond of is the unlockable tools you could obtain as you gain skill points. During my playthrough, throwing knives were my best friend, as well as blow darts that put enemies to sleep. The feeling of headshoting guards with throwing knives and firing a blow-dart at anything in my way made stealth much more entertaining.

Basim is riding a camel into Baghdad. The camel has a variety of bags on them. People are entering and exiting the city through the main gate.
What a good camel. (Ubisoft)

As somebody who completed the game on Xbox Series X and obtained all achievements during its launch week, I noticed a number of stuttering issues and a few bugs that were frustrating at times but still performed better than 2014’s AC Unity at launch. Despite feeling like a remake of the original AC (which is brilliant), I couldn’t get over the feeling that Mirage could have been so much better. Due to the fact that Mirage was originally set to be DLC for Valhalla, I didn’t feel like we were given the full Assassin’s Creed experience. This newest entry does a great job of capturing the essence of older Assassin’s Creed games and is enjoyable to an extent. However, if Mirage included and expanded more on its present-day narrative, developed its story a bit better, made Basim a little more memorable, and added more weapon variety, Mirage would have been among the best.

Jake’s score: 7/10

Cats with the AC logo across their nose


Despite the unfinished impression of a full game that was originally intended as DLC – Assassin’s Creed Mirage gave me the feeling of a deep sigh “coming home,” and I quickly got cozy on the couch and played for hours. I was enthralled with the story until the disappointing ending and questions left unanswered. Despite that error in storytelling, I did rather enjoy myself and the time I spent playing, getting distracted consistently by pickpocketing.

It’s a quick and easy way to get money effectively in the game. It does require you to do a somewhat QTE to grant success. But if you’re like me (come on, I know you are!), you went and turned on the setting to allow auto success for the first few hours of the game.

I very much enjoy it when a game brings in a new mechanic to elevate our experience, though this was a minor one. I do wish they had brought in more instead of being the same cake with different frosting. It felt to be the same story as the previous two games in a different setting, requiring you to complete all too familiar tasks and roads traveled. Do I think this game would have been better as the originally planned DLC? Yes. It would have granted a fuller, richer, and more concise story for players.

Don’t forget to pet the Assassin’s Creed marked cat along your journey, for good luck!

Erika’s score: 7/10


I’m no stranger when it comes to Assassin’s Creed. I’ve 100% almost every mainline game in the series (except for Valhalla; I don’t think I have the strength for that one), so I know my way around a hidden blade. I had become a bit burnt out with the series, though, with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey making me wish they would return to the old formula. Luckily for me, Assassin’s Creed Mirage takes a step back towards those older games. While it isn’t perfect, and I have a few grievances, I’d rather play through this more condensed experience than trudging through another 100 + hour AC game.

Basim is jumping at an enemy. Basim has his hidden blade ready while the enemy is drawing his blade.
Time for your surprise stabbing. (Ubisoft)

I’ll start with what I liked about Mirage. I immensely enjoyed playing as an Assassin again for the first time in years. Not a mercenary, not a Viking, an Assassin (it shouldn’t be a big deal to play as an Assassin in Assassin’s Creed, but whatever). I also enjoyed all the little nods to AC 1 with the design of not only the hidden ones’ robes, but the bureau is also ripped straight out of the first game, and I’m not complaining. The game’s overall vibe felt like a mixture of AC 1, AC Revelations, and AC Origins, which is an odd mix but works surprisingly well.

One-hit assassinations are back, and I’m so glad that when you stab someone in the neck, they just die. The smaller map size is also a massive plus in my book, especially for someone like me who can’t stand having a map filled with markers and needs to clear it all (AC Odyssey flashbacks incoming). I also appreciated the extensive button mapping options available. The first thing I did when I started the game was make sprint and free run up the right trigger and square my attack and assassinate button. I probably could’ve learnt the new controls, but I’m stubborn.

Basim is running across a rope above the city streets. Civilians are walking around below.
Classic AC sneaking. (Ubisoft)

Now, on to what I wasn’t a big fan of. For one, while decent, the story is nothing to write home about. It serves as a good origin story for Basim but doesn’t push the series plot forward at all. There’s also no mention of the modern-day, which was a bit of a letdown. I’m also not a fan of how some of the cutscenes looked here. All the facial animations looked so stiff that I yearned for the days of AC Unity and that game’s visual quality.

The enemy AI is still as dumb as doornails as they didn’t see me assassinate one of their friends standing right next to them (not a problem exclusive to Mirage). I also wish that Basim would run that tiny bit faster, as he felt like he was trying to run with weights on his legs. Most of these issues can be attributed to Mirage initially starting as a DLC for AC Valhalla, and while that explains the problems, they still bug me.

I enjoyed my time with Assassin’s Creed Mirage. The game has enough references and changes that I properly enjoyed an AC game for the first time in a while. Some issues hamper the experience, but they were to be expected. I hope Ubisoft continues to make these smaller Assassin’s Creed games for us fans who miss the old days. With enough time and effort, I think Ubisoft could make everyone happy.

Tom’s score: 7/10

Couchsoups Overall Score: 7/10

Have you picked up and played Assassins Creed Mirage? Do you agree with our take? Drop a comment below, and let’s talk about it.

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