Assassin’s Creed Mirage – Our Accessibility Review

Lecture intro

Assassin’s Creed Mirage is the latest game in a franchise that is particularly dear to our team of testers, so we couldn’t let this opportunity pass us by!

jaquette du jeu

GenreAction / Adventure
Release dateOctober 5, 2023
Age rating18+

With the first Assassin’s Creed dating back to 2007, the franchise has already celebrated its 15th anniversary. This latest installment is in the same vein as its predecessor released three years prior: Valhalla. Players take on the role of Basim, the mentor of Eivor, in the days of his youth in Baghdad and discovery of the Order.

This action-adventure game has the hallmarks of a Ubisoft title: an open world and historical setting, as we follow the adventures of a hero locked in conflict with an ancient order.

The three previous games have placed the emphasis on combat, which has become more dynamic, with character positioning taking on greater importance in the gameplay.

In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, the franchise returns to its roots in several ways: 9th-century Baghdad is reminiscent of the first game, featuring Altaïr in 12th-century Jerusalem during the Crusades.

Additionally, as the story of a youthful pickpocket, the series focuses on stealth once more. The dynamic combat is still present — we’re still in the same ballpark as the game’s predecessors — but stealth infiltration and pickpocketing are just as important.

It is this pickpocketing that rewards the player with various types of tokens, which reduce the prices of traders or decrease Basim’s notoriety (which attracts the guards), and other valuable benefits. However, it takes a lot of dexterity and precision, as you would expect.. But if you fail an attempt, you will draw the attention of the guards and before you know it, you’re in trouble. Especially when the elite guards are the ones who pounce.

Thanks to the character management system, the RPG elements of the series are also available, too. In particular, you have a whole range of skills to unlock, but the series returns to having dedicated skill trees for each specialty. Gone is the constellation of stat bonuses from Valhalla. Of course, there are items and equipment to collect and upgrade as well.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage was originally intended as Valhalla DLC for Valhalla. However, it later became a full-fledged game and we expect to see the same level of accessibility. Check our French live review with Amelitha and Ivar.

But let’s share the details!

Lecture intro

What if I live with a physical disability?

7 / 10


We’ve started adopting a regular approach to evaluating games, since it’s most helpful to you. And for people with motor impairments, we always begin with the control scheme.

Firstly, there are two ways of navigating the menus: the analog stick commands, best suited to a mouse on PC, or directional buttons on the controller (D-pad). Players can navigate the menu screens in the way that suits them.

In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, you have the same advancements in accessibility as the previous games. This includes settings to fully remap the controls based on the gameplay category: all navigation, gameplay or combat actions.

As we know, this type of game uses every button, so it can be tricky to pick out the most important ones. In this case, the rich variety of gameplay involves 39 different actions. On console, we only have 16 buttons available, so there has to be some overlap with multiple actions per button.

And to separate them, we often perform one action by pressing a button once, and a different action by holding down the same button. This causes a problem for those who find holding buttons for a long time tiring or painful. It’s okay if you can remap the actions, but in Mirage, you can’t do them all. To loot chests, open doors or dismount, for example, you have no choice but to perform a long press.

The same goes for the “Freerun” action to climb obstacles while sprinting. You have to keep the A button held down (testing on Xbox). And there is no “toggle on/off” mode. You can sprint automatically (click the thumbstick) but you can’t jump obstacles automatically. You must hold A and they are everywhere. In constant use during the game, there is a risk of fatigue. In order to reduce it, you can disable the controller vibration.

There is no simplified preset control scheme. You have to take the time to remap the actions one by one. You can do this as needed during the course of the game. Incidentally, the same applies to every setting, because there are no preset control schemes like in Far Cry 6.

In the live test, Ivar, Amelitha and Sasskeh each shared their difficulties with using the shoulder buttons, especially R1. While Ivar could reconfigure the input to a contact switch on the Xbox Adaptive Controller, our other two gamers had problems.

As for the analog sticks, you can adjust the sensitivity by 15 degrees to fine-tune them. You can also swap them if you prefer to have movement, which is needed more often, on the right stick.

The combat system in Assassin’s Creed Mirage is built on the same one that has been in place since Origins. This time, there is more of an accent on positioning. The ability to lock on the camera (click the right thumbstick) means you don’t have to manage both analog sticks at the same time. Certain enemies, such as guards equipped with shields, can only be hit from behind. As such, Basim’s positioning remains important.

In addition, you must be able to react quickly. The gameplay features a ‘perfect parry’ system. In other words, you must parry at the exact moment the enemy attacks you. This triggers effects, for example, in weapons that restore your health if you execute a perfect parry.

Also, enemies sometimes have attacks that you can’t parry. In combat, when the enemy attacks, they flash yellow if their attack can be parried, and red if their attack can’t be parried. You have to adapt and parry the first type of attack and dodge the other. And seeing as the information is displayed at the last second, this can lead to problems. If you don’t want to rely on your reflexes, you should always dodge, and sacrifice the bonuses for perfect parries!

Another important aspect is button mashing. Fighting games often require you to chain attacks together, especially in cases like this where you face multiple enemies at once. But Mirage leans heavily on stealth gameplay, meaning combat is more often avoidable compared to other Assassin’s Creed titles.

In game, the interactions with objects are quite easy to control. A button prompt is displayed on screen when you approach them, and you can interact with objects without having to be right in front of them.

As mentioned, Assassin’s Creed Mirage refocuses on stealing stealthily. But the problem is how you do it. To pickpocket, you need to activate eagle vision to highlight passers-by who are carrying a purse. Then, stand near them and press the interact button (Y on Xbox). This triggers the pickpocketing event: the appearance of a big diamond that rapidly shrinks in size. When it reaches the small blue diamond in the center, you must press Y again. The blue area varies in size depending on the type of passer-by.

It means you need to anticipate the speed of the diamond’s movement in order to hit the button at the right time. And that — showing fast reflexes AND anticipation — is extremely hard, whether for motor or cognitive reasons. The tests conducted by our team prove it. Fortunately, one setting allows players to avoid these quick-time events and succeed at pickpocketing automatically! This was greatly appreciated by the team, especially when stealing was necessary to advance the story.

Combined with difficulty settings and aim assist, including full assist for ranged attacks, we’re able to conclude that Assassin’s Creed Mirage features good motor accessibility.

Lecture intro

What if I live with a visual disability?

7 / 10


On the visual side, Assassin’s Creed offers the typical options included in Ubisoft games and, in particular, the colorblind filters. It contains a raft of filters that exclusively modify the interface colors. Their color intensity isn’t adjustable.

Broadly speaking, we have settings to configure aspects of the interface. These include display settings to keep only the essential features, and remove those you find distracting instead of useful. In particular, you can disable screen shake and blood effects, etc.

Above all, you can adjust certain aspects of pickpocketing. For instance, the crosshair color is always important when it comes to aiming. You can at least select its color to help it stand out from the environment. Strolling through the desert? A darker crosshair will stand out more against the sand.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the gameplay itself. Eagle vision is a mainstay of the Assassin’s Creed series. Here, too, it’s a valuable tool for reading the environment. All the more so because of its wide range of uses! A large part of the game takes place in Baghdad, so the developers wanted to expand on its versatility.

Eagle vision is very helpful because it’s effectively high-contrast mode. When activated, it neutralizes the environment. It’s not so much gray, but sepia tones. Nearby enemies are highlighted red, even behind walls, and we can see their fields of view. Be warned, however — these look like the beams of flashlights, so they aren’t always clear to see.

Items to steal, such as purses of passers-by, are orange. Allies are highlighted in blue and hiding spots are white.

On top of exploration, the heart of the gameplay in Assassin’s Creed Mirage also lies in combat. Here, it’s possible to keep the enemy in sight by locking the camera on to the target (R3). As we explained above, the attacks that can be parried flash yellow and the attacks that can’t flash red. As such, the second type is most important to notice, as dodging is the only escape.

Enemies can appear in large numbers in quest areas and, once combat has begun, they aren’t signposted when they are off screen. The only way to ensure a good overview of the battlefield is to anticipate combat by scouting ahead. Make good use of eagle vision to spot every enemy in the area. Your eagle companion, Enkidu, also lets you mark interactive features. Seen from above with Enkidu, simply move the pointer over the enemies to mark them. These markers with a white icon then remain permanently. After you return to normal view, they even stay visible through walls.

For players who are non-sighted or have a significant visual impairment, it’s vital for the game to be playable using audio cues alone. Assassin’s Creed Mirage contains specific sounds for different gameplay actions, but exploration will cause a serious problem.

In the settings, you have the option to enable a collision sound when you bump into obstacles. It’s crucial to mapping out the environment through sound, so it’s a great feature. Unfortunately, it’s not enough, because we’re missing audio cues for a number of interactive features.

For example, there are no sounds to indicate the presence of NPCs or items to loot. Although the NPCs generally talk, you often walk right past a trader or chest without realizing it. Added to the fact there is no button to face the character toward the current objective, inside a dense 3D environment with multiple stories… it’s unplayable for a person with very low vision.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage contains solid features that are very helpful for most players with visual impairments, although it remains inaccessible in the most severe cases. Therefore, it deserves a good score of 7/10 for this type of accessibility.

Lecture intro

What if I live with a hearing loss?

7 / 10


Depending on your hearing impairment, you might need visual support of some degree for the various gameplay features.

An adventure RPG, the story and the information about the environment are key to understanding Assassin’s Creed Mirage.

The subtitles are well implemented. You can select between three sizes and alter the visibility of the subtitle background. You can also display the speaker’s name, and direction when they aren’t standing in front of the player. The same options are available for the “closed captions” with information about the environment. It allows you to choose different sizes for these two elements and set up the most comfortable display.

Additionally, you may wish to adjust the audio sources based on your quality of hearing and priorities. You can set different volumes for the dialogue and sound effects, which help to play and understand the game, compared to the music. If you would still like to enjoy the music, you can make it play less often. It’s also possible to boost the dialogue volume or reduce the dynamic range.

In terms of exploration, the information is highly visual: icons, light beams, eagle vision and Enkidu mean the player shouldn’t need to rely on sounds to navigate the environment.

It’s combat that might cause a slight issue. In this key aspect of gameplay, it’s crucial to visually signpost the enemies off screen, if you can’t use the sound of their voices.

There are different situations: in unrestricted areas, the guards aren’t dangerous so long as you have the lowest notoriety. To spot them, you need to use the vision modes discussed above. However, it may be good to highlight everything, but it can quickly fill up the screen with too much visual information.

In restricted areas, there are numerous enemies on the lookout. It’s recommended to use stealth, and there is a system to help you keep your bearings. As soon as you step into an enemy’s field of view, a curved white line appears on screen with an arrow pointing toward them to warn you. The line turns yellow once the enemy notices something, then it’s time to hide. It becomes red when the enemy identifies you and makes chase, while alerting every other guard in the area. At this stage, combat is unavoidable.

Seeing as the warning is visual — so far so good. But once you enter melee combat, you have to manage the whole group of enemies. While targeted by a ranged enemy, you see a new curved line and arrow to indicate where the shot is coming from. The line is white if an enemy aims at you; red if they are about to shoot.

But we have a problem: only these ranged attacks are signposted. Melee enemies standing off screen remain hidden. Unless you turn around to check, there is no way of knowing if there are enemies remaining and how many there are. And since you don’t hear them, you’re often in danger of nasty surprises and unexpected attacks in the thick of melee, which can result in a game over.

The “3rd Party” menu lets you configure the OWO haptic system.

Note that Assassin’s Creed lets you sync with a special third-party tool called OWO Skin. It provides haptic feedback to the body with vibrations, for instance, to feel the location of attacks in combat. Though we haven’t tested this, it’s another type of feedback other than visual, so it’s worth knowing about. Starting at €500, we ought to test it before we can recommend it to you! Let us know if you have tried it.

In terms of playability with a hearing impairment, the combat may cause difficulties, which knocks off a few points. But 7/10 is still a very good score.

Lecture intro

What if I live with a cognitive disability?

6 / 10

Like every adventure game, Assassin’s Creed asks players to keep up with the story or multiple stories. How you experience and keep track of the storyline matters, above all, when you have a cognitive impairment.

The French version of the game is only available on consoles. Be aware, Amelitha tested the game on PC and reported that English is the default and, when booting up the game, it will ask you to download the French language pack.

We have dubbing in French, so understanding the dialogue is fine. However, to keep track, the game switches to written text. There are many texts for collectibles and other items. It was promising to discover the game offers menu narration. Yet our hopes were dashed as we realized the narrator is only available while playing in English. Given the last time we experienced an American narrator trying to read a French menu screen, in Mortal Kombat 1, perhaps it’s for the best. But it’s a shame because it’s essential for non-reading players.

It’s yet another game that relies on written text. Sure, we’re reminded of the active quest in-game, and the others on the investigation board. In written form, though, it’s hard to tell which quest you’re tracking. Although we have images and icons in the detailed reminders, much of the time, the reward is shown instead of the context.

Our advice is to avoid spreading yourself too thin by accepting too many quests at once. Do one at a time. Pay close attention to the opening cutscenes to remember the context. That said, there are no explanatory cutscenes for the contracts found in the assassin bureaus.

Once you start a quest, it becomes “active” and clearly indicated with orange markers. A navigation aid lets you increase the visibility of interactive features. For one, it means you don’t need to search. Instead of “Find a water source in district X,” you see a marker directly over the place you need to visit. It’s less immersive, but avoids the frustration of hunting around for the hidden well beneath a covered area, which you can’t see from outside.

The world map reveals numerous icons: the white ones are helpful locations, such as traders, town criers or mercenaries, etc. Each has its own icon. Yellow icons are valuable objects like rare chests. As discussed, the active quest is orange.

Assassin’s Creed gives you a few helpful options. All the same, you have to search around to enable them, because they are spread everywhere. In particular, non-readers will certainly need someone to help configure the settings to begin with.

If you have trouble using the world map in the menu, in-game, there isn’t a permanent mini-map to rely on. Be sure to enable the navigation aid. Using Enkidu, the eagle, you will notice that each of these map features is highlighted in-game with a light beam. A direct visual aid, it’s practical for locating what you’re searching for.

Another helpful tip: when you approach an object to open or collect, the interaction button displays on screen. You don’t need to think about which button to use: Y to interact, RB to silently assassinate a lookout, etc.

If you need to focus your attention, there are several useful options. Firstly, you can decide what to display on screen. Start with everything enabled to see what you like, then remove the less important elements, keeping only what helps and doesn’t cause a distraction. Speaking of which, if you find the blood effects disturbing, they can be disabled, too.

Furthermore, eagle vision (left on the D-pad) allows you to highlight the gameplay features you can directly interact with. It’s a great way to help you concentrate on the important stuff.

Learning the gameplay features is equally important. Assassin’s Creed Mirage uses the standard practices for these types of “immersive” games: it teaches you the game as you progress through the story. It’s step by step and the difficulty rises slowly. But it’s only explained once in-game, after which you have to search for the information yourself in the “Tutorials” section of the Codex. It’s a shame these explanations don’t contain videos, to avoid relying on written text. While they do have pictures, they are sometimes unclear.

Given the color-coded visual aids, especially, combat demands speedy reactions. So long as those aren’t a problem, you shouldn’t have too many issues. The “Easy” difficulty setting is a good way to ease yourself into the game and have time to learn the ropes. If you’re feeling comfortable, you can raise the difficulty later.

Another gameplay mechanic featured heavily in Mirage, pickpocketing is very tough if you don’t have fast reflexes, or need time to decide how to react. You only have less than one second to react, which proved too little for most of the team. At the start, when the game teaches you how to pickpocket, none of the team were able to succeed first time. Thankfully, one setting allows you to succeed automatically… if you can locate the text-only setting without an image.

In its current state, without help to configure the settings, over half of the team would have quit the game after these few minutes, frustrated at the pickpocketing system and unable to progress, as you have to succeed to continue the quest. As Nico often says, “I’d rather not touch the settings because, without reading, I’m scared to mess something up.”

In any case, our team members still had trouble getting their bearings in the game. While the aids are effective, they aren’t constantly active. You have to trigger them, like eagle vision or Enkidu. It’s more cognitive effort and some players miss out. Here again, you have to learn the game with someone’s help to begin with.

The game offers helpful aids, but you need assistance to configure the settings and learn the appropriate mechanics.


Lecture intro

       Our conclusion

Following closely in the footsteps of its predecessor, Valhalla, it’s little surprise that Assassin’s Creed Mirage offers the same level of accessibility. The options remain largely unchanged, or the changes are outliers, such as the compatibility with OWO Skin. There was too short a time between the two releases to expect major leaps forward in terms of accessibility.

We’ve seen good progress in this department and this type of game, so we hope to see the Assassin’s Creed license reach the same heights!

Mirage is more focused, having a smaller city to explore and character development system, including the skill tree. As such, it’s slightly more accessible in that you’re less likely to become overwhelmed. Once again, the gameplay places greater emphasis on stealth. It’s a design approach that allows more time to prepare and plan your actions, making it more accessible than games based on pure action and mass warfare.

Review Scores

  • motrice - 7
  • visuelle - 7
  • auditive - 7
  • cognitive - 6

We'd love to hear what you think! What difficulties have you encountered with this or other games?