Assassin’s Creed is an open-world action-adventure stealth video game franchise published by Ubisoft and developed mainly by its studio Ubisoft Montreal using the game engine Anvil and its more advanced derivatives. Created by Patrice Désilets, Jade Raymond, and Corey May, the Assassin’s Creed series depicts a fictional millennia-old struggle between the Assassins, who fight for peace and free will, and the Templars, who desire peace through order and control. The series features historical fiction, science fiction and fictional characters intertwined with real-world historical events and figures. In the majority of the games, players control a historical Assassin, while also playing as an Assassin Initiate or someone caught in the Assassin-Templar conflict in the present-day framing story. Considered a spiritual successor to the Prince of Persia series, Assassin’s Creed took inspiration from the novel Alamut by the Slovenian writer Vladimir Bartol, based on the historical Hashashin sect of the medieval Middle East.
The series’s eponymous first title was released in 2007, and it has featured twelve main games in total, the most recent being 2020’s Valhalla. Main games of Assassin’s Creed are set in an open world and presented from the third-person perspective. Gameplay revolves around combat, stealth, and exploration, including the use of parkour to navigate the environment. The games feature both main and side missions, and some titles (beginning with 2010’s Brotherhood) also include competitive and cooperative multiplayer game modes.
A new story and occasional new time period are introduced in each entry, and gameplay elements evolve from the previous one. There are three overarching story arcs in the series. The first five main games follow Desmond Miles, a descendant of several important Assassins throughout history, who uses a machine called the Animus to relive his ancestors’ memories and find powerful artifacts called “Pieces of Eden”, while also attempting to prevent a catastrophic event said to wipe out humanity by the end of 2012. From Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and until Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Assassin initiates and employees of Abstergo (a company used as a cover by the modern-day Templars) record genetic memories using the Helix software, helping the Templars and Assassins find new Pieces of Eden in the modern world. The latest three games, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, follow ex-Abstergo employee Layla Hassan on her own quest to save humanity from another disaster.
The main games in the Assassin’s Creed video game series have received generally positive reviews for their ambition in visuals, game design, and narratives, with criticism for the yearly release cycle, frequent bugs, and shift towards the prioritising of role-playing mechanics. The Assassin’s Creed series has received multiple awards and nominations, including several Game of the Year awards. It is commercially successful, selling over 155 million copies as of October 2020, becoming Ubisoft’s best-selling franchise and one of the highest selling video game franchises of all time. While main titles are produced for major consoles and desktop platforms, multiple spin-off games have been released for consoles, mobiles, and handhelds platforms. A series of art books, encyclopedias, comics, novelizations, and novels have been also been published. In 2016, a live-action film adaptation of Assassin’s Creed was released, receiving generally negative reviews from fans and critics.
The Assassin’s Creed series originated out of ideas for a sequel for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, a 3D adaption of the original Prince of Persia games, which was made for PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox and other platforms. It included a number of parkour moves and combat. The Sands of Time was a critical and financial success, leading publisher Ubisoft to request Ubisoft Montreal to develop a sequel, aiming for the seventh generation of video game consoles. The Ubisoft Montreal team decided on taking the gameplay from The Sands of Time into an open world approach, taking advantage of the improved processing power to render larger spaces and crowds. Narratively, the team wanted to move away from the Prince being someone next in line for the throne but to have to work for it; combined with research into secret societies led them to focus on the Assassins, based upon the historical Hashashin sect of Ismaili Shia Islam, heavily borrowing from the novel Alamut.
They developed a narrative where the player would control an Assassin that served as a bodyguard for a non-playable Prince, leading them to call this game Prince of Persia: Assassin. Ubisoft was not happy with a Prince of Persia game without the Prince as the playable character, but this led to the marketing division to suggest the name Assassin’s Creed, playing off the creed of the Assassins, “nothing is true; everything is permitted”. Ubisoft Montreal ran with this in creating a new intellectual property, eliminating the Prince and creating the conflict between the Assassins and the Knights Templar. Further, in postulating what other assassinations they could account for throughout human history, they came onto the idea of genetic memory and created the “Animus” device and modern storyline elements, which further allowed them to explain certain facets of gameplay, such as accounting when the player fails a mission, in the same way they had done in The Sands of Time.
Following release of the first Assassin’s Creed in 2007, Ubisoft Montreal and other Ubisoft studios used the series to present games from various historical periods, striving for historical accuracy while conceding some elements for gameplay. Moving into Assassin’s Creed II, the Ubisoft Montreal team recognized that parkour was underutilized in the first game, and designed the world in the sequel to feature “freerun highways” to make it easier to enter into parkour moves, using rooftops to escape pursuits or as part of an assassin ploy. The setting was changed from the dark and gritty 12th-century Holy Land to the more lively 15th-century Renaissance Italy. Although the title featured a new cast of characters, including a new protagonist, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who was more rogue-ish than the first game’s Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, it connected to its predecessor in multiple ways, including a continuation of the established modern-day plot and several references to Altaïr and other past Assassins. Assassin’s Creed II also brought in more use of crowds as part of a means to hide in plain sight that the developers had seen used in Hitman: Blood Money, adding more to the concept of social stealth as a gameplay option. Finally, Assassin’s Creed II completely reworked the repetitive mission structure from the first game through numerous side activities, collectibles and other secrets. These additions became a central part of the series going forward as well as into other Ubisoft games like Watch Dogs, Far Cry and Ghost Recon.
After its release in 2009, Assassin’s Creed II was met with critical acclaim and was seen as an improvement over the first game in both gameplay and writing. Due to the popularity of both Ezio’s character and the Renaissance setting, Ubisoft Montreal decided to follow the game with a direct sequel, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, which was developed in under a year, releasing in 2010. The game built upon Assassin’s Creed II’s gameplay and storyline, and saw the introduction of a multiplayer mode to the series, as well as the titular Brotherhood system, which allowed players to recruit and train NPCs as Assassins. The open world format was also changed; rather than featuring several smaller cities like the past two games, Brotherhood is primarily set in the city of Rome, which was the largest and most detailed setting in the series at the time. Brotherhood was followed in 2011 by Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, which served as a conclusion to the stories of both Ezio, who was again the main protagonist, and Altaïr. The game was developed by Ubisoft Montreal with help from a few other Ubisoft studios in the time span of several months, and borrowed many ideas and concepts from Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy, a Nintendo 3DS spin-off that had been announced at E3 2010 and later quietly cancelled.
Work on Assassin’s Creed III began shortly after II’s release. The game’s origins can be traced back to both Ubisoft Montreal, who wanted to progress the series’ narrative forward in time, and to an unattached project that had been developed at Ubisoft Singapore and featured naval ship combat. As the main team had settled into the American Revolution period for the game, they found this ship-to-ship combat system fit perfectly into the system, and worked setting to incorporate it further. Another major change in Assassin’s Creed III was transitioning the parkour and freerun systems to work in the natural woodlands of 18th-century New England, which further allowed for adding trees and other vegetation within the city areas themselves not only as part of the parkour systems but also to add to more realistic appearances, which would also continue as part of the series’ ongoing design.
After the game’s release in 2012, the marketing team from Ubisoft commented that the ship combat of Assassin’s Creed III was segmented off from the land-based game and felt that there could be more integration, which led to the idea of the next game, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, based on the Golden Age of Piracy, reusing all of their past lessons on the series to date. The team also used the game as a chance to address the narrative aspects of the story which had started to become stale in their eyes. The new protagonist, Edward Kenway, starts out as a pirate and an outsider to the Assassin-Templar conflict, becoming involved only with the prospect of wealth at the end, which gave the narrative team a means to present the conflict from an outside view. To connect the game to the storyline of the rest of the series, Edward was conceived as the grandfather of Assassin’s Creed III’s main protagonist, Ratonhnhaké:ton / Connor, and father of its antagonist, Haytham Kenway. After killing off the series’ protagonist, Desmond Miles, at the end of Assassin’s Creed III, the narrative team decided that, rather than introducing a new character to take his place, the modern-day part of the story would be played from a first-person perspective and would feature no dialogue for its protagonist, to allow players to identify themselves in their character. This trend would continue for the next three games in the series: Rogue, Unity, and Syndicate.
After Syndicate, Ubisoft recognized that the series needed a major re-invention across both gameplay and narrative. By this point in time, available computers and consoles had enough processing power that they were able to create much larger maps, which required different mechanics from the original games. It was decided to make the next game, Assassin’s Creed Origins, closer to a role-playing video game than a stealth-action game, which would also bring a game with many more hours of play than previous titles, and some long-standing features of the series were eliminated for this purpose, such as the social stealth mechanic. This changes how missions were presented – rather than directed through the Animus, the player would need to take their character in the game’s world to various quest givers to get these missions, which gave a reason for the player to explore the map. From the narrative side, they placed the game prior to the formation of the Assassin’s Order in Ptolemaic Egypt in the 1st century BC as to avoid the need to have assassins drive the storyline, and made the playable character, Bayek, a medjay people would normally respect and seek the help of. The contemporary storyline also shifted back to a single character, Layla Hassan, an Abstergo researcher. They limited the number of times the game’s perspective shifts to her character compared to previous games but gave these segments more meaning, such as allowing the player to explore Layla’s laptop with background information on the state of Assassins to that point.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, set in Ancient Greece in the 5th century BC, followed in a similar approach, but put even more emphasis on its role-playing elements, removing Origins’ stealth elements almost entirely, and introducing choices that can alter the narrative in major ways. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, set in Medieval England and Norway during the Viking Age in the 9th century AD, continued the same style as Origins and Odyssey, but the developers recognized feedback from the prior games and added back in the social stealth elements, as well as the concept of a customizable home base that was first introduced in Assassin’s Creed II.
Following another round of sexual misconduct allegations and internal investigation across Ubisoft in 2020 and 2021, which saw the departure of many top-level executives as well as attrition from its studios, Ubisoft opted to merge operations of the Montreal and Quebec studios under one administrative body in April 2021, with Quebec taking the lead on the Assassin’s Creed series. This led towards collaboration to develop the live-service, codenamed Assassin’s Creed Infinite, which is expected to offer continual ongoing content similar to Grand Theft Auto Online.
The Assassin’s Creed games are centered around one or more fictional members of the Order of the Assassins, whose memories are experienced by an in-game character in the modern-day period through the use of a device called the Animus and its derivations. The Animus allows the user to explore these memories passed down via genetics. Within the context of the game, this provides a diegetic interface to the real-world player of the game, showing them elements like health bars, a mini-map, and target objectives as if presented by the Animus. Additionally, should the player cause the historical character to die or fail a mission, this is rectified as “desynchronization” of the genetic memory, allowing the player to try the mission again. The Animus also imparts special abilities to the modern-day character that helps them to see their target in a crowd or other unique points of interest.
While playing as the Assassin characters, the games are generally presented from a third-person perspective in an open world environment, focusing on stealth and parkour. The games use a mission structure to follow the main story, generally assigning the player to complete an assassination of public figureheads or a covert mission. Alternatively, several side missions are available, such as mapping out the expansive cities from a high perch followed by performing a “leap of faith” into a haystack below, collecting treasures hidden across the cities, exploring ruins for relics, building a brotherhood of assassins to perform other tasks, or funding the rebuilding of a city through purchasing and upgrading of shops and other features. At times, the player is in direct control of the modern-day character who by nature of the Animus use has learned Assassin techniques through the bleeding effect, as well as their genetic ability of Eagle Vision, which separates friend, foe and assassination targets by illuminating people in different colors. Through the Animus interface, the player can go back to retry any past mission already completed; for example, in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the player achieves better synchronization results by performing the mission in a specific manner such as by only killing the mission’s target.
The games use the concept of “active” versus “passive” moves, with “active” moves, such as running, climbing the sides of buildings, or jumping between rooftops, more likely to alert the attention of nearby guards. When the guards become alerted, the player must either fight them or break their line of sight and locate a hiding place, such as a haystack or a well, and wait until the guards’ alert is reduced. The combat system allows for a number of unique weapons, armor, and moves, including the use of a hidden blade set in a bracer on the Assassin’s arm, and which also can be used to quietly assassinate targets.
The Assassin’s Creed games primarily revolve around the rivalry and conflict between two ancient secret societies – the Assassins, who represents freedom, and the Knights Templar, who represents order. Versions of these societies have existed for centuries, with the Assassins seeking to stop the Templars from gaining control of “Pieces of Eden”, artifacts that are capable of overriding free will to control people.
These artifacts are remnants of an ancient species pre-dating humanity called the Isu, or Precursors, which created humanity to live in peace alongside them. The Isu ensured humans could not rise against them by creating the Pieces of Eden to control them. When the first hybrid Isu-human beings emerged, named Adam and Eve, they were immune to the effects of the Pieces of Eden. They stole the Pieces of Eden, which led to a great war that ended when a massive solar flare devastated the surface of the Earth. The Isu began to die out while humanity thrived. Three Isu attempted to prepare humanity for a future solar flare they knew would come centuries in the future: Minerva, Juno, and Jupiter. Minerva and Jupiter prepared vaults, from which humanity could activate a protective shield around Earth with the Pieces of Eden, and the Eye, a means to communicate how to find and use these vaults to the future. Juno, however, saw humanity as a threat and attempted to sabotage Minerva and Jupiter’s plan. Minerva and Jupiter were forced to destroy Juno, unaware she had hidden her consciousness to wake upon activation of the Eye. All that remained of the Isu were the traces of their memories in the world’s mythologies and religions, the Pieces of Eden lost to time.
The series itself takes place in the modern era, in which the Templars have established the mega-corporation Abstergo Industries. Abstergo has developed a device called the Animus that allows its user to relive the memories of their ancestors through their genetic material. Abstergo has kidnapped people who are descendants of past Assassins to locate the missing Pieces of Eden via the Animus. A user of the Animus is able to move about in simulated memories as their ancestor, but performing actions outside the bounds of what their ancestor did can lead to “desynchronization” of the memory. Further, extended use of the Animus creates a “bleeding effect” that gives the user some of the skills and capabilities they experienced with their ancestor.
Narrative chronology of the Assassin’s Creed games
The first five main games in the series focus on Desmond Miles, a bartender who learns he is a descendant of several Assassins including Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad from the Middle East during the Third Crusade; Ezio Auditore da Firenze from the Italian Renaissance during the late 15th and early 16th centuries; and Ratonhnhaké:ton, otherwise known as Connor, a half-Mohawk, half-British Assassin during the American Revolution. Desmond is used by Abstergo to find Pieces of Eden but is freed by Lucy Stillman, an undercover agent for the Assassins. Lucy takes Desmond to meet Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane, two other members of the modern-day Assassins. The group is joined later by William Miles, Desmond’s father. They continue to explore Desmond’s memories and eventually discover the Eye and Minerva’s warning of another possible solar flare. They also inadvertently free Juno, who then kills Lucy. The group continues to find the vaults across the globe via Desmond’s memories, and Desmond is able to activate them in time to block the solar flare but at the cost of his own life.
Starting with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, William goes into exile, while Shaun and Rebecca continue to monitor Abstergo by posing as employees of one of their spin-off companies, Abstergo Entertainment. Abstergo Entertainment has refined the Animus technology to allow anyone to experience genetic memories from the DNA material of another person, allowing Abstergo to continue their search for the Pieces of Eden under the guise of creating a film. The unnamed player-character, a new employee of Abstergo Entertainment, is tasked with scanning the memories of Edward Kenway, a privateer-turned-pirate during the Golden Age of Piracy and the grandfather of Ratonhnhaké:ton, from Desmond’s DNA. During this, the employee is instructed by an informant, John Standish, to hack into various Abstergo terminals and provide the information to Shaun and Rebecca. This is revealed to actually be in service to a plan by John to prepare the employee’s body for possession by Juno, and that John is one of her Sages; human beings with part of Aita’s unique genetic code.
Abstergo distributes its Animus product via a video game console named “Helix” by the time of Assassin’s Creed Unity, tapping into an extensive, unaware player base to help them locate more Pieces of Eden and determine the fates of other Sages as part of the Phoenix Project, an attempt to recreate the genetic structure of the Isu. The Assassins begin locating select players and bringing them in as Initiates to help their cause. In Unity, the player-character is contacted through Helix by an Assassin named Bishop and asked to experience the memories of the Assassin Arno Victor Dorian who lived during the French Revolution, so the Assassins can locate the body of a Sage in the past to prevent Abstergo from obtaining it in the present. Despite the Assassins’ efforts, Abstergo collects enough samples of other Sages by the start of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate to move forward with the Phoenix Project. Again, the Assassin Bishop contacts the Initiate and asks them to use the memories of twin Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye from Victorian England during the Industrial Revolution to help locate a Piece of Eden known as the Shroud, which Abstergo needs to complete the process of recreating the Isu genetic structure. When the Initiate does locate the Shroud, Shaun and Rebecca race to recover it but are stopped by Abstergo and Master Templar Juhani Otso Berg, who escape with the Shroud.
A new storyline is introduced in Assassin’s Creed Origins focusing on Abstergo researcher Layla Hassan. Initially, Layla is tasked with locating historical objects in Egypt. Upon discovering the mummified corpses of the Medjay Bayek and his wife Aya from the Ptolemaic Kingdom, and against Abstergo’s orders, Layla opts to use a portable Animus device to explore Bayek’s and Aya’s memories and discovers the origins of the Assassin Order. Layla’s disobedience leads her to become a fugitive from Abstergo’s forces, and she is met by William Miles who extends an offer for her to join the Assassins. In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Layla recovers the Spear of Leonidas and extracts the DNA of Leonidas’ grandchildren, Alexios and Kassandra. Through their memories, Layla locates the Staff of Hermes, another Piece of Eden, which is guarded by one of the siblings, still alive due to being sustained by the Staff. They inform Layla that there must always be a balance between order (represented by organizations such as the Templars) and chaos (represented by organizations such as the Assassins), lest the prevailing of one side lead to the destruction of the world, and that she is prophesied to be the one to keep that balance. Layla proves herself worthy to take the Staff, and wards off Abstergo forces that had come to take the staff for themselves. In Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Earth is facing yet another possible disaster as its magnetic field has been continually strengthening since Desmond stopped the solar flare in 2012. Through the memories of 9th century Viking raider Eivor Varinsdottir, Layla discovers the location of an Isu supercomputer in Norway, which she uses to stop the disaster, with help from a being called the Reader (implied to be Desmond’s preserved consciousness). However, in the process Layla releases the rogue Assassin Basim Ibn Ishaq (the reincarnation of the Isu Loki), who was trapped within a simulation-like dimension by Eivor, and she herself is transported into the simulation.
Main article: Assassin’s Creed (video game)
The first game in the series was released in November 2007 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and in April 2008 for Microsoft Windows. It features a historical recreation of the Holy Land (primarily the cities of Masyaf, Jerusalem, Acre, and Damascus) in the late 12th century, and its narrative includes real historical figures and events from that time period. The storyline consists of two portions: one set during the modern-day, which follows Desmond Miles; and one set in 1191, which follows Desmond’s ancestor, Altaïr Ibn-LaʼAhad, a member of the Assassin Brotherhood during the time of the Third Crusade. Desmond’s story begins with his abduction by pharmaceutical company Abstergo Industries, whose lead scientist, Dr. Warren Vidic, forces him to explore Altaïr’s memories through a machine called the Animus that allows him to connect with his ancestors’ DNA. In doing so, Abstergo hopes to find powerful artifacts called Pieces of Eden, which the Assassins and their rivals, the Knights Templar, have fought over for centuries. Altaïr’s story begins with his demotion to the rank of Novice Assassin after he botches an attempt by the Assassins to recover a Piece of Eden, the Apple of Eden, from the Templars. To redeem himself, Altaïr is tasked with assassinating nine Templar targets across the Holy Land.
Assassin’s Creed introduced core elements that remained in the rest of the series. Players can freely explore the game’s open world, making use of Altaïr’s parkour and climbing skills to navigate the environment. The game also features a refined hack and slash combat, with players able to block and counter attacks, and stealth mechanics, such as hiding in crowds of people, which allow players to avoid detection by enemies or lose pursuing foes. Although players can choose the order in which they kill their main targets, the mission design was seen as linear and repetitive, due to players having to complete a number of side quests before each assassination. The side quest prerequisite was one of the most criticized aspects of the game, and so it was abandoned in future games.
Assassin’s Creed II
Main article: Assassin’s Creed II
Assassin’s Creed II is a direct sequel to the first game, and was released in November 2009 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in March 2010 for Windows, and in October 2010 for OS X. The modern-day narrative again follows Desmond, who escapes from Abstergo (revealed at the end of the previous game as a front for the modern-day Templars) with the aid of Assassin mole Lucy Stillman and is taken to her team’s hideout. Hoping to train Desmond as an Assassin, they put him in the Animus 2.0, where he begins to suffer from the “bleeding effect”; this allows Desmond to gain his ancestors’ skills, but it also damages his mind, as he begins to involuntarily experience flashes of his ancestors’ memories outside of the Animus. Meanwhile, the main narrative takes place at the height of the Italian Renaissance in the late 15th century, and follows Desmond’s Italian ancestor Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a young nobleman from Florence who is forced to become an Assassin after his father and brothers are killed by the Templars. During his journey to avenge their deaths, Ezio makes allies such as Leonardo da Vinci and Caterina Sforza, and combats enemies such as the Pazzi and Barbarigo families and Rodrigo Borgia. Ezio also comes into contact with technology left behind by the First Civilization, a race that created humanity and the Pieces of Eden, and who were wiped out by a catastrophic event.
Similar to the first game, Assassin’s Creed II incorporates historical events into its narrative, and features recreations of several cities from the time period it is set in (in this case, Florence, Venice, Forlì, San Gimignano, and Monteriggioni). Missions are divided into main story missions, themselves divided into memory sequences reflecting points in Ezio’s life, and side missions which can be accomplished at any time; this approach to mission structure remains consistent in the other games in the series. The Villa Auditore in Monteriggioni, which acts as the Assassins’ headquarters for most of the game, provides several functions which can be expanded on by paying for upgrades of surrounding buildings, or by purchasing artwork, weapons, and armor for the villa; in turn, the villa will generate wealth for the player at a rate influenced by the upgrades and acquisition of these items.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Main article: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is the sequel to Assassin’s Creed II, and was released in November 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in March 2011 for Windows, and in May 2011 for OS X. The game begins immediately after the events of its predecessor, at the end of which Desmond was warned by Minerva, a member of the First Civilization, about a solar flare that will hit the Earth and kill humanity in a few months. Desmond and his team travel to Monteriggioni, where they set up a new a base and use the Animus to find the temple of Juno, another First Civilization member, which houses Ezio’s own Apple of Eden and the key to stopping the solar flare. The main narrative continues the story of Ezio, who travels to Rome, the center of Templar power in Italy, to re-establish the Assassin Brotherhood there and defeat the Borgias, who have attacked Monteriggioni and stolen the Apple of Eden.
Brotherhood shares many of the same features as the previous game though it takes place primarily in one city: Rome. Similar to the Villa Auditore, the player is able to spend money to buy and upgrade shops and other facilities throughout the city as to increase revenue they can collect from it; however, the player will be required to destroy Borgia towers that control various sections of the city before they can do so. The Brotherhood of Assassins is introduced, by which, after saving citizens from certain events, the player can invite these citizens as Assassins; they can then be dispatched to remote locations across Europe to gain experience and money, or can be called in to help the player directly in a mission. For the first time in the series, the game features online multiplayer. Players play as Abstergo employees, who, through the use of the Animus, take on the genetic memories of Renaissance Templars in various game modes. It was the last game to feature Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Désilets, as the creative director of the series.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Main article: Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is the final installment of the “Ezio Trilogy”, and was released in November 2011 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows. Following the events of Brotherhood, where he was possessed by Juno and forced to kill Lucy (who, unbeknownst to him, was a Templar double agent), Desmond has fallen into a coma and was put back into the Animus to save his mind. Within the computerized “core” of the Animus, Desmond meets the preserved consciousness of Abstergo’s previous Animus test subject, Clay Kaczmarek, who explains that Demond’s mind must achieve full synchronization with Altaïr and Ezio, or else he will fall into dementia. Desmond continues exploring the memories of Ezio, who, a few years after the events of Brotherhood, travels to Constantinople to find five keys needed to open a vault built by Altaïr, which is said to contain the power to end the Assassin-Templar conflict. In Constantinople, Ezio becomes caught in a feud between the Ottomans and Byzantines, and discovers that the Templars are also searching for the keys. The game also continues Altaïr’s story after the first game, as the keys allow Ezio to witness Altaïr’s memories to learn more about his life.
Originally Revelations was announced as Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy, and conceptualized as a Nintendo 3DS title focusing on Ezio traveling to Masyaf to explore Altaïr’s legacy and uncover the origins of the Assassin Brotherhood. Sections of the game’s plot and premise later became the foundation for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. However, on July 15, 2011, Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy was announced as cancelled. The reason behind the cancellation was that Ubisoft had decided to expand the idea further, cancel the 3DS development and shift all development duties towards PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC to release the game as a full-fledged main installment of the franchise. The original plot remained, and evolved into the plot seen in the final game, which became Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Included were many new systems and additional weapons such as bomb-crafting. The multiplayer mode returned in Revelations, with more characters, modes, and maps, and by advancing up through levels of experience, the player learns more about Abstergo’s history.
Assassin’s Creed III
Main article: Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III was released in October 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and in November 2012 for Wii U and Windows. A remastered version of the game with enhanced visuals was released for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in March 2019, and for Nintendo Switch in May 2019. This is the final game in the series to follow Desmond, who travels to the First Civilization’s central temple in New York with his friends and father to stop the solar flare that will hit the Earth in less than a month. Inside, they discover advanced technology that could help them achieve this, but they need to acquire power sources to power the temple, including one in the possession of Abstergo, leading to a final confrontation between Desmond and his former captors. During this time, Desmond enters the Animus several times to deal with his dissociative fugue, and experiences the memories of his ancestor, Haytham Kenway, a British Templar from the 18th century who is sent to the American Colonies to establish a strong Templar presence on the continent and find the First Civilization’s central temple. Later, the perspective changes to Haytham’s half-Mohawk son Ratonhnhaké:ton (later nicknamed “Connor”), who becomes an Assassin after his village destroyed, seemingly on the orders of the Templar Charles Lee. After training under the retired Assassin Mentor Achilles Davenport, Connor seeks revenge against Lee, and becomes involved in the American Revolution, which leads him to ally with the Revolutionaries led by George Washington and battle the Templar Order, now led by his father.
Assassin’s Creed III is structured similarly to the previous games, with missions taking place in an open-world map based on Colonial Boston and New York. The game offers a large wilderness area in the form of the Frontier and the Davenport Homestead, where the player can hunt animals for materials, which subsequently can be used to construct goods to be traded and sold throughout the colonies. Naval battles were introduced, wherein the player must steer a warship named Aquila in dangerous waters and perform ship-to-ship combat with cannons and mounted guns. The modern-day aspects of the story were significantly expanded, and feature actual missions that the player must undertake to progress through the story.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Main article: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was released in October 2013 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U, and in November 2013 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows. Following the events of Assassin’s Creed III, at the end of which Desmond sacrificed himself to save the Earth, Abstergo has retrieved samples from his body to continue exploring the memories of his ancestors. The player character is an unnamed Abstergo employee tasked with analyzing the memories of Edward Kenway, a famous 18th century pirate and Connor’s grandfather, ostensibly to gather material for an Animus-powered video game; in reality, however, Abstergo are searching for the Observatory, a First Civilization structure that allows the user to see through the eyes of a subject to find them anywhere on the planet. As Edward, the player must unravel a conspiracy between high-ranking Templars to manipulate the British, Spanish and French empires into locating the “Sage” – later identified as Bartholomew Roberts – who is the only man that can lead them to the Observatory.
Black Flag retains many gameplay mechanics from Assassin’s Creed III, including the ship-based exploration and combat. For the first time in the series, naval exploration is a major part of the game; players can captain Edward’s ship, the Jackdraw, and battle rival ships or hunt sea animals. The game includes a large open world spanning the West Indies, with players able to explore the cities of Havana, Nassau, and Kingston, as well as numerous islands, forts, and sunken ships.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue
Main article: Assassin’s Creed Rogue
Assassin’s Creed Rogue is the final game in the series to be developed for the seventh generation of consoles, being released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in November 2014, and for Windows in March 2015. A remastered version of the game was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in March 2018. In the present-day, players again take on the role of an unnamed Abstergo employee, who is tasked researching the memories of Shay Patrick Cormac, an Assassin from the 18th century who defected to the Templars. During their investigation, the player accidentally trips a hidden memory file that infects the Animus servers, and must complete Shay’s memories to clean the servers while Abstergo is put in lockdown. The main narrative takes place during the Seven Years’ War, and follows Shay, who, after becoming disillusioned with the Assassins’ tactics, joins the Templars and helps them hunt down former members of his Brotherhood during their search for the Pieces of Eden. The story is set between the events of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed III, and is meant to “fill the gaps” between their respective narratives, while also having “a crucial link to the Kenway saga”, as well as to Assassin’s Creed Unity. Several major characters from III and Black Flag make appearances in the game, such as Haytham Kenway, Achilles Davenport, and Adéwalé.
In March 2014, a new Assassin’s Creed game code-named Comet was revealed to be in development for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, set to release later that year alongside Unity. By the end of the month, additional reports indicated that Comet would be set around 1758 New York City, and would feature sailing on the Atlantic Ocean. The game would be a direct sequel to Black Flag, and would be the first to feature a Templar as the main protagonist, named Shay. In May 2014, Guillemot stated that Assassin’s Creed games would continue releasing on the last generation PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 “for the foreseeable future”, despite the franchise moving to the current generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with Unity. On August 5, Ubisoft announced the game as Assassin’s Creed Rogue. In addition to being a sequel to Black Flag, the game also retains most of its gameplay mechanics, including the ship-based exploration and combat. Although a few new features were added, Rogue was ultimately criticized for having too many similarities to Black Flag and failing to innovate the series’ formula.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Main article: Assassin’s Creed Unity
Assassin’s Creed Unity was released in November 2014 (concurrently with Rogue) for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, and Stadia. In the present-day, the player character is a player of Helix, an Animus-powered gaming device produced by Abstergo, who hope to use their unware playerbase to locate more Pieces of Eden. While playing, the player is contacted by the modern-day Assassins, and invited to join them as an Initiate and help them locate the body of an 18th-century Sage. The main story is set in Paris during the French Revolution, and follows Assassin Arno Dorian as he attempts to avenge his foster father’s death at the hands of the Templars, which leads him to discover an internal conflict between the Templars as a result of the Revolution.
On March 19, 2014, images leaked for the next Assassin’s Creed game, titled or code-named Unity, showing a new assassin in Paris. On March 21, Ubisoft confirmed the game’s existence, having been in development for more than three years, by releasing pre-alpha game footage. The game features enhanced visuals compared to its predecessors, and several new gameplay mechanics, including a four player co-op mode, a first for the series.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Main article: Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Assasssin’s Creed Syndicate was released in October 2015 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, in November 2015 for Windows, and in December 2020 for the Stadia. In the present-day, players control the same unnamed Assassin Initiate from Assassin’s Creed Unity, who this time must help the Assassins locate a powerful artifact, the Shroud of Eden, hidden somewhere in London. The main story is set in Victorian era London and follows twin assassins Jacob and Evie Frye as they navigate the corridors of organized crime, and gradually take back the city from Templar control.
In December 2014, images and information leaked for a new Assassin’s Creed game, titled or code-named Victory, which was later confirmed by Ubisoft. In May 2015, Kotaku leaked that Victory had been renamed Syndicate. On May 12, 2015, the game was officially announced by Ubisoft. The game retains several gameplay elements from Unity, and introduces new travelling systems, such as carriages and a grappling hook, and refined combat mechanics. It is the first game in the series to feature multiple playable protagonists, whom the player can switch between both during and outside missions.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Main article: Assassin’s Creed Origins
Assassin’s Creed Origins is a soft reboot of the franchise, and was released in October 2017 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, and Stadia. The game introduces a new protagonist in the modern-day, Layla Hassan, and explores the origins of the Assassin Brotherhood and their conflict with the Templar Order. The story is set in Ancient Egypt, near the end of the Ptolemaic period (49–43 BC), and follows a Medjay named Bayek and his wife Aya, whose fight to protect their people from the Order of the Ancients—forerunners to the Templar Order—leads them to create the Hidden Ones—forerunners to the Assassin Brotherhood. The game features a large open world, and puts more emphasis on the series’ role-playing elements, introducing an overhauled “hitbox-based” combat system.
In February 2016, Ubisoft announced they would not be releasing a new game in 2016 in order to step “back and [re-examine] the Assassin’s Creed franchise… [and take the] year to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we’re delivering on the promise of Assassin’s Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences”. On the decision, Guillemot said that “Ubisoft started to question the annualized franchise with the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, and the fact that Assassin’s Creed Syndicate had “a slower launch than expected”. Guillemot added that “by moving away from the annual iterations of the franchise, it will give the Assassin’s Creed teams more time to take advantage of new engines and technology”. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s director Ashraf Ismail, commented on an interview that he and the team would be interested in doing an Assassin’s Creed game in an Ancient Egyptian setting, along with reiterating an earlier statement that a female leading character was not an impossibility for the series. In May 2017, Ubisoft confirmed the development of Assassin’s Creed Origins; one month later, the setting was confirmed to be Ptolemaic Egypt.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Main article: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was released in October 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Nintendo Switch, and in November 2019 for the Stadia. The modern-day narrative continues from the events of Origins, as Layla, after being recruited into the Asssassins, searches for Atlantis, which is rumored to house a powerful artifact: the Staff of Hermes. The main story is set during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, at the height of Classical Greece. Players choose between two playable protagonists, Alexios and Kassandra, and embark on a quest to discover mysteries surrounding their family, as well as to undermine a proto-Templar organization: the Cult of Kosmos.
Odyssey was leaked in May 2018 by a picture posted by the French website Jeuxvideo; it was officially announced at E3 2018, with a release date given for October 2018. Similarly to Origins, the game places more emphasis on role-playing elements than previous entries in the series, and introduces dialogue options and branching quests, which can result in different endings.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Main article: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was released in November 2020 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows, Stadia, and Luna. The game concludes the modern-day story arc focusing on Layla, who must find a First Civilization temple in Norway to restore the Earth’s magnetic field to its proper strength, since Desmond’s sacrifice in Assassin’s Creed III only delayed the apocalypse. The main narrative takes place in the late 9th century, during the Viking expansions into the British Isles. Players control a customizable Viking raider, Eivor Varinsdottir, who becomes embroiled in the conflict between the Hidden Ones and the Order of the Ancients.
Valhalla was officially announced in April 2020. Ubisoft Montreal led its development along with fourteen other Ubisoft studios. The title had been leaked earlier in April 2019 under the name Assassin’s Creed Kingdom. Like Origins and Odyssey, it is a role-playing video game with a focus on combat and exploration, but retains most of the traditional gameplay elements of the series, including the return of social stealth.
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
Main article: Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation is a spin-off to Assassin’s Creed III, originally released for the PlayStation Vita in October 2012. The story takes place during the events of Assassin’s Creed III, and follows Aveline de Grandpré, a Louisiana Creole woman from New Orleans, the daughter of a French merchant father and an African mother. Aveline is recruited into the Assasssin Brotherhood by a former slave and fights against slavery as well as the Templars. Aveline uses a variety of new weapons in combat, including a machete and a blowpipe for ranged attacks, and can disguise herself to deceive enemies, although certain disguises limit her movement and abilities.
An original Assassin’s Creed title for the PlayStation Vita was announced to be in development during Gamescom 2011, and would feature a new story with new characters. On June 4, 2012, at E3, Liberation was officially announced. On September 10, 2013, it was announced that the game would be re-released as Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows via the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam, respectively, in January 2014. A remastered version of Liberation was bundled with Assassin’s Creed III Remastered, released in March 2019.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles
Main article: Assassin’s Creed Chronicles
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles is sub-series of three 2.5D action and stealth games released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Xbox One.
The first game, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, was originally released as part of Assassin’s Creed Unity’s season pass on April 21, 2015, but was later made available for purchase separately. Set after the short film Assassin’s Creed: Embers, the game follows Shao Jun in Imperial China from 1526 to 1532, as she battles the Templar group Eight Tigers and attempts to rebuild the Chinese Assassin Brotherhood.
The second game, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India, was released on January 12, 2016. It is set in British India in 1841, two years after the events of the graphic novel Assassin’s Creed: Brahman. The game follows Arbaaz Mir who, while attempting to recover a Precursor artifact from the Templars, becomes caught in a war between the Sikh Empire and the East India Company and must protect his friends and lover.
The last game, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia, was released on February 9, 2016. It is set in Soviet Russia in 1918, in the aftermath of the October Revolution, and bridges the gap between the comic book Assassin’s Creed: The Fall and its graphic novel sequel, Assassin’s Creed: The Chain. The game follows Nikolai Orelov as he attempts to protect a Precursor artifact and Grand Duchess Anastasia from the Templars and the Bolsheviks after witnessing the Romanov family’s execution.
Handheld and mobile games
Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles
Main article: Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles
Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles is a spin-off for the Nintendo DS, Windows Phone, Android, iOS, webOS, Symbian, and Java ME, originally released in February 2008. The game is a prequel to the first Assassin’s Creed, taking place in the year 1190, and follows Altaïr as he attempts to retrieve an artifact called the Chalice from the Templars.
Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines
Main article: Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines
Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines is the second spin-off title following Altaïr. It was released as a PlayStation Portable exclusive in November 2009 (concurrently with Assassin’s Creed II), and acts as a direct sequel to the original game. Following the events of Assassin’s Creed, Altaïr travels to the island nation of Cyprus to eliminate the last remnants of the Templar Order. Here, he again runs into Maria Thorpe, a young Templar agent whose life he spared in the first game, and they team up to eliminate the Templar presence on the island and learn more about the Apple of Eden and the mysterious Templar Archive, where more Pieces of Eden are believed to be hidden. Despite the technical limitations of the PlayStation Portable, the game features most gameplay mechanics of the console and PC titles, and even a few exclusive elements.
Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery
Main article: Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery
Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery is a spin-off to Assassin’s Creed II, and was released alongside it in November 2009 for the Nintendo DS; it was later re-released for iOS in January 2010. The game is a 2.5D side-scroller, and takes place during the events of Assassin’s Creed II, between Sequences 12 and 13, when Ezio is searching for the Apple of Eden after losing it to Girolamo Savonarola. During his search, Ezio travels to Spain to rescue members of the Spanish Assassin Brotherhood who have been arrested on the orders of Tomás de Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition, and allies with several historical figures such as Luis de Santángel and Christopher Columbus.
Assassin’s Creed Rearmed
Assassin’s Creed Rearmed is a multiplayer video game designed for iOS, and available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. It is the only Assassin’s Creed multiplayer driven by an in-game economy. The aim is to assassinate the assigned target and avoid being killed by a hunter. The player can purchase additional items, characters and abilities as well as compete with friends and foes from around the globe in a four player real-time online multiplayer mode. Players can connect via Game Center. It is possible to play against someone in the immediate area via Bluetooth. Available map locations include Jerusalem, San Donato, Venice and Alhambra.
Assassin’s Creed Recollection
Assassin’s Creed Recollection is a real-time board game developed for iOS. Players go head-to-head in real-time political battles with characters from the franchise. Players can unlock a collection of artwork from the series. The game features over 280 Memories, reconnecting with characters from Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The single-player Story Mode has 10+ hours of gameplay, with 20 missions taking place from Barcelona to Constantinople and 10 challenge missions. In Versus Mode, players can challenge their friends and people from around the world, pitting their strategies and abilities against one another. The game supports Game Center, allowing players to track achievements, challenge friends, and play against the world over. Go behinds the scenes with the Art Gallery, a collection of artwork from the franchise.[better source needed]
Assassin’s Creed: Pirates
Assassin’s Creed: Pirates is a mobile game released on iOS and Android devices on December 5, 2013. Developed by Ubisoft Paris, the game follows Captain Alonzo Batilla, who is neither Assassin nor Templar, as he commands a ship and crew, while crossing paths with the Assassins and Templars. Gameplay focuses on real-time battles between ships. The title is in 3D and features both wind and weather that will affect how players proceed.
Assassin’s Creed Memories
Assassin’s Creed Memories is a mobile game that was released on iOS devices on August 20, 2014. Developed along with PlayNext and Gree, the game combines card collection and battling, target chasing, and strategy elements, along with the option of competitive multiplayer. Additional multiplayer options include allowing players to join a guild and engage in 20 vs 20 guild combat scenarios. Memories features different historical eras, including the Third Crusade, the Golden Age of Piracy, feudal Japan and the Mongolian Empire.
Assassin’s Creed Identity
Main article: Assassin’s Creed Identity
Assassin’s Creed Identity is a game for iOS and Android devices that was released worldwide on February 25, 2016. It is a 3D third-person role-playing video game. It had a soft-launch in Australia and New Zealand in 2014.
Assassin’s Creed Rebellion
Assassin’s Creed Rebellion is a game for iOS and Android devices that was released worldwide on November 21, 2018.[better source needed] It is a free-to-play strategy role-playing video game. It follows the Spanish Assassins under Aguilar de Nerha during the Spanish Inquisition. The game features a large cast of characters from the entire Assassin’s Creed franchise, as well as 30 new characters created exclusively for Rebellion.[better source needed]
Cancelled and defunct mobile games
Assassin’s Creed: Project Legacy was a single-player browser-based role-playing video game Facebook application, designed as a promotion and tie-in for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The game is mostly text-based, but includes graphics and sound as well as some video. The game was shut down and put on an indefinite hold.
Assassin’s Creed: Utopia is a cancelled mobile game which was planned to be available on Android and iOS devices. The game’s story would have led into Assassin’s Creed III, though there would have been no links in terms of gameplay. Utopia would have taken place in the 17th century, at the beginning of the colonization of North America. Gameplay would have spanned 150 years of history, to help players “discover how the Assassins influenced history and helped shape the nation’s original thirteen colonies”. The gameplay involved building a colonial city, and was planned to have more of a “social slant” than any of the earlier games. The Assassins of each colony would have taken on their enemies in “limited time epic battles”, and players would have been able to pit their strength against friends in asynchronous 3D brawls.
Re-release compilations / Collections
Assassin’s Creed: Heritage Collection: Compilation of the first five games of the main series into one collection, featuring Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and Assassin’s Creed III. Released on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 8, 2013.
Assassin’s Creed: The Americas Collection (American title) / Assassin’s Creed: Birth of a New World – The American Saga (European title): Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, features Assassin’s Creed III, Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The collection was released on October 3, 2014, in Europe and October 28, 2014, in North America. The PC version was only released in Europe.
Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection: Developed by Virtuos and Ubisoft Montreal, features remastered versions of Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The games feature improved graphics, lighting, effects and textures, and also include all previously released downloadable content for the single-player. In addition, the bundle features the short films Assassin’s Creed: Embers and Assassin’s Creed: Lineage. The collection was released on November 15, 2016, to mixed reviews, being generally criticized for its minimal graphical enhancements, the gameplay for feeling dated, the capped 30 frames per second, and the absence of the multiplayer game modes in Brotherhood and Revelations. The Nintendo Switch version was announced in January 2022 and will be released the following month.
Assassin’s Creed: Rebel Collection: Contains remastered versions of the Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Rogue, released on December 6, 2019, for the Nintendo Switch.
Asked about the future of the series in 2009, Sébastien Puel from Ubisoft said that “we could do 35 of these [Assassin’s Creed games]”, while Laurent Detoc later said “we hope to reach Assassin’s Creed 10”.
In November 2011, a Ubisoft survey was sent out, asking participants which locations and time periods they would like to see in the “next Assassin’s Creed games”. These settings were Medieval China, Victorian England, Ancient Egypt, the Portuguese and/or Spanish Invasion of the Americas, the American Revolution, the Russian Revolution, Feudal Japan, and Ancient Rome. Alex Hutchinson, creative director of Assassin’s Creed III, suggested the most requested Assassin’s Creed settings, World War II, Feudal Japan and Ancient Egypt, are “the three worst settings for an Assassin’s Creed game”. However, Hutchinson stated both he and Corey May were open to the idea of a future entry set during the time of the British Raj, which now consists of the modern states of Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, and India. Victorian England, the American Revolution, Medieval China, parts of the British Raj, the Russian Revolution, and Ancient Egypt were subsequently used for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Assassin’s Creed III, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles, and Assassin’s Creed Origins, respectively, with World War I appearing as a section of Syndicate, and World War II as an easter egg in Unity.
In June 2013, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated on the development cycle of the games, saying, “We are making sure the teams who are creating the different iterations have enough time—two years, three years, so that they can take risk and they can change the concept enough so that it can be appealing and fresh. The following August, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s director Ashraf Ismail said that the ending of the franchise had been written, saying “We have an idea of where the end is, what the end is. But of course Yves [Guillemot] announced we are a yearly title, we ship one game a year. So depending on the setting, depending on what fans want, we’ve given ourselves room to fit more in this arc. But there is an end.
In September 2020 at the digital event of Facebook Connect, Ubisoft Red Storm Entertainment’s VP of Product Development Elizabeth Loverso stated the announcement the AAA game franchises coming to Virtual Reality format to public, the projects are untitled Assassin’s Creed game along with Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, both of the titles are exclusively for Oculus platforms. This is not the first Assassin’s Creed title coming to VR overall but the first to available in public, it previously developed two Assassin’s Creed VR titles mainly focused on escape rooms which is available in selected locations by Ubisoft Escape Games.
Assassin’s Creed Infinity
Ubisoft announced in July 2021 a new cross-studio collaboration between Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Quebec codenamed Assassin’s Creed Infinity. Infinity will be similar to Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto Online as an online live-service game that will receive continual updates over time, and include multiple locations and time pieces rather than centered around any specific point in history as with past Assassin’s Creed games. Clint Hocking and Jonathan Dumont, will serve as the game’s creative directors with Dumont and Hocking leading the Quebec and Montreal divisions, respectively. Marc-Alexis Cote, from Quebec, will serve as Infinity’s executive producer. Etienne Allonier and Julien Laferriere, both from Montreal, will serve as brand director and senior producer, respectively.
In November 2016, it was announced that Ubisoft and Netflix started talks regarding how to develop an Assassin’s Creed series. In July 2017, Adi Shankar revealed he would be creating the series, which would be in the anime format. The series, which will feature an original story from Shankar, will share the same universe as the other media of the franchise.
A live-action series, an animated series, and an anime series was announced in October 2020 for Netflix. The live-action series will be produced by Ubisoft Film & Television for the streaming service, with Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik as executive producers and Jeb Stuart as the writer.
Main article: Assassin’s Creed (film)
A live-action film, Assassin’s Creed, set in the same universe as the video games and other media, was released on December 21, 2016. Development for the film began in October 2011, when Sony Pictures entered final negotiations with Ubisoft Motion Pictures to make the film. In July 2012, Michael Fassbender was announced to star in the film, as well as co-produce the film. His role was revealed in August 2015 as Callum Lynch, whose ancestor Aguilar, is an assassin from 15th-century Spain. In October 2012, Ubisoft revealed the film would no longer be produced by Sony Pictures, instead co-produced with New Regency and distributed by 20th Century Fox. In January 2013, Michael Lesslie was hired to write the film, with Scott Frank, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage performing rewrites to the script. By the end of April 2014, Justin Kurzel was in talks to direct. Principal photography began on August 31, 2015, and ended on January 15, 2016. The film was poorly received by critics and performed poorly at the box office, losing an estimated $75 to $100 million and becoming one of the biggest box office bombs of 2016.
Assassin’s Creed: Lineage
Main article: Assassin’s Creed: Lineage
Assassin’s Creed: Lineage is a 36-minute film serving as a prequel to Assassin’s Creed II. The film, released in three parts on YouTube across 2009, was made to promote Assassin’s Creed II and was the first step by Ubisoft into the film industry. It is about the story of Giovanni Auditore, Ezio’s father, who investigates the mysterious assassination of Duke of Milan Galeazzo Maria Sforza and first learns about Rodrigo Borgia’s conspiracy.
Animated short films
Assassin’s Creed: Ascendance
Originally named Secret Project Number Three, Ascendance is an animated short by UbiWorkshop and Ubisoft Montreal, which bridges the gap between Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. It tells the backstory of Cesare Borgia’s rise to power. The animated short was revealed by UbiWorkshop on November 10, 2010. It was released on November 16, 2010, for Xbox Live, PlayStation Store and iTunes Store. The short story takes place in the middle of the events of Brotherhood as Ezio Auditore sits and gathers information about Cesare Borgia, from a hooded man who is later revealed to be Leonardo da Vinci.
Assassin’s Creed: Embers
Main article: Assassin’s Creed: Embers
Assassin’s Creed: Embers is a 21-minute animated film included in the Signature and Collector’s Editions of Assassin’s Creed: Revelations; it was later re-released on the PlayStation Store in April 2015. The film serves as an epilogue to Ezio’s story, depicting the final days of his life after he retired from the Assassin Brotherhood and started a family. When a mysterious Chinese assassin named Shao Jun arrives to seek his help and guidance, Ezio must fight to protect his loved ones one last time.
Main article: Assassin’s Creed (book series)
Assassin’s Creed: Graphic Novel
In the limited edition of Assassin’s Creed, an 8-page graphic novel was included, that showed two side-stories of Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad and Desmond Miles. The story serves as a prelude to the first Assassin’s Creed game and is narrated simultaneously by both characters. In it, the novel covers Desmond’s escape from Abstergo in the year 2012 and also one of Altaïr’s assassination missions in the year 1191. The start of the novel involves the introduction of the two characters with Altaïr calling himself a hunter, while Desmond is a prisoner. Although initially they describe themselves otherwise, by the end of the novel they both re-introduce themselves as assassins.
Assassin’s Creed Volume 1: Desmond
Assassin’s Creed Volume 1: Desmond is a French-language graphic novel written by Eric Corbeyran and drawn by Djilalli Defaux. It has been released in France, Canada, Belgium, Poland and Italy. The comic book was published on November 13, 2009, a few days before Assassin’s Creed II was released. The story is a retelling of events from Assassin’s Creed and the beginning of Assassin’s Creed II, mostly from Desmond’s modern perspective; for example it is revealed that Lucy helped the Templars to kidnap Desmond. It also features Subject 16 (referred to as Michael) and a Roman assassin named Aquilus. However, events in the comic book are different from what happens in the game. It is said that Subject 16 is alive but trapped in the animus, a virtual reality simulator used to relive memories of ancient relatives, but there’s no mention of Shaun or Rebecca.
Assassin’s Creed, Volume 2: Aquilus
Assassin’s Creed Volume 2: Aquilus is a French-language graphic novel written by Eric Corbeyran and drawn by Djilalli Defaux. The story opens with a young Desmond recalling his conversation with his father. He wakes up and has a conversation with Lucy. After meeting Rebecca, Shaun and other assassins, they get into a truck and drive to Monteriggioni. In the meantime, Desmond relives memories of Aquilus through the animus after his apparent death in the first volume. The Roman assassin is rescued by his cousin, Accipiter, and is tasked with a quest to save Lugdunum. He meets with his father and discovers an artifact of the first civilization: an ankh which can temporarily revive the dead. The mysterious object is then stolen by a Templar senator, Vultur, who kills Aquilus’ father. The modern day story continues as Assassins fight Abstergo agents when they’re ambushed on the road. Later, it is revealed that there’s a traitor among in the Assassins’ truck, and Desmond deals with the situation. The group finally arrives in Monteriggioni and at the end, it is hinted that the ankh artifact might be hidden within the town’s walls.
Assassin’s Creed, Volume 3: Accipiter
Jonathan Hawk was sent by a suited executive and a lab technician to relive Accipiter’s memories. He was sent to 259 CE, when Accipiter’s Alamans were crossing the Rodanus into Genava and Aube to face the Roman forces at Oppidum. The battle raged bloodily and long, but Accipiter’s forces were eventually victorious. Accipiter was met by the Iberian Assassin Cuervo after the battle, the latter coming to congratulate the Alamans on their victory and to discuss the future.
Assassin’s Creed, Volume 4: Hawk
Assassin’s Creed, Volume 4: Hawk is the fourth volume of the French graphic novels. It is centered on the story of Jonathan Hawk and his Egyptian ancestor Numa Al’Khamsin, a member of the Assassins in the 14th century. It was released on November 16, 2012.
Assassin’s Creed, Volume 5: El Cakr
Assassin’s Creed, Volume 5: El Cakr is the fifth volume of the French graphic novels. It is centered on the story of Jonathan Hawk and his Egyptian ancestor Numa Al’Khamsin, also known as “El Cakr”. It was released on October 31, 2013.
Assassin’s Creed, Volume 6: Leila
Assassin’s Creed, Volume 6: Leila is the sixth volume of the French graphic novels. It is centered on the story of Jonathan Hawk and his Egyptian ancestor Numa Al’Khamsin, also known as “El Cakr”. It is the last of the Egyptian storyline. It was released on October 31, 2014.
Assassin’s Creed: Conspiracies
Assassin’s Creed: Conspiracies is a two-part story published in French by Les Deux Royaumes. Following the end of the first cycle by Corbeyran and Defali, this new story is written by Guillaume Dorison and illustrated by Jean-Baptiste Hostache. The first of the two volumes saw a release in October 2016. Conspiracies is set during World War II, featuring the race for the Atomic Bomb, follows a new Assassin hero who influences the course of history in 1943.
Assassin’s Creed: Bloodstone
Assassin’s Creed: Bloodstone is a two-part graphic novel series published in French by Les Deux Royaumes, written by Guillaume Dorison and illustrated by Ennio Bufi. The first volume was released on 29 March 2019. The modern day story follows on from Assassin’s Creed: Conspiracies.
Assassin’s Creed: The Fall
Main article: Assassin’s Creed: The Fall
In July 2010, Ubisoft announced a three-part comic book mini-series set in the world of Assassin’s Creed as a part of their UbiWorkshop initiative. Ubisoft has hired illustrators Cameron Stewart and Karl Kerschl, both winners of multiple comic book awards. The first issue of the series was released on November 10, 2010, the second part on December 1, 2010. It was published by WildStorm. The comic takes place between 1888 and 1908 in Russia and 1998 set in the United States. It follows Nikolai Orelov and his descendant Daniel Cross, a recovering alcoholic experiencing the bleeding effect in a therapist’s office.
Assassin’s Creed: The Chain
Main article: Assassin’s Creed: The Chain
The Chain is a sequel comic to The Fall that completes Nikolai Orelov’s story as well as focusing on his descendant, Daniel Cross. The comic will also provide some light on the events of Assassin’s Creed III. It was released in mid-2012.
Assassin’s Creed: Brahman
Main article: Assassin’s Creed: Brahman
Brahman is set in 19th century India, and introduced the Assassin Arbaaz Mir. It was written by Brendan Fletcher with art by Cameron Stewart and Karl Kerschl. It was released in late-2013 in North America.
Assassin’s Creed: Assassins
Assassin’s Creed: Assassins is a comic series published by Titan Comics. While it was an ongoing series it had a planned duration of at least three years, the first issue was released in October 2015. However, in 2016, Titan announced that after its fourteenth issue, Assassins along with its companion series, Templars, would be relaunched with a different creative team as a new title: Assassin’s Creed: Uprising. The first story arc (#1 – #5) takes place in the late 17th century, during the Salem witch trials, with the parallel modern-day part featuring an espionage tale. The five issues were later collected and published as trade paperback, Assassin’s Creed Volume 1: Trial by Fire. The second story arc (#6 – #10) takes place during the Inca Empire in the past, running parallel with the modern day story featuring Erudito. It was later published as Assassin’s Creed Volume 2: Setting Sun. The third story arc (#11 – #14) takes place in Florence during the early 16th century, running parallel with a modern-day story again featuring Erudito. It was later published as Assassin’s Creed Volume 3: Homecoming.
Assassin’s Creed: Templars
Assassin’s Creed: Templars was a comic book series from Titan Comics. Written by Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Dennis Calero, the series debuted its first issue in March 2016. The first arc of the series focuses on the Templar Order, with its modern-day story set in November 2013 while the historical story takes place in Shanghai in the year 1927 featuring a Templar known as Black Cross. The second and final arc has its modern-day story set in 2016, following Juhani Otso Berg and Albert Bolden living through his descendants memories in 1805 using the Animus. In October 2016, Titan announced that after its ninth issue, Templars, alongside its sister-series, Assassins, would be relaunched with a new creative team as Assassin’s Creed: Uprising.
Assassin’s Creed: Uprising
Assassin’s Creed: Uprising is a comic book series published by Titan Comics. The comic is written by Dan Watters and Alex Paknadel and illustrated by José Holder with the first issue released in February 2017. It concludes the story arc started in Assassin’s Creed Unity.
Assassin’s Creed: Awakening
Assassin’s Creed: Awakening was a manga adaptation of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag in 2013.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla × Vinland Saga
Makoto Yukimura drew a 7-page crossover manga chapter between Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and his series Vinland Saga that was uploaded to Ubisoft’s website on October 23, 2020.
Main article: Assassin’s Creed (book series)
Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance
Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance is a novel based on the Assassin’s Creed series written by Oliver Bowden and published by Penguin Books. It is a novelised version of the game Assassin’s Creed II; however, rather than spanning a vast period of time, it is set only in the 15th century with no mention of the series’ present-day events.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a continuation of the Assassin’s Creed series written by Oliver Bowden and published by Penguin Books. It is a novelized version of the game Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood just like its previous book. It does not contain any of the game’s present-day events including Desmond, only a reference to a “phantom” by Ezio. Unlike the events of the game which start in 1499, this version of the story starts in 1503.
Assassin’s Creed: The Secret Crusade
Assassin’s Creed: The Secret Crusade is the third Assassin’s Creed book by Oliver Bowden and published by Penguin Books. The story is told by Niccolò Polo, father of Marco Polo, and is about the life of Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad. It was released on June 20, 2011.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is the fourth novel in the continuation of the Assassin’s Creed series written by Oliver Bowden and published by Penguin Books. The novel release date is November 24, 2011 for the United Kingdom and November 29, 2011, for the North America. Like the previous novels of Renaissance and Brotherhood, it is a novelised version of the game Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Additionally like the prior novels, it does not contain any of the game’s present-day events including Desmond. Like the game, Ezio Auditore must leave his life behind in search of answers, in search of the truth. In Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, master assassin Ezio Auditore walks in the footsteps of the legendary mentor Altair, on a journey of discovery and revelation. It is a perilous path—one that will take Ezio to Constantinople, the heart of the Ottoman Empire, where a growing army of Templars threatens to destabilise the region.
Assassin’s Creed: Forsaken
Assassin’s Creed: Forsaken is a continuation of the Assassin’s Creed series written by Oliver Bowden. It covers the life of Haytham Kenway during his years before and during the events of Assassin’s Creed III.
Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag
Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag is a continuation of the Assassin’s Creed series written by Oliver Bowden. The novel chronicles the events of the game with the same name. It was released on November 7, 2013.
Assassin’s Creed: Unity
Assassin’s Creed: Unity is a continuation of the Assassin’s Creed series written by Oliver Bowden. The novel focuses on the events of the game from Elise’s and Arno’s perspectives. It was released on November 20, 2014.
Assassin’s Creed: Underworld
Assassin’s Creed Underworld unveils the story of Master Assassin Henry Green/Jayadeep Mir, the son of Indian Master Assassin Arbaaz Mir and his wife Pyara Kaur (the two debuted in Assassin’s Creed: Brahman and Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India), six years before the events depicted in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.
Assassin’s Creed: Desert Oath
Assassin’s Creed: Desert Oath is an account of Bayek’s early years. The book is a prequel to Assassin’s Creed: Origins game and revolves around how a young Bayek follows in his father, Sabu’s footsteps to become a Medjay and more. The book further explains why the Order wants Medjay bloodline erased.
Assassin’s Creed: Encyclopedia
UbiWorkshop released an encyclopedia of the Assassin’s Creed series in 2011. Initially intended as an art book, the project gathered so much material that the company decided to expand it into an encyclopedia. It features works of artists, such as Craig Mullins, Tavis Coburn, 123Klan, Gabz and James NG. Artists were given creative freedom, as they were able to create a unique Assassin from the period of their choosing. The art book contains a “carte blanche” section, which is going to contain fan-submitted artwork.
In November 2012, to coincide with the release of Assassin’s Creed III, UbiWorkshop released a second edition of the encyclopedia. This Edition contained an additional 120 pages of content, covering both Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed: The Chain, as well as revised content based on feedback.
The Third Edition of the Assassin’s Creed: Encyclopedia is an updated hardcover edition incorporating information of characters and events from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed: Brahman along with new artwork and concept art. It was released worldwide on November 11, 2013, and includes 390 pages of new content and a revised version of the second edition, which is also available to purchase from UbiWorkshop.
Assassin’s Creed Gold
Assassin’s Creed Gold is an Audible audio drama by Anthony del Col released February 27, 2020. The four hour drama follows a card shark and hustler called Ailyah Khan (Tamara Lawrence) who is enlisted by Gavin Banks (John Chancer) to relive the memories of 17th century Assassin Omar Khaled (Riz Ahmed). The production also features the voices of Anthony Head, as Isaac Newton, and Danny Wallace, who reprises his series role as Shaun Hastings.
Assassin’s Creed Symphony
Assassin’s Creed Symphony is a tour across North America and Europe in 2019 featuring composers including Jesper Kyd, Lorne Balfe, Brian Tyler, Austin Wintory, Sarah Schachner, Winifred Phillips, Elitsa Alexandrova, Chris Tilton, Ryan Amon and The Flight. It was scheduled to begin in the summer of 2019, and expected to feature holographic characters from the series. The 2019 – 2020 tour was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The concert, Assassin’s Creed Symphonic Adventure, is developed by Overlook Events and will be presented in a world premiere in Paris, France, October 29, 2022, at the Le Grand Rex. The world premiere will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the game series. An international World Tour will be scheduled from beginning 2023 during the anniversary year. According to Ubisoft, the concert is to be a two-hour performance with a full symphonic orchestra, also featuring a choir and soloists.
The Assassin’s Creed series have received mainly positive reviews from critics, many of whom have called Assassin’s Creed “…the standout series on [the seventh generation] of consoles”. It has been praised for its ambitious game design, visuals, and narratives, but criticized for its technical issues and annual releases of almost every installment, while the series’ shift towards prioritising role-playing mechanics over stealth has been considered polarizing. As of September 2019, the series has sold over 140 million copies with over 95 million players, becoming Ubisoft’s best selling franchise and one of the highest selling video game franchises of all time. By October 2020, total sales of the series had reached 155 million.
Elements of Assassin’s Creed have been introduced as content into other Ubisoft games and those from third parties.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag introduces the character of Olivier Garneau, as the CEO of video game company Abstergo Entertainment (who helps Ubisoft to develop the Assassin’s Creed video games within the franchise’s fictional plot). During the game’s plot, Garneau goes to Chicago, the setting of Ubisoft’s game Watch Dogs. In the latter video game, Garneau is the subject of a side mission that sees playable protagonist Aiden Pearce saving him from being kidnapped, it is implied that by the Assassin’s Brotherhood. Additionally, two characters in the game are seen playing Assassin’s Creed II. Ubisoft has described those appearances as small Easter eggs, and has neither confirmed nor denied a shared continuity between both franchises. Assassin’s Creed Origins mentions the news about Garneau’s incident in Chicago, along with a picture of Aiden Pearce killing Garneau.
In the 2009 Wii game Academy of Champions: Soccer, Altaïr appears as a playable character along with other Ubisoft characters. In the 2012 game Soulcalibur V, Ezio appears as a playable fighter and is featured on the box art.
Sackboy, the player character from LittleBigPlanet and its sequel, can be costumed as Ezio. In Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands there is an unlockable outfit through Uplay. In Prince of Persia (2008), Altaïr’s costume can be unlocked with a code obtained by pre-ordering the game. Final Fantasy XIII-2 has a costume of Ezio from Assassin’s Creed: Revelations as an optional costume option as downloadable content. In PC/Mac versions of Team Fortress 2, two promotional items were introduced in 2011 months before Assassin’s Creed: Revelations’ release. These were both for the class Spy, the first item being the iconic hidden blade, the second a hood based on the one Ezio wore in Revelations.
In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the outfit of Altaïr is available as an unlockable, though, originally, it was only an April Fools joke by Hideo Kojima. Kojima later repaid the favor, by letting Ubisoft borrow the outfit of the Metal Gear Solid character Raiden as an unlockable in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the player can jump into a bale of hay from a rooftop (which includes the “Eagle” sound effect used in the Assassins’ Creed games) and use it to attract and subdue enemies. The Assassin order is referenced by a character.
In downloadable contents, Ubisoft collaborated with Square Enix to hold a limited-time Assassin’s Creed-themed festival event crossover into the Final Fantasy XV on consoles under the title Assassin’s Festival, starting August 31, 2017 until January 31, 2018. The DLC featuring gameplay elements from the Assassin’s Creed game series, new additional quests, mini-games, and exclusive items from Assassin’s Creed series. In January 2020, Nintendo announced and released a Mii Fighter costume based on the first game’s protagonist, Altaïr, as downloadable content in the crossover fighting game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.