You know what sucks?
When a game series overstays its welcome.
There are 13 main-line AC games, and 16 spin-off games for various platforms.
That’s enough. It really is. After playing Assassin’s Creed: Mirage, I feel like I can safely say that there is no story left to tell. No gameplay mechanic to wow you. No character worth identifying with.
Let’s get this over with, shall we?
AC Mirage: A tired story best ignored
In AC Mirage you play a prequel story for Valhalla’s Basim. A plucky street thief who wants so bad to get out of his rut, join the order, and feel a sense of accomplishment. He does this by screwing up royally.. And also being completely forgettable.
I didn’t care about his story much at all, nor did I care for the companions you meet throughout.
Nobody stood out. Not even Shohreh Aghdashloo – an amazing actress and basically the feminine equivalent of Tom Waits – could save the story.
There is no Kassandra, Ezio or Bayek here to build an affinity for.
The enemies themselves are even the standard interchangeable bad guys with masks, and I really couldn’t have cared less about taking them out.
Speaking of, you do the classic progression method of doing investigations to reveal the next big bad you have to kill. These are basically linear little mini-quests that’ll have you poking around places, talking to folks, stealing things and being a stealthy little assassin.. Except for the times where you’re forced into traditional combat, which.. Suck.
Let’s get more into the gameplay, shall we?
AC Mirage’s Gameplay: It’s all be done before
They made a big deal about a return to form, embracing more classic AC gameplay.
That’s all well and good, and it isn’t like it’s bad, but..
..We’ve seen literally all of this before.
You’ve got social stealth, standard stealth, hiding in the tall grass, the hidden blade, special tools to unlock, diversions and more.. And nothing really exciting. The only suspense comes from the rote tension of infiltrating a location and knowing you can’t save while you’re there, so you hope you don’t die and lose all your progress.
I honestly feel like it’s more along the lines of making AC Origins with classic AC mechanics.
It’s all a game that anybody who’s played AC before understands. There is nothing new here to get excited about.
You have a wanted level system that – at first – seems to have weight enough to encourage you to think before you act, but really, it’s incredibly easy to get your wanted level back down by just.. Running for the posters marked on your compass to tear them down.
You have “choice” in how you approach a target, but it’s nothing like Hitman’s creative methods for eliminating targets.
And then you have so many on-rails portions that the game seems like it could be much, much shorter.
If it wasn’t obvious, I have found myself seriously not enjoying my time in AC Mirage, so we’re keeping this review short.
AC Mirage: Only if you really, REALLY want a new AC game.
The AC series has run too long now. There isn’t anything else worth exploring here; just new settings with the same mechanics and storyline, and honestly, I feel like the game should’ve been done after Odyssey.
If they really want to continue the AC story, they should branch off into modern timeline stories and start something entirely new there. The historical assassin aspect is just done. It’s got more crust and mold than a slice of pizza long forgotten in the back of the fridge.
I may come back to it, but honestly, it’s only worth playing if you’re just really, REALLY itching for some AC gameplay and have played all the others to death.
When you add on top all the issues I had getting the game to just plain run, and then the gameplay bugs themselves, you’ve really got to ask yourself.. Why did they make this it’s own game?
AC Mirage was supposedly originally going to be DLC for Valhalla, and after playing it.. It really should’ve stayed as DLC.
By stretching it out into a full game (at around 20 hours) it went much too long for a story that wasn’t worth telling.
You’ve got to be positively obsessed with the AC series in order to truly enjoy this, and honestly.. That’s not me. Loyalty to developers or a game series is not something I’m about, and I’m betting most of you are the same.
Just grab it on sale down the road and let it languish in your library until you’re bored enough to play it.