You Might Want to Change Assassin’s Creed Mirage’s Difficulty

For those craving old-school stabbing and hay-jumping, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is finally here, the closest the franchise has got to the classics that made its name since Origins did a hard turn into action RPG territory. One of the ways it’s most like the older games is in the combat, in the sense that, well, it’s pretty easy.

As a stealth-focused game like it predecessors and not a number-crunching, gear-swapping monster like Valhalla et al, combat is much more straightforward in Mirage and not really the focus. Combos and enemy patterns are fairly simple to memorise, so you can get out of hairy situations pretty easily. What makes things super broken are the tools you can get your hands on paired with skills Basim can unlock. It’s pretty easy to drop a smoke bomb (especially one that’s upgraded to make no sound) and then assassinate everyone in the fog. Pair that with being able to carry loads of smoke bombs at a time and you have a bit of a walkover.

While you could just not use some of the more overpowered tools at Basim’s disposal, the stakes still feel fairly low when playing on the default difficulty. Most enemies are easy to deal with, even in groups, and there’s rarely much of a penalty for being discovered in hostile territory — apart from breaking the immersion of role-players, of course. Having steamrolled the Order in Mirage,  as someone who exclusive plays games on normal difficulties, I would definitely recommend that you nudge up the difficulty to hard if you want to feel some more tension.

You can change difficulty at any time in Mirage, just go to Options > Gameplay > Difficulty, then select what you want. Be sure to apply the change, too.

The major difference with playing on hard is that enemies will detect you easier while also hitting harder and getting hit less hard. This basically means being stealthy is a) more rewarding and b) higher stakes, so now you might actually feel your heart rate going a little bit while you hide in a mound of hay. The game is generally just very forgiving as well with enemy detection, as you can be hiding in a tiny bush a couple of feet away from two soldiers and they won’t twig you. There’s also the somewhat unrealistic Focus mechanic — which feels more like something out of Shadow of Mordor — that allows you to teleport around and assassinate soldiers.

Obviously, though, the choice really is yours, and you should play any game any way you want. If you want to become the Baghdad Batman and batter everyone senseless while barely taking your finger off R1, that’s also totally valid. There’s plenty of fun to be had in the power fantasy, as Mirage proves that you can still play Assassin’s Creed your way without grinding for nine hours for a slightly different belt.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S.

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