Since 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins, Ubisoft has continued to expand on the open-world possibilities of its marquee franchise. While this push for more has been received well by fans, there’s been a distinct lack of focus on the tenets of Assassin’s Creed that made this series what it is today: parkour, stealth, and assassination. Wanting to celebrate 15 years of Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft Bordeaux created Assassin’s Creed Mirage, a lean back-to-basics entry that’s the first in years you can beat in less than 80 hours.
Through its roughly 15-hour story, players control Basim Ibn Is’haq, whom we first saw as an important character in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, in a coming-of-age story that sheds light on a secret period of the Hidden Ones order. While its story left us wanting a lot more out of it, especially with its anti-climactic and sudden ending, exploring the singular city of Baghdad using parkour and stealth was a treat. Gone were extended combat sequences, RPG mechanics, tiered loot, and sprawling adventures across entire countries; in its place, a slim reminder of where Assassin’s Creed began as a franchise and what makes it special to begin with, even if Mirage’s overall depth was shallower than we had hoped.