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From the team that brought the world Prince of Persia and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell comes a sophisticated new franchise utilizing the power of next-gen technology for its complex action. The first game in the Assassin's Creed franchise is set in 1191 AD, when the Third Crusade was tearing the Holy Land apart. Shrouded in secrecy and feared for their ruthlessness, the Assassins intend to stop the hostilities by suppressing both sides of the conflict. Players, assuming the role of the main character Altair, will have the power to throw their immediate environment into chaos and to shape events during this pivotal moment in history.
Word History: Active in Persia and Syria from the 8th to 14th centuries, the original Assassins were members of the Nizaris, a Muslim group who opposed the Abbasid caliphate with threats of sudden assassination by their secret agents. Other populations of the area regarded the Nizaris as unorthodox outcasts, and from this attitude came one of the names for the group, ḥaššāšīn, a word originally meaning "hashish users," which had become a general term of abuse. Reliable sources offer no evidence of hashish use by Nizari agents, but sensationalistic stories of murderous, drug-crazed ḥaššāšīn or Assassins were widely repeated in Europe. Marco Polo tells a tale of how young Assassins were given a potion and made to yearn for paradise—their reward for dying in action—by being given a life of pleasure. As the legends spread, the word ḥaššāšīn passed through French or Italian and appeared in English as assassin in the 16th century, already with meanings like "treacherous killer."