The setting is 1191 AD. The third crusade is tearing the holy land apart. You, AltaÃ¯r, intend to stop the hostilities by suppressing both sides of the conflict.
THE GAME THAT STARTED IT ALL
You are an Assassin, stalking your prey with a hidden blade. A warrior shrouded in secrecy and feared for your ruthlessness. Your actions can throw your immediate environment into chaos, and your existence will shape events during this pivotal moment in history.
The main character in the first installment of the Assassin's Creed series is Desmond Miles. He is captured by Abstergo and forced to use a machine called the Animus. Abstergo uses the Animus to explore AltaÃ¯r ibn-La'Ahad's memories.
The player is thrown between present time with Desmond as playable character and the past with AltaÃ¯r as playable character. A lot of mysterious facts and plots will be revealed through time.
Through this plot details emerge of a struggle between two factions. AltaÃ¯r ibn-La'Ahad' (1165-1257) is part of the Assassin Order and a battle is going on between them and The Templars. Both these ancient sects are looking for an artifact known as "Piece of Eden"; an artifact used to control minds.
The game received generally positive reviews, and won several awards at E3 in 2006. The game spawned a sequel, Assassin's Creed II, which was released in November 2009. Since the release and success of Assassin's Creed II, subsequent releases have been yearly with various other Assassins and time periods.
The first Assassin's Creed introduced different elements that would remain cornerstones of the franchise; the free-running (parkour) and climbing beeing perhaps two of the more distinct and knowable features. The dive jumps through the air (Leap of Faith) on different synchronisation locations might be what characterises AC the most.
"When I was very young, I was foolish enough to believe that our Creed would bring an end to all these conflicts. If only I had possessed the humility to say to myself, I have seen enough for one life, I've done my part. Then again, there is no greater glory than fighting to find the truth."
- AltaÃ¯r to his son Darim during the Mongol attack on Masyaf, 1257