Assassin's Creed (2007)
The Assassin's Creed games primarily revolves around the rivalry between two ancient secret societies: the Assassins and the Knights Templar, and their indirect relation to an ancient species pre-dating humanity, whose society, along with much of Earth's biosphere, was destroyed by a massive solar storm. The games' real-world chronological setting is the year 2012, and feature Desmond Miles, a bartender who is a descendant of several lines of prominent Assassins; though raised as an Assassin, he fled his nomadic family to seek out a more common lifestyle.
Desmond Miles, a bartender, is kidnapped by Abstergo Industries. There, Desmond is forced to interface with the Animus, a device that is able to replay the genetic memories of the user's ancestors. In Desmond's case, they seek information about his ancestor Altaïr ibn-La'Ahad, an Assassin during the time of the Third Crusade. Within the Animus, Altaïr's memories reveal that he was attempting to stop Robert de Sablé from taking an artifact from a temple, but broke all three of the Assassins' Brotherhood's tenets in the process. The Brotherhood leader, Al Mualim, demotes Altaïr to the rank of Novice, and assigns him the task of assassinating nine people, all of whom are Templars, to regain his former status.
As Altaïr completes the assassinations, he finds that each was a member of the Templars searching the area for "Pieces of Eden", artifacts similar to the one de Sablé attempted to steal. Altaïr finds and accuses de Sablé in front of King Richard. King Richard makes the two fight and lets God decide who is telling the truth. Altaïr eventually kills de Sablé, who with his dying breath, reveals the existence of a tenth Templar: Al Mualim. Returning to the Brotherhood, Altaïr finds Al Mualim in possession of the Apple of Eden that is able to control people's minds. Altaïr is forced to fight his way through innocents and assassins under Al Mualim's control (with the help of other Assassins still loyal to the creed) to reach Al Mualim, and engages him in battle. Altaïr eventually sees through Al Mualim's tricks using the artifact, and kills him. Upon approaching the artifact, Altaïr is surprised to find it displays a projection of the Earth marking several spots around the globe.
At this point, Desmond is brought out of the Animus, his purpose served. He comes to learn that Abstergo is a front for the modern-day Templars. Abstergo is now set to use the locations on the map seen by Altaïr to find more Pieces of Eden, believing that they must collect the artifacts to control the world's population in order to stave off the projected end of the world in 2012. Desmond's life is spared by Lucy Stillman, an Assassin mole doubling as an Abstergo scientist. Left alone in his locked room, Desmond discovers (through "the Bleeding Effect" from his time spent in the Animus) that he can observe numerous messages in blood on the walls and floor left by a previous test subject (Subject 16) that foretell the end of the world.
Did You Know? The Assassin's Creed series, particularly the main story, have received acclaim from fans and critics, many of whom have called Assassin's Creed "...the standout series on this generation of consoles". The series has sold over 73 million copies as of April 2014.