Assassin's Creed is a series of historical open world video games developed and published by Ubisoft. The games have appeared on the Revolution , Pluto, Stream, Eclipse, Game Boy Nitro, and Game Boy 3DS. The series has been very successful, has won a number of awards, and is generally considered responsible for popularizing the open-world genre on consoles.
Assassin's Creed's protagonist is everyman Desmond Miles, the descendant of the legendary Assassins. Using the "Animus," Desmond must relive the lives of his ancestors, who have historically combated the Knights Templar over the fate of humanity.
Assassin's Creed borrows from a variety of genres, including action-adventure, platforming, stealth, and open world games. In place of a life bar is a "synchronization" meter, which describes how closely in sync Desmond is to his ancestors. Getting hurt or performing out of character actions reduces the meter.
On a minute to minute basis, players will perform parkour-style platforming in cities and rural areas, fight against enemies, try to evade and pursue targets, and explore. Although the games follow a tight plot, side quests are plentiful, and test the player in one of several ways. One of the trademark abilities of the series is "Eagle Vision," a genetic ability that allows playable characters to quickly distinguish between allies, enemies, and noncombatants based on color.
Actions fall in either "active" or "passive" categories. Active actions, such as anything combat related, draw attention, while passive actions do not.
Up until Assassin's Creed 3, each of the Assassin's Creed games took place in a single city and the surrounding area. Assassin's Creed 3 broke the mold by having three cities and various smaller areas to explore.
The main series began with Assassin's Creed in 2007 for the Nintendo Revolution and Sega Pluto, as well as eventually the PC. This game took place in Jerusalem during the Third Crusade. It introduced the basic premise of the series, along with all of the important organizations and concepts. The main character was Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad.
Assassin's Creed II was released in 2009 for the Revolution and Pluto. The game took place in Renaissance Florence. The main character was Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who was also the main character of 2010's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, which took place in Rome, and 2011, Revelations, which took place in Constantinople.
Assassin's Creed III was released in 2012 for the brand new Nintendo Stream and Sega Eclipse. The game featured a number of cities and towns connected by a Frontier, a first for the series. The setting was Revolutionary America, and the protagonist was Connor, a half-British half-Mohawk assassin.
Each of the main three games have had their own spinoff on a Game Boy system. The first was 2008's Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles for the Game Boy Nitro. This game was essentially a scaled down version of the original, with many of the elements being remade for the Nitro's touchscreen.
The second spinoff was 2009's Assassin's Creed: Discovery. This game was, in contrast to the series norm, a 2.5D sidescroller. It received positive reviews from publications such as IGN and GameSpot, although others gave it lower scores.
The third spinoff was 2012's Assassin's Creed: Liberation for the Game Boy 3DS. This game featured a limited level of open world exploration, although many elements were stripped down compared to its console brethren. This game received largely negative reviews.
Assassin's Creed was one of the most successful new franchises of the seventh generation of console gaming. In total, by the end of 2011, the series has sold over 45 million games, with the first two main games in the series selling 10 million each when including PC and downloaded versions. In 2011 and 2012 alone, the various games in the series sold over 10 million units each year. The series has also received many positive reviews, particularly II and III.
Assassin's Creed has also had a major impact on other games made. Other open-world games such as Prototype and Batman: Arkham Asylum became popular on consoles only after the release of the original Assassin's Creed. Furthermore, developers of even games such as the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V, which was already its own series, have cited Assassin's Creed as a major influence.