Ubisoft has fully revealed Assassin's Creed Mirage, a new action-adventure game in the series focused on stealth and parkour.
Revealed as part of Ubisoft Forward's Assassin's Creed Showcase, Assassin's Creed Mirage casts you as Basim Ibn Ishaq and is set in the city of Baghdad, twenty years before the events of Assassin's Creed Valhalla. It is designed to be a modern take on the original gameplay template for the earlier Assassin's Creed games, with developer Ubisoft Bordeaux using the same three design pillars as the original game: stealth, parkour, and assassinations.
No gameplay was shown, but a CGI cinematic trailer focused on the rise of Basim from a simple street thief to a master assassin. He does so under the tutelage of Roshan, a Persian assassin played by Emmy award-winning actor Shohreh Aghdashloo. Narrative director Sarah Beaulieu said that we can expect the duo's story to involve numerous historical figures, including political leaders.
Ubisoft Forward: Assassins Creed Mirage Slideshow
In an additional briefing shown to the press, Ubisoft Bordeaux revealed a number of additional details. Much like the early entries in the series, this is a city-set game, and Baghdad is split into four different districts. Beyond Baghdad we'll also visit Alamut, the fortress headquarters of the Hidden Ones.
The world has been designed with both parkour routes and stealth in mind, so expect plenty of pathways up to rooftops and hiding spots. A new, more granular detection system has been made to allow greater detail in stealth encounters. Ubisoft says you can also expect the return of some classic parkour moves, including the corner swing, and for the pace of freerunning to be faster than in the older games.
The move back to a more classic game template also means that the RPG structure of modern Assassin's Creed games has been removed; Mirage is described as a more linear game with a heavy focus on story. Like the original games, there will be stretches of linear mission chains, and then segments where you will be able to choose from a number of different available quests.
Some of those quests will be what Ubisoft call 'Black Box missions', which are the main assasination quests. Not many details were given, but it was said that they provide "opportunities to define the means and path to take down the next target." Perhaps they draw on AC Unity's assassination missions, which provided a number of different ways to infiltrate and area and kill a target?
While Assassin's Creed Mirage is certainly looking back to its roots, this modern take on those ideas does introduce a few new concepts. The eagle companion, first introduced in Assassin's Creed Origins, is back. Ubisoft say that using the bird's vision is helpful for identifying stealth routes, but to be aware of new archer enemies that can shoot your eagle out of the sky. Basim will also have acess to 'Assassin's Focus', an ability that slows down time and allows him to perform multiple assassinations at once. It sounds somewhat like Assassin's Creed's answer to Splinter Cell's Mark and Execute system.
Beyond these additions, it appears that Basim's kit is within the tradition of the series, including a blowdart, traps, and mines. He'll also be able to pull scaffolding down on enemies and other such contextual environmental kills.
Assassin's Creed Mirage will launch in 2023 on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, PC, and Amazon Luna. Three editions are planned; the $50 standard edition, $60 deluxe edition (which comes with "additional content"), and the $150 collector's case which includes the deluxe edition plus a 32cm statue of Basim, a replica of his brooch, a map and art book, a soundtrack, and a steelbook.
You can catch up on everything announced at today's Ubisoft Forward event with our full roundup.
Matt Purslow is IGN's UK News and Features Editor.