Assassin’s Creed Mirage review: In with the old & out with the new

Jessica Filby
Assassin's Creed Mirage

Originally designed to be a DLC for Valhalla, Assassin’s Creed Mirage manages to separate itself from its previously intended nature, providing an unforgettable adventure so clearly inspired by previous entries.

Since 2007, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has been an ideal blend between history and fiction. Each installment engrosses players into a key moment in time, allowing them to explore the world through the eyes of a legendary Assassin.

In recent games, the genre has shifted from stealth to a historical RPG. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Origins, and Valhalla saw spawling maps, plenty of sidequests, and hundreds of hours of content, placing them a world away from the experiences many know and love. Naturally, that change was met with some resistance.

Now, it feels like the debate has disappeared, with Mirage settling the franchise back onto its throne of success.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage Key Details:

  • Price: £44.99 | $49.99
  • Developer: Ubisoft 
  • Release Date: October 5, 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, iOS, and Microsoft Windows

A godly tale of discovery and danger

The aforementioned initial design of Mirage being a DLC turned full game has inspired perhaps one of the best stories in recent Assassin’s Creed history. This story expertly encapsulates the struggles of freedom, obedience, and one’s true nature taking place within Basim, the age-old organizations, and Baghdad itself.

Through a series of memorable mysteries and clever cases, players get the chance to discover the members of The Order and stop their negative impact on the city. Basim uses his skills as an Assassin and as a veteran of the city’s streets to kill, pickpocket, bribe, and aid in rebellions in order to free the city he once loved.

Despite only being around 20 hours long, this is all killer, no filler. The main story felt engaging throughout, keeping Basim on his toes as he witnessed the hardships and struggles of those around him, all while discovering the true nature of Basim Ibn Ishaq. In fact, thanks to the twists and turns, the pace and story length felt perfect, allowing for complete immersion and the freedom to slow the experience down if needed.

The likes of Valhalla, Origins, and Odyssey have extensive features, meaning many can clock in over 50 hours without even touching the main storyline. Mirage couldn’t be any different, setting the precedent we’d love to see for all future Assassin’s Creed games.

Thrilling story stunted by lackluster combat

Assassin's Creed Mirage
The combat may look amazing in cutscenes, but in reality, it’s far from perfect.

Where Mirage’s story thrives, certain gameplay elements leave some to be desired. Naturally, the classic design of this title means the primary feats of combat will be surrounded in stealth, with Basim getting the drop on the enemy rather than dealing in any face-to-face combat.

There are times when this sort of battle is required, which is prepared for with some tutorials — but Assassin’s Creed Mirage never feels at home with this louder style of fighting. The dodge and parry movements feel stiff and the use of such a low stamina bar proves more of a hindrance, especially for a guy that runs around Baghdad for hours on end.

That’s not to say there’s no place for this, but without the possibility to upgrade your stamina or attack in quick succession, you’re forced to take the stealth route more times than not. Then, when it does come down to a boss fight, the battle is forced to be equally as simplistic. It’s as if the game knows this element isn’t the key aspect.

Inspired by games gone by

Assassin's Creed Mirage Assassin's Focus
Mirage’s new features were impressive, but its homage to the old style really shone.

One of the key selling points of Assassin’s Creed Mirage is its links to titles old and new. Fans get to witness some classic designs and features mixed with some of the best aspects of the newer titles.

One such homage to previous titles is the hiding spots and Bureaus. They felt reminiscent of the Ezio trilogy, featuring blending into the crowd, sitting on benches, and similar Hidden Ones mosaics highlighting the safe havens along the rooftops.

Mirage isn’t solely a tribute to fan favorites — in fact, new design is laced throughout. From the use of bribing tokens, a pickpocketing mechanic, and the Assassin’s Focus technique adopted by Basim.

The new and classic features allow Mirage to stand out from its predecessors, bringing a perfect combination of remastered mechanics and a level of uniqueness throughout Basim’s journey. Even the newer feature of the Assassin’s Focus, which at the start felt a little overpowered, settled in wonderfully and turned out to be an effective and extremely satisfying way to take down groups of enemies.

However, not all the new ideas were great. The introduction of a series of tokens along with coins felt complicated and unnecessary. They became a needless addition to look for, with many quests prompting either a certain amount of coins or a specific token to progress. Such a mechanic left me overly preparing for each quest, only to often find out my extra farming was not needed.

A visual wonder

Assassin's Creed Mirage visuals
Throughout the cutscenes and gameplay, Mirage’s visuals were outstanding.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage is without a doubt one of the most visually impressive titles in the franchise. Each climb over the rooftop, synchronization, parkour through the streets, or cutscene looks stunning. The lighting is impactful everywhere you look, the details of each character and NPC are second to none, and we faced no stutters, crashes, or glitches.

Thanks to this, the parkour and faster-paced elements of Mirage were incredibly smooth, with Ubisoft ironing out any player frustrations from the likes of Odyssey or Valhalla’s exploration. It seems the dedication to a smaller-scale Assassin’s Creed game has done nothing but make this another successful addition to an already stellar 2023.

The Verdict – 4/5

Despite the lackluster combat, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a brilliant homage to those that came before, highlighting just what makes the franchise so popular. With any luck, Mirage will set a precedent for future releases, incorporating the best aspects from Assassin tales old, and new. It’s not perfect, but Assassin’s Creed Mirage is about as close as the franchise has gotten for years, hopefully highlighting a new age for the Hidden Ones’ future.

Reviewed on Xbox Series X.

About The Author

Based in Cumbria, England, Jessica is a Senior Games Writer who joined Dexerto after stints at Game Rant and The Gamer. You can find her covering everything from Minecraft, CoD, Disney Dreamlight Valley, Pokemon Go and more. You can contact Jessica at