I just finished seeing Assassin's Creed, and it seems to be a bit different than what I know of some of the games it's tied to. How different is it? Is it just based on them, using it as a shared universe but independent story? Or does it follow the story of one of the games? Or bits of various of the games? Is the main McGuffin of the movie in them? Are the characters unique or is it one of the game protagonist?

In short, how much does it diverge from the source material?

2 Answers 2


The movie diverges plenty from the source material.

  • Different characters (the movie characters are not from the games - in particular the movie character seems to replace Altair)
  • Different setting in the past from all the games (each game takes place in a different place, other than the Assassin's Creed 2's triology)
  • Slightly similar overall plot (the motive behind the Templars and Assassins are similar to the first game)
  • Similar names and terminology. Assassins, Templars, Abstergo and Animus were all taken from the games
  • Animus works wildly different though, in the game it was a bed with a visor, in the movie it's a mechanic arm
  • The whole "futuristic" Juno plot is ignored in the movie - although the most recent Assassin's Creed games also completely ignored it

It's not a faithful adaptation, not the slightest. It is probably not a concurrent side-story either, since it seems they have their own take on the Templar / Assassin's struggle for the Apple (although it might as well just be another skirmish at a different time, I'm not so sure how the timelines would align).

  • So the games use an Animus? Do they also do the whole this is a genetic memory flashback and the narrator is in modern times thing?
    – cde
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 17:58
  • 3
    @cde Yes, that's the premise of the games as well. And since you asked about it, yes, the main McGuffin in the movie is also in the games.
    – tobiasvl
    Commented Jan 11, 2017 at 19:04
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    @cde the games take it a step further, with 3 distinct timelines. Present, where the player enters the animus, past where the genetic memory is accessed (usually thematic for each game), and "before our known history past" where you deal with an ultra advanced civilization from before humans - called Isu or Homo Sapiens Divinus. They were the Gods that created humans, and the Apples of Eden.
    – CyberClaw
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 10:40

I haven't seen the film but this is my understanding from reading reviews, seeing the film's trailers and playing the games:

The film's story and characters are totally original - the setting (Medieval Spain) or characters don't appear anywhere in the games. However, I believe the main thrust of the in-game story arc - the timeless conflict between the Brotherhood of Assassins and the Templars - is portrayed in the film.

As I haven't seen the film, I don't know if it references anything in the games to say if it's a shared universe or not.

The animus technology is portrayed totally differently. In the games, it's just a bed with something over it (the design varies from game to game, but if you think of an MRI scanner you won't be far off). In the film it's kind of a robotic arm, and I understand the movements the character makes in the past are reflected in the present - i.e. jumping around the room. In the games, the present day character is sedate and unconscious when they are in the animus.

Bit more information here.

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