The highly anticipated release of Assassin’s Creed Mirage is here, and it’s being hailed as a return to the series’ origins. However, there’s a significant change that has players and fans talking. For this edition, set in 9th-century Baghdad, Ubisoft, the game’s developer, has gone all-in on Arabic.
The action in earlier iterations of the well-known stealth franchise took place all over the world, but by default, the heroes had English-speaking actors as their voices. In Assassin’s Creed Mirage, players can still opt for English dialogue, but the creators are encouraging gamers to experience the game in its “authentic” Arabic setting.
This decision to feature Arabic prominently in the game has been met with widespread approval, particularly from fans like Ameer, who grew up in Baghdad. Ameer expressed his enthusiasm for the game, stating that Arabic in gaming is not entirely new but has often been associated with negative stereotypes. However, he found the Arabic in Mirage to be a beautiful and authentic representation of the language.
Ubisoft’s Mohammed Al Imam explained that the Arabic used in the game is classical Arabic, an ancient version still preserved in academia and media. This contrasts with the often mispronounced and inauthentic Arabic seen in Western media. Mohammed emphasized that in order to ensure accuracy and authenticity, only fluent Arabic speakers could perform the Arabic lines for this project.
In addition to linguistic accuracy, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is known for its faithful recreation of historical settings. Ubisoft worked with historical experts to ensure the game’s world felt genuine and historically accurate.
Ameer, who now resides in Istanbul, hopes that the game will change people’s perceptions of Iraq. He believes that the game’s portrayal of 9th-century Baghdad, a time he calls the “golden age” of knowledge and culture, will help the world recognize the importance of Iraq and the Arab world in history.
While changes to popular franchises can sometimes be met with resistance from long-time fans, Mohammed believes that modern, English-speaking audiences will embrace the game’s new approach. He attributes this to increased exposure to different cultures through social media and the internet.
Early reviews of Assassin’s Creed Mirage have been generally positive, with praise for its more focused approach compared to recent titles in the series. While some critics have raised concerns, players like Ameer are excited about the game’s potential impact on the gaming industry, hoping to inspire more Middle Eastern game developers.
In conclusion, Assassin’s Creed Mirage is not just a return to the series’ roots but also a bold step in embracing and celebrating the Arabic language and culture, offering players a truly authentic experience in the heart of 9th Century Baghdad.