The Assassin’s Creed allow us to explore places and periods of history which are rarely seen in other video games. We’ve gotten to explore the Holy Lands during the Third Crusade, explored Italy during the Renaissance, and taken to the high seas during the Golden Age of Piracy. However, that’s not the only story taking place in the Assassin’s Creed games. For every game there’s a story set in the present day where the Assassins and Templars are still waging a secret war. If you want to catch up on the present day storyline, then you’ve come to the right place.
The first Assassin’s Creed game’s present day story introduced us to Desmond Miles, a very important character in the series. He is abducted by a Templar organization named Abstergo and is forced to use a machine called the Animus which allows users to relive their ancestor’s memories. The Templars are using this device to locate hidden artifacts called Pieces of Eden which grant those who wield them great power. These artifacts were created by an ancient but great civilization called The Precursors who inhabited Earth ago and created humans as a work force.
The Animus has Desmond relive the life of an ancestor of his named Altair who was an Assassin during the Third Crusade. After Altair recovers the first Piece of Eden, an Assassin spy in the present day called Lucy Stillman frees Desmond and reveals to him that his genetic memories seem to indicate a much larger plot that could see the end of the world in 2012.
Assassin’s Creed II picks up where the first game left off and sees Desmond and Lucy break out of Abstergo. They meet up with some fellow Assassins who have their own version of the Animus and convince Desmond to help them stop the Templars by getting into their Animus and showing the Assassins where the next Piece of Eden is. Desmond jumps in and is transported to the Italian Renaissance where he relives the life of his ancestor Ezio Auditore.
Ezio begins life as a rich, young nobleman, but tragedy strikes and he loses his family to the Templars and so joins the Assassins to get revenge. Along the way, he learns about two Pieces of Eden and manages to get his hands on them. Ezio then enters a secret underground chamber where he meets a Precursor named Minerva who speaks directly to Desmond and warns him about the upcoming apocalypse. Desmond and his crew are rumbled when the Templars discover their location and they make a quick getaway.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is the second game in the Ezio trilogy and sees Desmond once again enter the Animus and follow the continuing journey of Ezio. Ezio’s victory in the last game is short lived as the Templars destroy his home and steal a Piece of Eden. Ezio travels to Rome where the Templars have an iron grip and begins work on undoing their power over the city and recovering the Piece of Eden. Desmond sees through Ezio where the Piece of Eden can be found in the present day but Desmond then meets another Precursor named Juno who reveals to him that Lucy is actually a Templar spy and forces him to kill her. Desmond is overwhelmed by Juno’s power and falls into a coma.
Assassin’s Creed: Revelations is the final game in the Ezio trilogy and sees Ezio’s story merge with Altair’s. Desmond is physically still in a coma but his mind is awake inside the Animus. In order to wake up, Desmond must finish his work with Ezio. An aging Ezio travels to Constantinople to break the Templar hold over the city and then travels to the Assassin stronghold in Masyaf (featured in the first game) where he finds the library of Altair. There he learns he needs to find five keys to unlock the hidden knowledge laid there by Altair. The Templars also discover this and Ezio must work to find the keys first. Ezio discovers that, after the events of the first game, Altair became the leader of the Assassins and implanted his memories on the keys Ezio has found. Opening the secret chamber, Ezio discovers Altair’s corpse and with it a Piece of Eden.
Upon seeing all this, Desmond meets another Precursor named Jupiter who explains that his race was wiped out by a solar flare. He tells Desmond that another solar flare is due in 2012 and that Desmond must travel to New York to a secret location that has the power to prevent the solar flare from wiping out humanity. Desmond wakes from his coma, knowing what he must do.
Assassin’s Creed III sees Desmond and his gang travel to New York where they find the secret vault. A key is required to open the vault and so Desmond jumps back into the Animus and relives the life of his ancestor Connor, a half English, half Native American who becomes an Assassin during the American Revolution. Before seeing Connor’s life, we first see some of the life of his father, Haytham Kenway, who was a Templar who fell in love with Connor’s mother. Haytham’s actions accidentally led to the death of Connor’s family and so he joins an old assassin named Achilles who teaches him the ways of the order. At the end of his journey, Connor discovers an amulet which is the key Desmond needs to open the vault. Juno appears to Connor and tells him where to bury the amulet so Desmond can find it.
Desmond wakes from the Animus, fetches the amulet, and opens the chamber. A control panel appears and Juno begs Desmond to use it and prevent the solar flare from destroying the world. The Precursor from the first game, Minerva, then appears and tells Desmond that if he does this, the world will be saved but Juno will be released into the world and could pose an even greater threat and could enslave humanity once again. Desmond opts to at least give humanity a chance and stops the solar flare but is killed in the process. Juno is freed and declares it’s time to do her work. Thus, Desmond’s story comes to an end.