Ubisoft has been making Assassin’s Creed games for 16 years now, seeing the franchise shift from stealth simulators to open-world RPGs. With the latest entry, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the series goes back to its stealth roots, but Mirage may not be the only way for Assassin’s Creed to return to its early days. The appetite for traditional Assassin’s Creed games mixed with the remake-craze in video games makes now the perfect time for an Assassin’s Creed 1 rerelease — and Mirage hints that be in the cards.
In many ways, Assassin’s Creed Mirage already feels like a test run for a remake of the original 2007 title. The Middle Eastern setting, heavy focus on social stealth, and short narrative all remind the player of Mirage’s forebearer. That is intentional, as developer Ubisoft Bordeaux has been open about using the first Assassin’s Creed game as a blueprint for Mirage.
“We wanted to go back closely to where it all began and pay homage to the beginnings of Assassin’s Creed,” says Narrative Director Sarah Beaulieu in the “Assassin's Creed Mirage: A Return to the Roots” trailer for the game. Several pieces of concept art and shots from Mirage’s many trailers directly seek to recreate iconic pieces of art from the original 2007 title, showing just how influential it was on Mirage’s development team.
This extends to a nostalgic filter that players can turn on in the game’s settings that gives a desaturated blue tint to the world, just like the first Assassin’s Creed. Mirage already plays like a refined version of the original, but with this filter, players would be forgiven for thinking it was a full remake.
Mirage also closely connects itself to the original narrative. While it takes place roughly 300 years before Assassin’s Creed, Mirage returns to Alamut, the iconic home of the Assassin Order that acts as a home base for the first game’s protagonist, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. Further still, Basim’s mentor Roshan is revealed to have a direct connection to Altaïr as her last name is bint-La’Ahad. This indicates that there is some blood relation between the two and that Roshan’s line leads to Altaïr.
With Mirage proving that the franchise’s audience still has an appetite for the classic Assassin’s Creed experience, there is no better time than now for a remake of the original game. 2023 has been one of the best years for gaming in recent memory, and part of that has been thanks to a handful of incredible remakes of classic titles. Resident Evil 4, Dead Space, System Shock, Like a Dragon: Ishin! — the list is lengthy. The trend shows no signs of letting up either, with the likes of Silent Hill 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 also receiving remakes.
The original Assassin’s Creed stands out as the perfect candidate for the remake treatment as well. The 2007 title has helped define what modern gaming looks like, but today seems like a rough draft of something better. The best remakes refine the original, while fully realizing unfinished ideas. Mirage shows what a polished version of the original could play like, and it is a prospect full of potential.