With Mirage, a return to the roots for Assassin’s Creed

by Intel Gaming |

After forays to Ancient Greece, the American Revolution, and Renaissance Italy, the storied franchise returns to something like home: the sands of ancient deserts and mesmerizing Islamic architecture. 12th-century Syria and Jerusalem provided the backdrop for the initial installment, and in Assassin’s Creed Mirage a dazzling re-creation of 9th-century Baghdad takes center stage. Benjamin Vic, Associate Producer at Ubisoft Bordeaux, gives us the lowdown on the highly anticipated title. 

Celebrating the Assassin’s Legacy 

At the core of Assassin’s Creed Mirage you find innovation as well as a tribute to the franchise’s past. Vic describes it as an homage that “[brings] back some of the most loved features from every past Assassin’s Creed game, the dense and vibrant open-city philosophy, the focus on assassination and stealth, on top of adding some new takes in the parkour, [and] new additions to the AC lore.” For long-time fans, the resurrection of treasured gameplay features should feel like a warm embrace. Newcomers aren’t left behind, however; the game is tailored to enthrall all players. Vic confirms that it is “designed for everyone.” 

Players take an immersive journey through a meticulously designed Baghdad that bursts with vibrant hues and intricate textures. Vic made special mention of “the level of attention and efforts invested by the teams to ensure Baghdad felt both authentic and enjoyable gameplay wise … The architecture, the tapestries, but also the work that has been done to have a really crowded city, without losing too much on the performance side.” The richly drawn narrative centers on and explores the backstory of Basim Ibn Ishaq, a character previously encountered in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and introduces a powerful secret society known as The Hidden Ones. “The objective was to go back to the roots, gameplay-wise, but also in terms of lore,” Vic explains. “This also means a more condensed experience; back to what are The Hidden Ones, the way they operate, and their objectives. We can really feel that by being in Baghdad, going to Alamut, before Altaïr’s days around the Levantine Assassin’s fortress. We’ve come full circle, at last!” 

**This Time It’s Personal ** 

Vic knows that performance always matters, no matter the platform, and just booting the game detects the optimal settings for a smooth ride. Ubisoft did not forget the “PC players who want more, or the tinkerers,” however. Players can personalize their experience through a range of settings that can be modified. “Among other things,” Vic confirmed, “players will be able to play around with FPS values (min/max), as well as choose between four different technologies of super-sampling, including Intel? Xe Super Sampling technology, to find the best deal between performance and visual quality. To complete performance and quality settings, players will be able to tailor additional comfort settings.” So the game returns to its franchise roots in feel, but at the same time reaches new technical heights. With support for the latest Intel? ARCTM GPUs in addition, Mirage empowers players to strike their own perfect balance between visual splendor and peak performance. 

Keeping Players in the Picture 

Creating a living, breathing city teeming with life while maintaining game performance is no small feat. Vic singles out crowd rendering as a particularly challenging aspect of the development process. The city had to feel “dense and alive” no matter the platform, or its performance capabilities; Vic supervised the process in which the “best scenario possible” was reached in each case. 

The lines of communication with Intel were left open, and common ground was found in the prioritizing of player experience. “This is something that has been greatly appreciated by the dev team,” Vic says. “If tough calls had to be made on any topic, player’s comfort and experience were always a priority. That reinforced our trust to work with Intel.” 

A Call to Blades and Brotherhood 

With its blend of legacy and innovation, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is poised to be one of the crown jewels in the series; one that delivers an unparalleled experience for PC gamers. The game is a significant milestone for Ubisoft Bordeaux, as it marks their inaugural venture as a lead studio for the revered franchise. Or as Vic puts it: “an awesome first run”. When asked about the future of the franchise with Ubisoft Bordeaux, Vic offered a discreet, “We’ll see,” but affirmed that “time (and players’ feedback) will help [in] defining what’s next!” 

So get ready to embrace the shadows, traverse the enchanting realms of ancient Baghdad, and forge your own legacy.