November 13th 2007 marked the first release of the Assassin’s Creed Saga which then spans 12 titles across 15 years of its journey all the way to the most recent addition in 2020 with more in the works. Assassin’s Creed is an RPG action-adventure with an open world concept where you play as either a historical assassin or just some guy who got caught up in the conflict between The Assassin Brotherhood and The Templars.
Those two are the side you’ll be fighting as or against with both of them seeking world peace but different methods of getting there (either through liberty and free will or through total control and order) and consequently leads to a war that lasts for ages, seemingly no end in sight.
The series mostly kept historical accuracy to a tee but when there’s an opportunity to diverge and make it more interesting, they will take that creative liberty. And if you’re seeking for history lessons gamified, there are games out there which serve that purpose well like the Total War series, Crusader Kings 1 – 3, Europa Universalis 1 – 4 or the Civilizations games and many more. But if slashing people’s throats from haystacks and leaps of faith are your thing, then I can suggest no better game other than Assassin’s Creed.
Speaking of historical accuracy, based on release order, the games are not in chronological order. I don’t believe you if you told me that the French Revolution happened first compared to literal Vikings, obviously they’re out of order and coincidentally in line with the main motifs of The Templars, I must set the records straight. So, with the game’s 15th anniversary taking place this month, there’s no better time to do this. Let’s go back to the past shall we.
- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (431 BC – 422 BC)
Time Period: Ancient Greece
The story takes place during the Ancient Greece period, where you play as Cassandra or Alexios, the grandchildrens of Sparta’s King Leonidas I. In it you’re met with familiar names from your history books such as Hippocrates, Plato, or Socrates. It also features mythology creatures from the likes of Sphinx to Medusa.
Meanwhile, in the present time, Layla Hassan is the protagonist. After successfully recovering the spear of Leonidas, she extracts the DNA of his grandchildren to find out any other piece of Eden. Which she did, by locating the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus that is actually still guarded by one of the grandchildrens (depends on who you choose to play as at the start of the game). She is then given the staff to restore balance to the world.
- Assassin’s Creed Origins (49 BC – 44 BC)
Time Period: Ancient Egypt
Released in 2017, Origins is set in Ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic Kingdom. You play as Bayek, one of the last Medjay of Egypt in charge of Siwa Village, his hometown, and dedicated his life to protecting the security and welfare of his people. But his peace was broken when The Order of The Ancients (or The Templars) killed his son for not cooperating in opening the Siwa Vault.
Present day, Layla Hassan stumbles into the mummified corpses of Bayek and his wife Aya. She ignores Abstergo’s order to not relive Bayek’s and Aya’s memories which automatically makes her a target. Fortunately, she’s saved by an Assassin agent who then recruits her to the Assassin Brotherhood.
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (872 – 878)
Time Period: 9th Century, Norway and England
Just from its name, you’ll know it is going to involve vikings and Norse history and mythology and you’re not wrong. Eivor Varinsson or Eivor Varinsdottir is the character you’re controlling and continuing the conflict of The Order of The Ancients and The Hidden Ones, you encounter friends and foes alike meanwhile you and your clan are doing a pilgrimage from the icy lands of Norway to the fertile meadows of England.
Still playing as Layla Hassan as the modern day protagonist, after exhuming Eivor Varinsdottir, a 9th century viking, she finds an Isu temple located in Norway. Arriving there, she enters “The Grey” , a virtual world where the Reader and Basim Ibn Ishaq, a member of the Hidden One who is trapped. He would then help Layla and escape into the real world.
- Assassin’s Creed (1191)
Time Period: 12th Century, Holy Land
The first game on the series, the one that started a 15 year long and counting iconic series, the progenitor, all of that aptly fits Assassin’s Creed. Based on the 12th Century Crusade period, you play as Altair Ibn’La-Ahad, after failing to recover a piece of Eden you’re tasked with eliminating 9 targets scattered all over The Holy Land (Acre, Damascus, Jerusalem) and along the way you realized that things are not that simple.
This time, we’re playing as Desmond Miles. After finding out he’s a descendant of several important and historical assassins such as Altair Ibn’La-Ahad (Assassin’s Creed), Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Assassin’s Creed II – Assassin’s Creed Revelations) and Ratonhnhaké:ton (better known as Connor, Assassin’s Creed III) he is used by Abstergo to find pieces of Eden but is saved Lucy Stillman, a double agent for the Assassin. Together and with the help of Shaun Hastings and Rebecca Crane and his father William Miles, they would find out more about the First Civilization and pieces of Eden.
- Assassin’s Creed II (1476 – 1499)
Time Period: 15th Century, Italy
The first instalment in the Ezio Trilogy as fans usually call the games with Ezio Auditore da Firenze as the protagonist. In this part, Ezio is seeking revenge for the unjustified execution of his father and brother. In his personal vendetta, he found that all of them are related to The Templars and thus indirectly got involved in The Assassin and The Templars conflict. After finding out the identity of the Templar Grandmaster, Ezio confronts him by disguising as a soldier and although it was a failure, he wouldn’t let it happen again.
Continuing the events of Assassin’s Creed, Desmond and his entourage continues to find more and more Vaults and after experiencing the side effect of the bleeding effect (where you learn your ancestors skills much faster) he finds glyphs that when deciphered, reveals a video of two humans stealing an apple. They theorized that they were Adam and Eve and the apple is the Apple of Eden.
- Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (1499 – 1507)
Time Period: 15th – 16th Century, Italy
A direct sequel to Assassin’s Creed II and the second part of the trilogy, Ezio got his revenge fulfilled but in a cruel twist of fate, the Borgio family, led by Cesare, besieged Monteriggioni (Ezio’s ancestral home) and killed Mario. He then took the Apple of Eden and made an injured Ezio flee to Rome, the central power of The Templars. Ezio resolved himself to revive the Assassin Brotherhood there and get his revenge, once more.
Following the events of the previous game, Desmond and his crew consisting of Lucy Stillman, Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings escape from The Templars who attacked their hideout and found another one in Monteriggioni. Desmond is tasked with finding the Apple of Eden to prevent the upcoming disaster.
- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (1511 – 1512)
Time Period: 16th Century, Constantinople
The last of the trilogy, Ezio’s story concludes with him finding Altair’s secret library and helping a young Suleiman to win the struggle between his father, Selim, and Ahmet over the next sultanate. To enter the library, Ezio needed 5 keys, one of which was already in the Templars’ hands. After getting all 5 keys and finding out that Altair’s secret library contains nothing more than Altair’s skeletons and a sixth key which revealed the library is a Vault for the Apple of Eden. Ezio decided to leave it there and retire from The Assassin Brotherhood.
Present day, Desmond is currently in the “Black Room” in order to save his mind, in there he met with a previous Animus test subject who tells him he needs to fully relive his ancestors’ memory.
- Assassin’s Creed Black Flag (1715 – 1722)
Time Period: 18th Century, Caribbean Islands
Probably the most fan favorite game of the series, Black Flag introduces Edward Kenway and naval battles, a breath of fresh air to the now increasingly stale gameplay. Edward is a pirate who got caught up in the Assassin – Templars conflict by accidentally killing a rogue Assassin, which prompted him to take his place at a meeting he was supposed to go to and endangering The Assassin at the same time. After several of his pirate friends were exploited by The Templars, he joined The Assassin and his task is to find a First Civilization site called The Observatory.
In the present day story, you play as an unnamed Abstergo employee who’s tasked with exploring Edward Kenway’s memories in order to make a film.
- Assassin’s Creed Rogue (1752 – 1760)
Time Period: 18th Century, America
A deviation from the standard formula of the Assassin’s Creed games, you play as Shay Patrick Cormac, a once brilliant new recruit of the Assassin, turned Templar by questioning the Assassin’s actions in regards to compromising with the Templars. Shay is tasked with finding a Precursor box to find more Pieces of Eden, but Shay realizes that the Pieces of Eden are meant to stabilize the world as every time he takes one, there’s always an earthquake afterwards. He tried to run away with the box but was shot and left to die. Enter the Templars, where they took care of Shay and allied with them after some convincing from a Templar agent.
Modern day, you are an unnamed Abstergo employee only known as “Numbskull” who stumbles over a hidden file while reliving Shay’s memories, subsequently infecting Abstergo’s server.
- Assassin’s Creed III (1754 – 1783)
Time Period: 18th Century, America
Continuing the events of Revelations, you control Ratonhnhaké:ton or Connor, the son of Haytham Kenway, as he fights to protect his land and people in The American Revolution and The Revolutionary War. In it he’s forced to cross paths with his father who in the end, was killed by him. Connor didn’t want to do it, instead seeking cooperation with him; however Haytham remained adamant on controlling the nation by replacing the President with Charles Lee, a Templar agent.
In the present, Desmond and the rest of them are in a First Civilization temple in New York. In there Desmond experiences the memories of Haytham Kenway and his son Connor. He then realizes the solar flare can happen anytime and he has only one way to prevent it, that is by sacrificing himself.
- Assassin’s Creed Unity (1789 – 1794)
Time Period: 18th Century, France
Set during the French Revolution, you relive Arno Dorian’s memories, an orphan who was framed for the murder of his foster father and imprisoned in the Bastille. There, he met with an Assassin who knew his father and joined the Assassin Brotherhood in order to find the Templars associated with his father’s murder.
In the modern day side of story, you play as an oblivious gamer playing The Helix, basically releasing Animus technology to the general masses. You’re then contacted by a modern Assassin codename “Bishop”.
- Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (1868)
Time Period: Victorian Era, London
You play as Jacob and Evie Frye, twin Assassins based in London to find more Pieces of Eden and prevent them from falling into the hands of the Templars. They met with a fellow Assassin who tells them London is fully controlled by the Templars, thus leading them to build a gang called The Rooks to help them seize control of London back.
Modern day, you play the same unnamed Helix player and now Assassin initiate was once again contacted by Bishop to find Pieces of Eden in London.
Whew, that was a lot to unpack. But, at least it’s now chronologically correct until the new game Assassin’s Creed Mirage comes out and I gotta redo it all over again. I purposefully didn’t include it in the list because well, the game hasn’t come out yet thus I don’t know the full story (or do I) but we do know the time period it’s set though. It’s in 9th Century Baghdad, making it placed in the timeline between Origins and Valhalla.
I agree with the notion that fans of any longtime series have, whether it be video games or films or tv shows, that ordering them chronologically like this makes the story of said series much easier to understand. It’s more of a follow along experience rather than you figuring things out by yourself if you’re experiencing them based on release date.
Both are agreeable options, but back on topic I recommend for new players who haven’t heard of Assassin’s Creed or returning players for the nostalgia to play chronologically because time only goes one way and that’s from the past to the future except the Fate/Stay Night series, that series bends time like David Beckham.
Nuruddin Ihsan Affandi