The last few Assassin’s Creed titles have been gigantic games that can easily take over a hundred hours to fully complete, with huge maps crowded with POIs and tons of side quests to distract you from the main story. According to Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the upcoming spin-off, is smaller and more “intimate” because fans grew tired of these giant RPGs. And the devs were more than happy to go in this direction with the latest game in the franchise.
While I’ll be the first to say that modern Assassin’s Creed games have been a lot of fun, I’ll also admit that recent entries in the series like Odyssey and Valhalla have become far too big and bloated. More recent Assassin’s Creed games, starting with Origins, have evolved the franchise from a series of smaller, stealth games set in large cities into a collection of massive open-world RPGs often filled with hundreds of quests, side quests, collectibles, and places to explore. And if you, like me, long for a smaller, more focused Assassin’s Creed, well, we aren’t alone.
In an interview with GamesRadar, Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s creative director Stéphane Boudon explained that while Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla were all “great games” that let players “live an epic journey” it was clear that those players were longing for something different and smaller.
“Amongst our fans, we started hearing the desire for a character-driven story, focused on the core pillars of the first ACs in a more intimate scale,” explained Boudon. “It resonates with us as well, as developers, and this was the starting point of the project.”
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Boudon also said that while Mirage came about from a “convergence of several inputs” the biggest driver behind the upcoming spin-off’s smaller scale and focus on narrative came from what the community was asking for after years of huge RPGs.
Further, Mirage pays homage to the OG Assassin’s Creed game starring Altair. Mirage is set in a similar part of the world—the Middle East during the 13th century—and features actual assassins and not proto-assassins as seen in recent games.
I think all of this is a great direction to take the franchise. I want to keep playing these games, but after Valhalla, I’m not sure I need yet another 200-hour epic RPG. This could really help mix things up and keep the franchise feeling fresh and fun. I hope this is the start of a new trend where we see a mix of bigger, open-world entries (Valhalla, Origins) and smaller games focused on stealth. The franchise can support this mix and it would help avoid burning out fans who play every new game AKA me.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage is set to release sometime this year for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.