Assassin’s Creed fans were ecstatic last week when Ubisoft announced that several new Assassin’s Creed games are due for release.
One of these, and the one drawing the most attention, is “Assassin’s Creed Mirage”, which is slated to hit shelves sometime in 2023.
The game stars Basim, a character those who have played through Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be familiar with.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, released in 2020, is Ubisoft’s latest Assassin’s Creed game, set in the 9th century and letting players choose between two different Viking protagonists in a story involving revenge, betrayal and plenty of bloody combat. The game also features role-playing elements, letting you customize your character with different abilities, weapons and gear.
The next Assassin’s Creed game, though, is purportedly returning to the franchise’s roots, and will do without some of the stuff Ubisoft had put into the series since their pretty great 2017 game Assassin’s Creed Origins.
This means that the RPG elements in Valhalla won’t feature in Assassin’s Creed Mirage, and there will be no choice of protagonist. The whole game will take place in a single city (Baghdad), according to Ubisoft’s marketing blurb:
“Experience the story of Basim, a cunning street thief with nightmarish visions, seeking answers and justice as he navigates the bustling streets of ninth-century Baghdad. Through a mysterious, ancient organization known as the Hidden Ones, he will become a deadly Master Assassin and change his fate in ways he never could have imagined”.
So it seems like this could play similarly to the original Assassin’s Creed game, which was set in the Middle East and focused mostly on assassinating with no RPG stats or side-questing to worry about, which would certainly be a breath of fresh air for the franchise at this point in time for sure. Actually, Ubisoft has said that Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a “heartfelt homage to the game that started it all”, this referring to the original Assassin’s Creed game from 2007.
What caught some people’s attention too, though, is the fact that the game seemingly had an “Adults Only” rating.
As covered on Forbes, Assassin’s Creed Mirage was spotted with an “Adults Only” rating on the US Xbox Games Store, which may have led some pundits and fans to raise an eyebrow (note: this has been rectified at the time of writing to “rating pending”).
Of course, the upcoming Assassin’s Creed will be as violent as the others, it featuring “more visceral assassinations than ever before” according to Ubisoft’s description on the Xbox store.
But previous entries in the series have also featured a hefty dose of violence and gotten away with a Mature rating from the ESRB (the rating board for video games in the US) instead of “Adults Only”.
Also, it seemed other reasons behind the supposed “Adults Only” rating was “sexual themes” and “partial nudity”. But earlier Assassin’s Creed games have also featured this in some form or another – games like Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood have sex scenes (rather tame, mind you) and still escaped with “Mature” ratings.
The chief culprit, though, appeared to be “real gambling” and the fact Assassin’s Creed Mirage would offer loot boxes in the game.
Ubisoft has recently clarified that this is not the case, and that the game doesn’t actually have an “Adults Only” rating, though.
A Ubisoft spokesperson told Eurogamer that “following the announcement of Assassin’s Creed Mirage during Ubisoft Forward, some store pages mistakenly displayed the game for preorders with an Adults Only ESRB rating”.
“While Assassin’s Creed Mirage is still pending rating, Ubisoft wants to reassure players that no real gambling or lootboxes are present in the game”, added the Ubisoft man.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage was previewed during Ubisoft’s Forward event, with the company releasing a pretty good-looking trailer for the game (see above).
And while the “Adults Only” rating confusion may have stirred controversy, we are sincerely hoping this will turn out to be another Assassin’s Creed game worth remembering when it comes out next year.