Assassin's Creed Brotherhood: The story so far

Missed the previous games? Here's a full catch-up...

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is available now and an unmissable title that all PS3 and 360 owners should play.

But we know some of you might not have played any of the previous entries in the franchise. So to help newcomers get up to speed on the battle against Abstergo we've got a handy guide to the story so far.

Though it will put you in a great position to play Brotherhood, you should do yourself a favor and play the previous games.

Obviously, there will be fair bit of spoiling from here on.

Assassin's Creed is essentially a game within a game. You play as ex-barman Desmond Miles, who is a direct descendant of a group called the Assassins, who have been at war with a rival order known as the Templars for centuries.

At the start of the first Assassin's Creed (2012) we find Desmond is being held captive in a modern skyscraper owned by the Abstergo corp. (a modern front for the Templars) who are running experiments on Desmond through a device called The Animus.

It's a machine that allows the subject to delve back into their genetic past and live out the memories of their ancestors.

Abstergo, through chief scientist Warren Vidic and his assistant Lucy Stillman, force Desmond into The Animus to visit the memories of an assassin called Altair - who they hope will lead them to an ancient artifact called a Piece of Eden.

The Piece of Eden grants it's holder immense power over the common people.

The first game sees players reliving Altair's various missions in the Holy Land during 1191, where he kills a number of targets according to the will of his master Al Mualim.

As he works through the list, Altair begins to question his master's motivation for the assassinations.

His final victim, Robert de Sable reveals that Al Mualim is actually a Templar agent.

Altair confronts Al Mualim and kills him. After the battle, the Piece of Eden opens, revealing the locations of other pieces dotted throughout the world.

Back at Abstergo, Vidic extracts this knowledge from Desmond, using the The Animus, and dispatches Templars throughout the globe.

Confined to his cell, Desmond beings to discover he has absorbed some of Altair's powers (referred to as The Bleeding Effect, where the subject is able to absorb his ancestor's skills).

One of those powers is the Eagle Vision, an ability that means he can easily identify friend from foe. He uses it and sees that his cell is covered in writing from previous subject. He also realises that Vidic's assistant Lucy is an ally - an Assassin sleeper.

This is where Assassin's Creed 2 begins. Lucy helps Desmond escape Abstergo, and they flee to a secret warehouse.

The two rendezvous with a team of rogue Assassins, Rebecca Crane - a former Abstergo tech and Shaun Hastings - a historian.

The Assassins have built their own version of The Animus, and Desmond agrees to go back into his past, this time synchronising with Ezio Auditore da Firenze - a young noble from renaissance Florence.

Ezio loses his father and brothers after they are framed by the Pazzi family under the instructions of Roderigo Borgia - a powerful Spanish noble.

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