Assassin’s Creed Mirage: everything we know about the return to AC’s roots

Assassin's Creed Mirage — Basim leaps into combat with sword and dagger.
(Image credit: Ubisoft Bordeaux)

Assassin's Creed Mirage might seem a little unfamiliar, depending on which of the recent games you might have played. Before its diversions into open worlds of ancient Greece and viking-pillaged England, the series used to focus on an order of assassins, and the creed that they had. It was a simpler time, where game worlds were smaller, color palettes were grayer, and people with wrist-knives had roaming packs of priests in conveniently-similar garb to disappear into. You had to be there.

With Mirage, Ubisoft Bordeaux is hearkening back to that bygone era, stuffing the arguably-overgrown series back into a city-sized sandbox. As arch-assassin Basim, you'll prowl and parkour across the rooftops of 9th century Baghdad, wielding an array of lethal tools to shuffle your targets along to whatever pace they'll requiescat in. Here's everything we know about Assassin's Creed Mirage.

Assassin's Creed Mirage release date

What is Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s release date?

Assassin’s Creed Mirage releases on October 12, 2023.

The release announcement arrived in May 2023's PlayStation Showcase in May 2023. At release, Mirage will be on PC on the Epic Games Store and the Ubisoft Store. It's likely that it'll eventually arrive on Steam as well, as Assassin's Creed games tend to, but it might be a wait. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla didn’t show up on Steam until two years after its initial release.

How much will Assassin’s Creed Mirage cost?

The standard game prices seem to be settling at $70 for large AAA games, it seems like no one's told Ubisoft yet. Assassin’s Creed Mirage is available via Epic Games for $50. 

Assassin's Creed Mirage trailers

Here’s the latest breakdown of Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s gameplay

From the latest trailer, it’s clear that Basim will really be relying more on the stealthy approach than the stars of the last few Assassin's Creeds. Mirage is shifting the gameplay focus towards clever use of gadgetry and tactical wrist-knifing, rather than the combat-focused brawls of recent entries.

There’s also an excellent Return to the Roots gameplay rundown by the team at Ubisoft that shows what their approach to the three pillars of Assassin’s Creed gameplay are. It covers Mirage’s return to a balance between parkour, stealth, and assassinations. You can also check out the original premiere trailer from back in September 2022 for some more choice stuff. 

Assassin's Creed Mirage gameplay and story info

What kind of Assassin's Creed is Assassin's Creed Mirage?

It's a lot more Ezio than it is Eivor. Mirage is a step away from the recent, sprawling open worlds of Assassin's Creed games, returning to the densely-packed parkour playgrounds of its earliest games. Expect Basim to be doing fewer prolonged swordfights and a lot more stealth takedowns, ledge kills, and other forms of hopefully-unseen neck stabbing. At least, that's usually the goal—chances are you'll still end up needing to swordfight your way out of a few botched kills.

This also means the return of social stealth, so you can mingle with crowds and blend in to avoid otherwise troublesome enemies. But new enemies like the marksman—who can shoot down your eagle while it's scouting—and guards who can summon reinforcements with a horn will make planning your approach more challenging than starting a brawl.

Parkour is getting a renewed focus, bringing back corner swings and quick ascents, and you can really see in the gameplay footage how quickly and smoothly Basim moves across the roofs of Baghdad. Ubisoft Bordeaux said its approach “is closer to the Ezio games, where it’s all about keeping the flow and momentum going, with the design centered around verticality.” Larger gaps between buildings can also be crossed with the new pole vault. 

Assassin's Creed Mirage — Basim looks out across Baghdad at sunset while perched on a balcony.

(Image credit: Ubisoft Bordeaux)

Where is Assassin’s Creed Mirage set?

Basim is going to be running around ninth century Baghdad, starting in 861, which puts it about 20 years before his appearance in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The city of Baghdad is a lot denser than recent games in the series, and the tops of buildings are looking to be just as important as the streets and alleys below.

What about Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s story?

We’ve already gotten a look at what drives Basim Ibn Is'haq, who joins the Hidden Ones in their mission to track down and eliminate the Order of the Ancients to break their hold over Baghdad. Creative director Stephane Boudon laid out the intent behind the story clearly: “300 years before the time of Altair, we are telling the story of Basim and how he became a master assassin.”

This younger version of Basim from his appearance in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is a step back in time, and will show his transition from a street urchin to the deadliest living thing outside of Australia.

Other Assassin's Creed Mirage info

Assassin's Creed Mirage will have a desaturated nostalgia filter option

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

The first Assassin's Creed came out in 2007, which was a profoundly grey time for games. You mostly had two palettes to choose from: ash or dust. If you long for those halcyon days of muted hues, Mirage has your back.

"We are excited to announce that Assassin's Creed Mirage will include as an option a nostalgic visual filter inspired by the desaturated blue/gray color palette from the first AC game," said Ubisoft on Twitter.

There's an Assassin's Creed Mirage tie-in haptic vest if you want to experience the thrill of knife wounds

Pairing with haptics peripheral company Owo, Ubisoft announced a themed, promotional variant of a $500 haptic vest. The wireless, padded wearable has 10 zones across the arms and upper body that can produce "sensations" for the wearer in response to in-game events. Like getting hit with an axe, maybe. Historically, that's not been an experience people have sought out, but I won't tell you how to spend your money.

Glancing at the website, you can apparently "live the game to the fullest by calibrating your OWO Skin" with its associated mobile phone app, which is maybe the worst quote I've ever added to a story.

Philip Palmer

Phil is a contributor for PC Gamer, formerly of TechRadar Gaming. With four years of experience writing freelance for several publications, he's covered every genre imaginable. For 15 years he's done technical writing and IT documentation, and more recently traditional gaming content. He has a passion for the appeal of diversity, and the way different genres can be sandboxes for creativity and emergent storytelling. With thousands of hours in League of Legends, Overwatch, Minecraft, and countless survival, strategy, and RPG entries, he still finds time for offline hobbies in tabletop RPGs, wargaming, miniatures painting, and hockey.