The Future of Assassin’s Creed at UbiForward 2023 Part 4 - Assassin's Creed Mirage Gameplay Trailer
Banner by Thea Marie Rivedal (Moonchildgecko) from TOWCB Art Team.
Welcome to the forth and final part in our series breaking down all of the Assassin's Creed content presented at Ubisoft Forward 2023.
In part four, we take a look at Assassin's Creed Mirage Gameplay Trailer reveal!
The AC Mirage Gameplay Walkthrough opens above the streets of Baghdad with what appears to be the Great Mosque of al-Mansur. The developers show with this space alone that the map of the round city of Baghdad has been changed for the game from its historical reference. This is mainly due to the space in the center of the city around the building being a lot more dense with flora and gardens, where in historical images, the space around was much more empty.
Basim looks at a Wanted poster for himself that reads “Cutthroat (Killer/Murderer) Wanted for Justice”. These posters are part of the game’s notoriety system and the first time since Assassin’s Creed Revelations that we have had the multi-tier system. With previous trailers also showing city criers, we should see a similar system with posters, payoffs, and dispatching authoritative figures being the way to lower your wanted level in game.
A short montage of scenes follow, with Basim running from the Caliphate, and parkouring over a stack of wood.
A corner assassination where Basim helps align this guard's neck and drags his body away from view.
Lastly, we see the Assassin performing a Leap of Faith from within the second ring of the city walls.
Basim on horseback galloping through a flock of ostriches, a new animal in the Assassin’s Creed series. Could these animals provide crafting or trade materials? Their features, meat, and bone could provide monetary gain or be used for the blowgun we see later on, similar to the blow darts in AC IV: Black Flag.
Basim runs across a rope over the streets. The layered carpets over and under the awning of this building could represent a shop, possibly the tailors for new outfit dyes, or maybe to get decorations for the bureau, like how Edward and Ezio would purchase art for their own bases.
Basim rowing a wooden boat through the city canals with nearby civilians going on with their daily tasks. This image alone provides a great sense of the life that we will see in this dense city. Who knows what kind of chatter we will be able to hear and learn from. Rumors, arguments, comments? I think of Origins and the lines of dialogue that were recorded to make the city stand on its own.
Basim takes a pause in front of the ziggurat of Dur-Kurigalzu, west of the city of Baghdad. While this may appear to be a large landmass, it actually housed a city with temples before being abandoned in the 12th Century BCE. Could we have an opportunity to explore the ruins, or will they be occupied by factions, or even the Order of the Ancients?
This set of shots could be from the same scene, where Basim and friend Nehal appear one after the other. Is this a reunion? Basim standing behind the flame of a brazier is drawing the attention to him. Did he just appear before Nehal, and if so, is she happy to see him, or upset at seeing his Assassin’s garb? Is this where she asks, “Swallow your questions. Serve without complaint. Who is she to tell you when to strike?” that we heard in the story trailer?
More combat between Basim and the Caliphate guards. Kicking one away and countering another with a spin, kicking up sand. How many counter animations will we get to see? Will the sand be used to blind opponents like in AC II?
More scenes of Basim with one where he rolls over the back of a Caliphate, the counter roll that we used in Valhalla and the Hook and Run in Revelations.
Lastly, Basim releases his hidden blade before launching into a sprint assassination on a Caliphate guard from behind, ending the pre-roll before the gameplay begins.
Gameplay begins in the streets of Baghdad. Basim’s current mission: Branching Out (located in the top left corner) is wrapping up and Basim must report to Roshan to complete it. The lush greenery and flowers are giving life to the brown and tan colored city. In the Developer Gameplay Breakdown (DGB) (link) Art Director, Jean-Luc Sala & Creative Director, Stéphane Boudon describe Baghdad as a “garden city”.
Basim parkours across the balconies and beams on the right of the screen, stopping on top of a decorative rope to assassinate a target before sprinting from the nearby alerted guards.
In the third image above, we see the player HUD for the first time. (From L-R, top to bottom) We see the mission details again, then the compass in the top-center, the player Health/Stamina bars and what appears to be this game's “rations” icon, a health tonic. Lastly, in the lower right we see the wanted system with three stages “Aware”, “Range Attack” and “Combat”. While these names are not the official titles for the system, it provides an idea of what we can expect. At Stage 1, enemies will be aware of you, the red “!” icon at the top of the HUD activating. At Stage 2, range based enemies will start looking for you and attacking, and at Stage 3, you will be hunted by the Caliphate.
Basim makes a hard turn down a side street and pulls down a scaffolding, an obstacle that players may remember from previous AC titles. This results in a cinematic camera angle where the collapse kicks up a cloud of dust to hide Basim from the sight of the guards. While I do not believe that the camera change will be part of the game, and is used here for show, it would be interesting to see more cinematic angles if it doesn’t hinder the player experience or controls.
Basim rushes up a stack of crates and uses the returning “corner swing” to turn without stopping, rushing across beams and up a roof where one of the new Marksman types sees the Assassin and draws his bow. Basim luckily drops out of sight and into the canal where he will jump to a zipline.
Once he drops out of range, we get a better look at the compass and the various icons used to tell players where points of interest are. Before him we see the Assassin’s Emblem which indicates the nearby bureau within 43 m of Basim. To the far right we see two crossed swords, a blacksmith’s shop most likely as next to it are two sewing needles which have been used in the past for the tailors. To the right of the bureau icon and on the right of the screen we see an orange sun which is the marker for the current mission location.
A classic way to locate an Assassin’s Bureau is the rooftop is the open air entry and nearby Assassin’s Emblem. Basim drops into the covered entry where we see multiple Assassins of different positions and a very lived-in environment. This is great for world building as previous entries felt barren.
Basim enters the bureau to be greeted by Fuladh and Abu Jafar Muhammad with the Arabic greeting “Alhamdulillah” or “ praise be to God”. Abu Jafar is noted to be an historical figure in the DGB and from what I could locate, is most likely to be al-Tabari (link) a historian of the period. He will be in charge of your gear and creating new tools for players. Basim hands Fuladh the feather from his first assignment, the man who we saw him kill in the story trailer video; the man with the Golden Moustache Mask. In return, Abu Jafar provides a paper of some form, possibly further information on what they have learned in his absence, or possibly payment for his work as paper currency was used at the time in Asia.
Basim joins Fuladh and Roshan at the map table where they inform Basim that they have been looking for new locations to erect Bureaus while he focused on Al-Ghul (the first assassination target, the Golden Moustache). Having found three districts that are unassuming. With this information, we now know that there are four potential bureaus minimum (including the one they are in) and four Order of the Ancient members (as we learned in the story trailer). It would be easy to suspect that we will have one OotA member per district, and I still believe that we will see at least eight members total.
Two off-screen Assassins, Tabid and Rebekah have joined from Alamut and are splitting up to look into bureau locations in Al-Abbasiyah and Karkh. Al-Abbasiyah sounds like it may be home to the Abbasid Caliphate, and Karkh is western Baghdad. Fuladh also mentions traveling to Sharqiyah while Roshan goes to meet Rebekah in Karkh. Researching these names I got locations around the Middle East, but nothing definitive to Baghdad (except for Karkh).
Abu Jafar invites Basim to look at his tools, where Basim is able to unlock the last of six tools. Starting from the highlighted orange tool, the Blowdart, in a clockwise order we have the smoke bomb, trap automaton, noisemaker, throwing knife, and torch at the top of the circle. The tutorial panel on the right informs you to wisely choose a tool to unlock, but that all tools can be unlocked later in the game. In the DGB we learn that each tool can be upgraded via a skill tree so there will be plenty of opportunity to strengthen your tools.
Hovering over the Blowdart, we see a description of the tool, the ammo capacity, range, and duration. With the return of the tailors as seen on the compass, ammo patches will most likely be an upgradable option to purchase and unlock. Later in this trailer we see the sleep darts being used, from the DGB we know that damage darts (Poison) and Berserk darts will also be available? Once you select the tool to unlock, you will need to confirm your selection.
After unlocking the Blowdart, Basim walks to the Contracts Board (labeled with a quill and parchment) where players will be able to find additional missions to unlock currency and materials to upgrade his tools.
In the top left corner we see the three token types that are accumulated by completing these missions and their optional “Contractor Requests”. The pentagon bronze token is the “Power Favor Token” (as we see gained later on), the silver appears to be the “Assassin Favor Token” based on the use of a feather in its design, and the jade colored one the “City Favor Token” is assumed based on the building design. These lead me to believe we will have tokens for weapons, stealth, and environmental/social abilities or tool upgrades using them.
One of our newest members @HiddenOnesN translated the text on the wall behind the contracts. Click her name to read the full thread on these.
The highlighted contract, “The Bronze Mirror Heist” is presented with a hand reaching into a fortress with a silver color (as well as jade) as it is related to the Assassin Token. This appears to be the symbol for a stealth mission where you must steal an item, such as the Bronze Mirror. There is also a silver pair of swords over a pathway which is most likely an escort mission where we must defend a target. In orange we see the escort and the last contract type, a skull and Hidden Blade which is an obvious assassination contract.
The reward for completing “The Bronze Mirror Heist” is 2x of a sword/bird icon (I assume ability points), 45x Components (crafting materials), and 1x Assassin Favor Token. IF the player also completes the mission without killing anyone, they meet the requirements for the Contractor Request and will unlock a second Assassin Favor Token as well as 65 Dirham (currency).
We get a glance at the selected Assassination contract, “The Concubine” where Basim is tasked with killing whoever is holding one of the Caliph’s concubines, a rebel spy, hostage at the Prince’s Palace. This mission will reward a Power Favor Token, 45x Components, 135 Steel Ingots (materials to upgrade armor?) and if they do not take damage, additional rewards of a second Power Favor token and 65 Dirham will be provided.
We transition to Basim using a bench to “Pass Time” as we have used in previous titles such as the RPG titles. He stands fromt he bench and moves forward to climb higher on the nearby wall to reach a vantage point over the city square.
Basim calls Enkidu to look around the area, but his companion is shot down by a nearby Marksman and becomes unavailable until the enemy is removed from the area. This not only provides a challenge to the character, but is also a component of deciding how to complete a mission and which direction to take.
After Basim performs a Leap of Faith to a haystack below, he crosses the square and climbs the second wall before him to activate his “Eagle Vision”. In Mirage’s style, the world is darkened in shadow while enemies are highlighted in red, and their vision cones are also displayed (a great addition as I always got confused on which way they faced). Treasure chests are highlighted in gold and hiding spots such as the haystack in the corner are shown in white (as all stealth options will be).
Bassim drops down to a pile of flowers and walks swiftly to a group of civilians, telling them to act casual. This is a look at the return of Social Stealth, a key component that fans have been missing for quite some time. Outside of organic opportunities like this, we also learn from the DGB that you can pay merchants and groups to create additional stealth opportunities.
As Basim hides we see the nearby guard walk past with a visible health and focus bar next to a difficulty indicator as we saw last in Valhalla. This guard appears to be inactive with the white diamond, but later we will see one that is on the offensive.
Basim sneaks past the guard into a flowerbed where he equips his Blowdart and knocks out a nearby guard. We see from the tool wheel that players can track their ammo levels as well as assign three tools to “Quick Use” hotkeys on their keyboard/controller. This wheel will also slow down time to allow players time to make decisions (per the DGB).
Basim dispatches the second guard and continues past the sandbags to another flowerbed underneath the Marksman that shot at Enkidu earlier. However, before he can reach the Marksman, he has a few more guards to take care of.
Basim equips the Noisemaker and tosses it into the doorframe of the nearby entryway, the highlighted arch showing where it will land.
The Noisemaker explodes with a loud snapping noise drawing the attention of the nearby guards. Basim kills the first and then a double assassination of the guard on the stairs with a throwing knife. We see here with the second guard, that there is a red bar under his difficulty indicator which shows that he is attacking.
Basim climbs the tower, the wanted icon at the top now in yellow with a “?” showing that Basim’s location is unknown. The Marksman has a crossed out eagle icon (the Enkidu restriction) and a skull meaning that the guard is either a higher difficulty or still hunting for Basim. The Assassin performs a ledge assassination to kill the Marksman and is informed that Enkidu is available from use again.
Enkidu takes off and shows Basim where his target is using the orange sun icon again as well as a gold chest icon on the right side of the roof.
Basim reaches the ropes above his target and activates his Eagle Vision again, moving then into the new “Assassin Focus” where Basim can chain assassinate enemies. The gauge for this is shown with the five bars at the bottom of the screen. The controls will allow players to target up to five enemies and target them if needed before launching the attack. However, Basim must perform stealth kills to recharge it.
This will trigger a series of ghostly assassinations as Basim movies like an apparition, teleporting to each kill.
Basim arms and tosses a Trap automatron and then moves in for his assassination.
Basim moves from the target kill to double assassinate a guard on the right before countering the guard on the left and breaking his focus. The heavy Caliphate guard at the entrance triggers the trap which appears to be poison.
Basim runs past and turns at the staircase down towards two more guards and uses a smoke bomb to cloud the space in a red smoke as he escapes.
Basim air assassinates a guard outside of the contract area, completing the Contractor Request of not taking damage and receives his rewards of a Power Favor Token, Components, Steel Ingots, and Dirham.
The trailer ends with Basim blending into the crowd as the Caliphate hunts for him. We also see the red hand icon for Pickpocketing before the camera raises to the closing Mirage logo.
This ends The Ones Who Came Before’s coverage of UbiForward. We hope that you have enjoyed these articles and are excited to discuss everything with our fans on our Discord and socials.
About the Author
Mike Smith is a collector of all things Assassin's Creed and a major supporter for the transmedia platform for the series. With nearly a full library of Assassin's Creed media, he is exploring the universe in order of Genetic Memory and waiting eagerly for the next story to be released.
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