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How Assassin's Creed Mirage Is Reworking The Detection System

Stealth and detection used to play a key role in "Assassin's Creed." Jamie Russo of Screen Rant argued that stealth once served as a cornerstone of the franchise, helping it stand out within a crowded RPG market. However, the most recent entries have nearly abandoned stealth altogether. The system hit a new low in "Valhalla," which many regard as the most abysmal stealth experience of the series.

The playerbase has documented its dislike for the "Assassin's Creed: Valhalla" detection system across numerous Reddit threads. Several players have shared stories of nigh instantaneous detection by guards, often at extended ranges. According to these accounts, this occurred in most, if not all, situations, even when using the title's cloak mechanic. Russo asserted that stealth felt shoehorned in and at odds with the protagonist and core narrative. The broken detection system also made these mechanics virtually useless. Despite updates aimed at improving detection and stealth, players still reported issues with AI perception speeds.

Russo and numerous fans have called for a return to the franchise's stealth roots and a revival of the classic detection system. And it seems Ubisoft may have listened. According to narrative director Sarah Beaulieu, "Assassin's Creed Mirage" will bring back the "stealth core assassination approach" of the earlier entries as part of its focus on telling Basim's story (via Screen Rant). In service of this goal, the team has reworked the detection system for "Mirage," though it will likely strike a familiar chord for longtime players.

Detection in Mirage returns to the series' origins

In an interview with Game Rant, creative director Stephane Boudon shared that the "Assassin's Creed Mirage" team has split the detection system into separate stages: "You have a warning state at first when the player can still evade pretty easily, and it's just a warning phase for the player. We have the search state which leads NPCs to look for you and try to investigate you. And at the end, we have the last stage that will be the fight and conflict." He assured that the game will make each stage obvious to the player, allowing them to formulate a strategy accordingly.

The developers have also tied AI responses to the detection system, "so the detection will spread between AI." Further, they have divided these AI into "archetypes" that dictate how the NPCs will react during the separate stages. Certain archetypes will even have the ability to summon NPCs to the area once detection has triggered. Detection will link to other mechanics, such as the wanted system and crowd blending.

The three-tiered detection rework for "Mirage" sounds similar to early "Assassin's Creed" entries in which enemies went through more clearly defined stages of suspicion and awareness. Players will have to wait until the game's 2023 launch draws closer to see if Ubisoft upholds its promise to revive the stealth elements that once defined the franchise.