Assassin’s Creed is a long-running franchise from Ubisoft, which started in 2007 with Assassin’s Creed. Interestingly, the idea for the AC games came from the franchise Prince of Persia and was intended to be a spin-off to the smash hit Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.
Assassin’s Creed Games Explained In Order
However, Ubisoft went ahead and formed a new franchise around it. With twelve main games in the franchise and several comic books, mobile games, a movie, several tie-ins, and merchandise later, every new fan who wants to start with this franchise gets confused about where to start and how to go about it. If you had the dilemma as well, fear not! We will tell you where to start and how to go about the franchise with this article.
It all started with this game – Assassin’s Creed. Starting from the trailer, everything was a smash hit with this game released in 2007 for PlayStation 3, Windows, and Xbox 360. The game begins with a company called Abstergo forcing a person called Desmond Miles into a device called Animus which showed memories of his ancestor based on his DNA, to find an artifact called the Apple of Eden. Desmond relives the memory of one of his ancestors, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, a senior member of the Assassin’s Creed during the Third Crusade. Unfortunately, Altaïr ruins an operation due to his arrogance and is stripped of his rank by Al Mualim, his mentor and senior. Now, he has to assassinate nine individuals from the Templar community to regain his honour and, in the process, needs to recover the Apple of Eden from them.
Assassin’s Creed II
Assassin’s Creed II was a bigger hit than the first part and is still the favourite AC game for many fans. The game, which was released in 2009 for PlayStation 3, Microsoft X-box, and Windows, starts with Desmond escaping Abstergo with the help of Lucy, an Assassin mole. With their own version of Animus, the Assassin’s now asked Desmond to relive memories of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, an Italian Assassin in the late 15th century, to train him as part of the “bleeding effect” from the Animus through which the ancestor’s skills are passed on. Ezio is a happy-go-lucky guy who is charming with the ladies, and his life takes a turn when he finds out that his father and brother are betrayed and killed by members of the Templar Order. He stumbles upon his uncle Mario on the run from the country with his mother and sister with his father’s hidden blade for protection. The latter trains him to be a proper Assassin and gives him missions to eliminate the members of the Templar Order to rid Italy of the Templars.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, a sequel to Assassin’s Creed II, was released for PlayStation 3, Windows, and X-box in 2010. The story continues as Desmond tries to find a way to battle the impending catastrophe by entering Ezio’s memories again. However, as Ezio returns to his uncle from his successful crusade, Templars attack the city of Monteriggioni and kill his uncle Mario. In a bid to fight the Templars and the rampant corruption associated with them, Ezio tries to re-establish the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins. Even though the story is not as big as AC II, the game was lauded for its multi-player campaigns.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations
AC Revelations is the direct sequel to Brotherhood and were released in 2011. The story continues where Brotherhood left and follows Desmond reliving the memories of Ezio one last time, concluding the Ezio Collection. Ezio travels to Constantinople and tries to find out what his ancestor Altaïr was up to in this sequel. Ultimately, he speaks to Desmond, tells him to find out what he and Altaïr couldn’t and drops his arms, signifying his retirement. Meanwhile, Desmond tries to figure out how to stop the catastrophe and is successful in it partly by identifying a cave with the Grand Temple of First Civilization. The remastered versions of the games Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations were later released as The Ezio Collection for PS4 and Xbox One in 2016.
Assassin’s Creed III
Following the events of Revelations, the game Assassin’s Creed III, which was released in 2012, starts with Desmond starting in the Grand Temple of the First Civilization. Under the influence of a member of the First Civilization called Juno, he enters the Animus to understand how to unlock the Temple. Here, Desmond relives the memory of one more of his ancestors, Haytham Kenway, only to find he was of the Templar Order and not the Assassin’s Order. However, he ends up reliving the life of Connor Kenway next, who is the son of Haytham and a part of the Assassin’s Order. Over the following years, Connor assassinates many a member of the Templar Order, working actively to find the Temple’s location. He also aids in the Revolutionary War against the British. Finally, Connor eliminates the Templar Order, including his father, and finds the key to the Temple. With Juno’s help, he hides the key in the grave of his mentor’s son. Now, Desmond finds out where the key is hidden by Connor and retrieves it. Juno and Minerva warn Desmond that activating the portal might kill him, and if he lets the catastrophe go ahead, he will be one of the few survivors and be their mentor. Desmond chooses to sacrifice himself for humanity and activates the pedestal, which triggers a shield encapsulating the World and preventing it from Solar eruption. However, Desmond dies in the process, ending the Desmond Miles Trilogy. The game garnered mixed reviews due to the many glitches that were there initially. However, a remastered version was released for PS4 and X-box One in 2019.
Assassin’s Creed IV – Black Flag
Since AC III had many criticisms, Ubisoft decided to reinvent the franchise and came up with Assassin’s Creed IV – Black Flag in 2013 for PS3, PS4, X-box 360, X-box One, and Windows. This game marked the AC games’ entry into the next generation of consoles. Black Flag continues the modern-day lore where AC III left off. Abstergo recruits an unnamed player character to sift through Desmond’s memories, retrieved from his body following his death. Abstergo has made modifications to the Animus now so that anyone can relive the memories and not just the people with the proper genetic structure. They do this to find a structure called the Observatory, which is from the First Civilization. We are taken to the beautiful World of a pirate named Edward Kenway, the father of Haytham Kenway and the grandfather of Connor Kenway. He murders an Assassin for survival and takes up his mantle only to unravel a conspiracy from the Templar Order to find a Sage called Bartholomew Roberts. He alone knows the Observatory location, which can monitor anyone anywhere in the World when provided with blood samples. The Templar order intends to use it to spy on World Leaders to blackmail them. His recklessness endangers the Order of Assassins and hence helps them. As he tries later to establish a pirate utopia with other notable pirates, the Templar Order uses a rift between them to kill most of the pirates, collapsing the dream of a haven. He later works with Roberts to find the artifact inside the Observatory, only to find that Roberts betrayed him, and he ends up in jail. He escapes the prison with the help of an Assassin and assassinates Roberts and other Templars. He returns the artifact to the Observatory and closes it for good. The fans praised the game for its innovative gameplay, and it was the first AC game to use ships for exploration and battle. Ubisoft succeeded in these uncharted waters.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue
Assassin’s Creed Rogue is a spin-off, and its events are between AC Black Flag and AC III. This game, released in 2013, marks the end of the AC series for the PS3 and X-box 360. AC Rogue has a lead in Shay Patrick Cormac, who is newly inducted into the Assassin Order. While retrieving pieces of Eden for the Assassins, he questions the Assassins’ motives as they are unwilling to engage in dialogue with the Templars, only to ensure bloodshed. He finds a connection between the destruction of cities while retrieving the artifacts and tries to stop the Assassins from finding more. Unfortunately, the Brotherhood is shot and left for dead as he turns rogue. Now, he finds allies in Templars who help him regain his ship and possessions from the Assassins. As he cripples the Assassin Order now, his final mission is to find a precursor box from Charles Dorian (Arno Dorian’s father), whom he finds and assassinates, leading to the events of the next game (Assassin’s Creed Unity). In modern-day lore, the player character is given a choice to join the Templars or die. The game was praised for its new perspective on the Assassins and the gameplay as a Templar.
Assassin’s Creed Unity
Assassin’s Creed Unity is the successor to Black Flag and was released in 2014 for next-gen consoles and Windows. In modern-day lore, the player character is contacted by the Assassins Order and is trying to recruit them to locate the corpse of a Sage. To do that, the player character enters the Animus to relive the memories of Arno Dorian, a French assassin during the French Revolution. As Shay murders Arno’s father from the events of AC Rogue, the Templar Grand Master De La Serre takes him in as his ward. Due to his reckless youthful nature, De La Serre is murdered, and Arno is imprisoned for the murder. With the help of an Assassin detained with him, Arno escapes the Bastille during the historical event of the Storming of the Bastille. Upon returning, he finds out De La Serre’s daughter Elise despises him, blames him for her father’s death, and finds out she is a Templar. He joins the Assassins to eliminate the Templars responsible for De La Serre’s end. In his love for Elise, he disobeys an order from the Brotherhood to protect her, triggering his exile from it. He claws his way back with the help of Elise and finally eliminates the new Templar Grand Master, who reveals in his final moments that he is the Sage. But Arno loses Elise in the final battle, a heavy price to pay. He finally hides Sage’s corpse in the Catacombs of Paris, and the modern-day Assassins become happy about learning it as they believe Abstergo will never be able to find it now. The game was received poorly due to a flat storyline and various glitches that made the game unplayable.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was released in 2015 on all platforms and helped revive the AC franchise. People could play a female character for the first time in the series. The game starts with the player character being asked by the Assassin Order to relive the memories of twin Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye of England from the Victorian Era to find a piece of Eden. In 1868, Henry Green (originally Jaydeep Mir), an Assassin, writes to the Order to send reinforcements to relieve London of the Templar rule headed by Crawford Starrick. As he awaits reinforcements, the twins Jacob and Evie find a piece of Eden with David Brewster, which explodes. They disobey the orders of the Brotherhood and head for London to help Henry Green. As they set foot in London, they disagree on how to cripple Starrick’s hold on London. Jacob wants to attack the Templar-held boroughs head-on and liberate them, while Evie intends to work with Henry Green behind the scenes and prevent the pieces of Eden from falling into the wrong hands. Jacob also forms his own gang called Rooks in the process. With the help of some key figures like Florence Nightingale, Charles Dickens, Frederick Abberline, Alexander Graham Bell, and even a young Arthur Conan Doyle, they liberate London from the Templars’ hold in their own ways. As Starrick finds the Shroud of Eden, the twins finally kill Starrick at the palace of the Queen of England, receiving Knighthood. The modern-day story ends with the Shroud of Eden falling into the Templars’ hands, who attempt to construct a body for Juno. We also get to play a small segment as Lydia Frye, the granddaughter of Jacob, who assassinates a Sage during World War II. The game is praised for the gameplay as Jacob strives to go and hit hard, while as Evie, players need to sneak in the shadows and attack at opportune moments. The duo’s diverse characters helped the game. While Jacob’s reckless actions cause medicine shortages and Currency inflations, Evie goes in to set things right and help people. Jack the Ripper DLC is touted as one of the best DLCs in the franchise. This game was the last Assassin’s Creed game before the franchise headed towards RPG.
Assassin’s Creed Origins
Assassin’s Creed Origins marked the entry of the AC franchise in the RPG world and was released in the year 2017. It also marks the entrance of a new modern-day protagonist in, Layla Hassan, who continued to be the lead for the next two games. Layla Hassan, a former Abstergo researcher, is asked by the Assassin Order to retrieve an ancient Egyptian artifact. She instead finds two mummies and enters the Animus to relive their memories in an attempt to join the Animus Project from Abstergo. She goes to 49 BC, where she lives the memories of Bayek and Aya. Bayek and Aya’s life is turned upside down when a group of masked men kills their child in front of Bayek’s eyes, searching for a secret vault. Now, they both have decided to get their revenge and search for the masked men.
As they slowly assassinate the five masked men, they are recruited by Cleopatra. She is against her brother Ptolemy’s cruel reign, which is majorly influenced by the Order of Ancients, a precursor to the Templar order. So, she enlists Bayek and Aya to find and eliminate the Order, and the couple realizes that it is not just the five masked men who killed their son. Instead, the entire Order conspired to find the secret vault. For the sake of Egypt, they assassinate the members of the Order of Ancients and realize that their calling is to find the Order called Hidden Ones, the precursors of the Assassins’ order. They operate from the shadows and protect the World. However, they are separated from each other. Bayek forms a bureau in Egypt, while Aya assassinates Caesar in Rome and establishes a bureau there. Calling herself Amunet now, she threatens Cleopatra to be fair or that she will be back for her. In the modern-day, Layla is now ambushed by men from Abstergo and then contacted by William Miles, the father of Desmond, in a bid to recruit her for the Assassins. She also understands through Bayek’s visions that she is going to be a significant part of the impending doom approaching the World. The game was critically praised for its RPG elements and the story making Ubisoft explore more in the RPG gameplay more for its upcoming AC releases.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, released in 2018, takes us before the events of Origins in the historical lore, whereas the story of the modern-day progresses with Layla Hassan. She finds the spear of Leonidas with two DNAs in it (the siblings Kassandra and Alexios). Layla Hassan dives into the Animus with the DNA of Kassandra, which ensues in a beautiful tale. Kassandra is a Misthios or mercenary who is exiled from Sparta for trying to prevent her brother’s death at a very young age. Elpenor recruits her to try and kill the Wolf of Sparta, a war general, to weaken the Spartan Army against Athens. As Kassandra faces the Wolf, she realizes that it is her long-lost father. She also learns from him that her mother is also alive, and later, Elpenor tasks her to kill her mother. Realizing that Elpenor is from a sinister order called the Order of Ancients, Kassandra kills him and spies on the Order to find his brother working for them! She finds her mother later and understands that her birth father was not the Wolf of Sparta; instead, it is Pythagoras, a descendent of the Isu (The First Civilization)! The remainder of the Journey is about how Kassandra unites her family, eliminates the Order, and finds the secret of her past. As Layla understands Kassandra’s story, she understands she has a role as the staff-bearer. She goes past all barriers to go to Atlantis only to find Kassandra waiting for her holding the Staff of Hermes with the staff consciousness of Aletheia from the Isu civilization, which lets her live without ageing. Kassandra hands the staff to Layla and eventually dies. In a bid to understand what happened in Atlantis, Aletheia takes Layla as Kassandra to her memories and shows the destruction of Atlantis due to Isus experimenting on humans (as part of the DLC). In another DLC, we learn that Kassandra is the ancestor to Amunet or Aya, the founder of the Assassins brotherhood. The game was received positively by both critics and fans. However, few fans complained that the story was that of a mercenary and not an Assassin. Still, the Assassin’s Creed franchise had put a firm foot down on the doors of RPG, and it was not going to back out.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
The latest instalment in the Assassin’s Creed series is Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, released in 2020. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla picks up where Layla left in Odyssey. The Earth’s magnetic field is going bonkers, and impending doom is on the cards for Earth, and just like how Desmond stepped up in 2012, Layla has to step up to save the World. With the staff in her hand, Layla finds a Viking’s corpse in America, which gives her the DNA to explore memories from the 9th century. As Layla goes into the Animus, she relives the memories of Eivor Varinsdottir, a Viking warrior who leaves for England from Norway with her foster brother Sigurd to establish a kingdom there. She has to work with many neighbouring states in England and conquer England, ridden with the Order of Ancients. With a Hidden Ones Bureau in her settlement to help her, she tracks and kills the members of the Order of Ancients. As she continues her quest to do so, Sigurd reveals that there is more to them than meets the eye and thinks they are descendants of the Gods. With dreams plaguing her, Eivor believes it might be the case but refuses to believe it. However, how she figures out her past and succeeds in conquering England forms the rest of the story. Based on this information, how Layla succeeds in saving the Earth forms the rest of the modern-day lore. Ubisoft reworked some of the RPG aspects and expanded the game to a larger scale. The critics and fans both loved the game during its release, and AC Valhalla is the biggest AC game in terms of the number of copies sold. A DLC depicting Eivor’s visit to Ireland was released later in 2021, and a DLC related to the Siege of Paris is pending to be released in 2021.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage
Assassin’s Creed Mirage is a successor to 2020’s Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. Remember Basim from Valhalla? You will be playing as Basim Ibn Ishaq, from his early days to becoming a member of the Assassin Brotherhood. You will fight about the Templar Order. Fans are hyped about this since there are rumours that this game will back to its “Assassin” style roots. This game will take place in 9th century Baghdad, during the Islamic Golden Age.
In addition to the above mainstream releases, the Assassin’s Creed franchise has a few more games added to its arsenal to extend the franchise to handheld and mobile consoles. The most notable ones are as below:
Assassin’s Creed Liberation
The Assassin Aveline de Grandpre is the first female protagonist in Assassin’s Creed history, and the story is set in Colonial America alongside Connor’s crusade in Assassin’s Creed III. The story follows Aveline’s quest to eliminate the templars in and around New Orleans. In the process, she also finds an artifact from the First Civilization, which was explored in other games! Assassin’s Creed Liberation was also given free along with Assassin’s Creed III to those who bought the season pass of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles follows a 2.5D format and is set in three locations: China, India, and Russia. AC Chronicles China follows the story of Shao Jun, a student of Ezio, who goes back to China to liberate it from the Templars, who wiped out the entire Chinese Brotherhood.
Assassin’s Creed India follows Assassin Arbaaz Mir. It is set in the period when Indians revolted against the East India Company. The game features weapons like Aruvaal, Urumi, Katara, Chakram, Smoke bombs, etc., which are all of Indian origins.
Assassin’s Creed Russia is about the story of Nikolai Orelov and his last mission before he wanted to retire. He comes into contact with Anastasia, the Grand Duchess, while trying to steal an artifact with mysterious powers. Anastasia is exposed to Shao Jun’s memories in the process, and she also becomes a playable character with unique skills. The rest of the story is about how they escape the Templars and eliminate them.
In addition to the above, there are also quite a few mobile games in the AC franchise. Assassin’s Creed: Altair Chronicles follows the story of Altair trying to retrieve a chalice from the Crusaders and the Saracens. Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines continue with Altair’s story and his travel to Cyprus to kill the remnant Templars. Finally, Assassin’s Creed Discovery follows the story of Ezio in between AC II.
In addition, a few other games like Assassin’s Creed Rearmed, Assassin’s Creed Recollection, Assassin’s Creed Pirates, Assassin’s Creed Memories and Assassin’s Creed Identity were released, which had no tie-ins to the main games. However, these games had tie-ins to the lore and were okay to be missed.
The latest mobile game is Assassin’s Creed Rebellion, a turn-based strategy game where you can collect many Assassins from different eras to bring them together for unique missions.
There is also a movie named Assassin’s Creed, which is about a Spanish Assassin, Aguilar de Nerha, which ties into the game universe between Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Assassin’s Creed Origins. A Netflix series is also announced now.
While everyone anticipates the next AC game, there is no denying that it is one of the biggest franchises in the gaming world. If you are a fan of action-adventure games, Assassin’s Creed is one franchise that you cannot afford to miss! So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and play the franchise! If you are hooked, go for the novels and the comic books too!
Assassin’s Creed Games in Release Order:
- Assassin’s Creed (2007) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed: Altair Chronicles (2008) – Spin-off
- Assassin’s Creed II (2009) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines (2009) – Spin-off
- Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery (2009) – Spin-off
- Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2010) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (2011) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed III (2012) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation (2012) – Spin-off
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed: Pirates (2013) – Spin-off
- Assassin’s Creed Rogue (2014) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed Unity (2014) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed Memories (2014) – Spin-off
- Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed Chronicles – (three instalments: China, India and Russia) (2016) – Spin-off
- Assassin’s Creed Identity (2016) – Spin-off
- Assassin’s Creed Origins (2017) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (2018) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed Rebellion (2018) – Spin-off
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (2020) – Main title
- Assassin’s Creed Mirage (2023) – Spin-off
Assassin’s Creed Games in Chronological Order:
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (Greece – 431 B.C.)
- Assassin’s Creed Origins (Ancient Egypt – 48-38 B.C)
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Viking Age – 873)
- Assassin’s Creed Mirage (Islamic Golden Age – 8th to 14th century)
- Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles (1190 AD)
- Assassin’s Creed (Holy Land – 1191-1193)
- Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines (1191 AD)
- Assassin’s Creed II (Italian Renaissance -1476-1500)
- Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery (1491 AD)
- Assassin’s Creed Movie (1492 AD)
- Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Rome – 1500-1507)
- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (Constantinople – 1510-1524)
- Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China (1526 AD)
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Golden Age of Piracy – 18th century)
- Assassin’s Creed Rogue (Seven Years’ War – 18th century)
- Assassin’s Creed III (American Revolution – 1754-1783)
- Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation (1765-1777 AD)
- Assassin’s Creed Unity (French Revolution – 1776–1794)
- Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India (1841 AD)
- Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (Industrial Revolution -1868)
- Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia (1918 AD)