Technological World for September 13, games: Assassin's Creed Mirage preview, Sprawl and Chants of Sennaar show what indies can do

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Early hands-on impressions of the next Assassin’s Creed game and reviews of Sprawl and Chants of Sennaar.

I played Assassin’s Creed Mirage

A couple of weeks ago, Ubisoft Canada gave me a chance to play the next Assassin’s Creed game, Mirage.

This new title in the popular franchise goes back to the roots of the game in more ways than one. It’s set in what we now refer to as the Middle East, for one. And it’s a return to some of the gameplay that was core to the first game released in 2007.

The story takes us to 9th-century Baghdad, which predates that first game, and puts us in the shoes of Basim. This is an origin story for the character, who was introduced in Valhalla, the latest Assassin’s Creed game from 2020.

Developers at Ubisoft Bordeaux, which led development on this game, have said that their aim was to get back to the parkour, stealth, and assassination that was core of the first games. In the time I spent with the game I felt that they’ve accomplished that. While you can still enter combat, and sometimes you must, Mirage wants you to be sneaky in what you do.

One thing I liked in how the missions progressed is the sense of mystery. You’re really conducting investigations here, and the more pieces of the puzzle you collect, the more sure you are about what’s really going on.

While it may be honouring its roots, though Mirage makes good use of the modern console’s ability to render crowds and environments. The “Round City” of Baghdad is filled with humanity from across the globe. That’s something the first Assassin’s Creed just couldn’t do.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage launches on October 5 for PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Sprawl serves up a slice of industrial FPS frenzy

Fueled by an industrial soundtrack and providing a frenetic shooter experience, Sprawl gets you all amped up for the fight.

Developed by Maeth, a studio made up of Hanna Crawford and Carlos Lizarraga, this was published by Rogue Games. With a cyberpunk narrative and a dystopian environment, Sprawl’s style is reminiscent of Doom and Quake.

And as with those games, while you think success is about the guns, it’s really all about the movement. In Sprawl you’ll be wall-running in short order, moving quickly through space to get angles on enemies, and exploring what you can do. Like using the inertia from the firing of a weapon to send yourself higher into the air.

It’s straight forward and simple and wants you to turn up the volume.

Sprawl is available now for Windows. Rated mature.

Chants of Sennaar explores meaning and understanding

Inspired by the Tower of Babel, Chants of Sennaar is a clever game that requires only your wits, your logic skills, and your patience.

Published by Focus Entertainment, this was developed by French studio Rundisc, who throw you right into the game, presenting you with symbols on signs. You quickly realize that to proceed you need to figure out what the symbols mean. “Open” or “on” or “active”? You can deduce meaning with the early symbols as you figure out how to open doors, traverse obstacles, and make your way up the tower.

As you go higher, you’ll come across other people, with distinct cultures and languages, and you’re going to have to figure out what their symbols mean, too. You need to decipher the glyphs to comprehend the various languages. Along the way, you’ll need to sneak past the guards who want to prevent you from proceeding, and who seem intent on preventing the various groups within the tower from understanding each other.

Chants of Sennaar is available now for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows, and Xbox One.


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