Assassin’s Creed is a third-person stealth game in which the player assumes the role of Desmond Miles, an average bartender who is the last descendant of a long family line of assassins. Desmond has been taken to a facility where he is forced to use the Animus, a machine that traces and recreates the memories of his ancestors during the Third Crusade. Through these genetic memories, the player controls Altaïr Ibn La-Ahad (الطائر ابن لا أحد , Arabic, “The Flying One, Son of None”), a member of the Assassin Brotherhood which is allied with one of the sides during the third crusade. Altaïr’s objective in the game is to slay nine historical figures propagating the Crusades in the year 1191. (According to Ubisoft developers, all of the main character’s targets are historical figures who died or disappeared in 1191, although not necessarily by assassination.)
The primary goal of the game is to complete nine assassinations. To achieve this goal, the player must use stealth and a variety of intelligence gathering tactics to collect information on their target. These tactics include eavesdropping, forceful interrogation, pickpocketing, and completing tasks for Informers (other assassins who will give you information in exchange for assassinating targets or collecting flags). Additionally, the player may take part in any number of side missions, including climbing tall towers to map out the city and saving citizens that are being threatened or harassed by the city guards. There are also various side quests unrelated to the story such as hunting down and killing Templars and flag collecting.