“Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” That, according to Corey May, Assassin’s Creed’s scriptwriter, was the motto for the 12th century killers at the heart of the game - the Hashshashin. It’s definitely a maxim that chimes throughout this game, because while Assassin’s Creed is open-ended and it is open-minded in its approach to morality, method and the murder, the whole project is still mired in Fort Knox-style secrecy.
For while the Montreal-based team is happy to talk about their plans and the plot, much remains unseen, unsaid and under wraps. So all that talk of epoch-wandering killers, dredging the genetic memory of dead relatives and that HUD is distinctly off the agenda. But at the same time, they kept hinting at something else, something Dan Brownish in hue, something vague about the Holy Grail, the Knight’s Templar, and a global conspiracy.
Here’s what we do know is true: the year is definitely 1191, the climax of the Third Crusade, and our hero Altair and his brethren are attempting to stop what they see as an unjust war between the Christian Crusaders and the Muslim Saracens. And their method of preventing more rhesus positive being spilt across the Holy Land is a series of brutal and targeted political assassinations of what May calls “immoral individuals” on both sides. The idea being that the deaths of these nine war profiteers will bring peace to the region, making Altair a sort of militant Boutros Boutros-Ghali, if you like.