The release of two huge RPGs may be taking up all the gaming oxygen at the moment, but Ubisoft would like to remind you that once you've had your fun in Baldur's Gate 3 and Starfield, a brand-spankin' new Assassin's Creed will be waiting for you.
In fact, it's coming even sooner than planned: Assassin's Creed Mirage has gone gold, and is now releasing a week early on October 5.
What a nice new trend, early releases. Larian moved Baldur's Gate 3 up a full month on PC to get out of the way of Starfield, and that's going pretty well so far. Mirage is only moving up a week, but Ubisoft could be doing something similar here: October 5 means Assassin's Creed is no longer releasing against Lords of the Fallen (October 13) and Alan Wake 2 (October 17). The shift also gives it space from Spider-Man 2 (October 20), which will likely be a real monster of a PS5 exclusive.
Assassin's Creed Mirage has gone gold and is coming out a week early! 📀On behalf of the entire team, we can't wait for you to explore 9th Century Baghdad with Basim.Your journey now starts on October 5. Save the new date! #AssassinsCreed pic.twitter.com/eWAZttvjIXAugust 14, 2023
And that extra week might be all the time you need to enjoy Assassin's Creed to the fullest. Ubi has explained that Mirage is a throwback to old AC in just about every way: the whole map is centralized to 9th century Baghdad, it's stealth-focused, and leaves behind all the grindy RPG stuff from Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla.
It's also shorter than those RPGs, which might explain why Ubi is selling Mirage for just $50. Not that Mirage will be a short game—it'll apparently take 20-23 hours to complete, which is exactly in-line with the classic AC games Mirage is emulating. I'll happily accept a reprieve from our new $70 videogame reality, but it's interesting to watch a major publisher grapple with pricing a game that explicitly isn't promising an all-consuming 100 adventure like so many big-budget games aim for these days. I want to believe Ubi could sell a 20-hour Mirage for regular price without inviting backlash, but perhaps focus groups said otherwise.
Back in my day (2009), a 20-hour game was long. I remember thinking Assassin's Creed 2 felt huge, and then being blown away when Brotherhood came a year later with a bigger city, longer story, and engrossing assassin guild management. Looking back, that was probably the start of AC packing loads of extraneous mechanics into new games to justify its old annual release schedule.
Oh well—guess I'll just have to play my favorite type of Assassin's Creed for less money than usual, darn!