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Assassin’s Creed Mirage will let you take a virtual historical tour around Baghdad, which sounds lovely

Visiting sites around the game’s ninth-century city will unlock real-world context from experts

An interact prompt for Assassin's Creed Mirage's history of Baghdad feature appears as Basim enters a Bazaar
Image credit: Ubisoft

The next Assassin’s Creed game will continue the series’ past mixture of stab-people-in-the-face stealth-action video game and learn-interesting-things-about-real-places history simulator with a feature dedicated to teaching you about its ninth-century setting of Baghdad.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s History of Baghdad feature follows in the footsteps of the Discovery Tour modes for Origin’s Egypt, Odyssey’s Greece and Valhalla’s Viking England in trying to offset the long-running series’ love of ridiculous sci-fi nonsense in its overarching plot about god-like alien things and magical MacGuffins by imparting actual knowledge about the real-life inspiration for its setting. Which, honestly, is pretty cool, because that’s the bit that I want to hear more about.

In the case of Mirage’s History of Baghdad, exploring future assassin Basim’s home city will unlock tidbits about the places, objects and events you witness. These nuggets of information will be accessible via a codex that features photographs of real artefacts and artwork provided by museums and other institutions, alongside insights from a bunch of experts, including Copenhagen’s The David Collection, the Paris-based Institut du monde arabe, the art collections of Professor Sir Nasser D. Khalil (which spans a staggering 35,000 items) and the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design in Honolulu.

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There'll be 66 historical sites across the city, with discoveries ranging from a look at the daily life of Baghdad’s inhabitants - from the court to government, down to everyday people - through to art, science and economy.

Mirage’s devs include Middle-East expert and historian Dr. Raphaël Weyland, who worked with studio Ubisoft Montreal to help find suitable historical elements for the game and make sure they made sense in the virtual setting - as well as working with those experts to choose and write entries for its History of Baghdad database.

Weyland added that the game doesn’t shy away from some of the period’s more “sensitive and misrepresented topics”, with subjects including “the harem, the role of eunuchs, and slavery [discussed] in a nuanced way”.

“From the start we had an ambitious premise: to help the players better understand the world of ninth-century Baghdad, a world that is seldom represented in popular culture," Weyland said.

An entry from Assassin's Creed Mirage's history of Baghdad database on Bazaar, accompanied by the picture of a pot
Image credit: Ubisoft

Thierry Noël, Ubisoft’s head of humanities and inspiration department, added that the feature will present “a research-based perspective over 9th century Baghdad and the Abbasid Empire, tackling pre-conceptions and clichés often associated with them”.

Along with the promise of a more intimate scope versus the gargantuan Valhalla and a throwback to Assassin’s Creed’s origins (but not necessarily Origins), Mirage’s seemingly sensitive handling and passionate exploration of Baghdad has me excited to wander its streets and learn more about its fascinating setting - no stabbing necessary. (Though there’ll probably be plenty of that, too.)

The History of Baghdad mode will be playable as part of Mirage when it releases on October 12th.

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