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I'm thinking about trying out Assassin's Creed III, but wondering if I should play through the predecessors first.

Are they important to the story? Is there lots of things in AC3 I won't really get unless I have played through all of it?

And if so, which should I play through in what order and are they all available through Steam?

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These aren't "prequels", they came out before the third game... –  JohnoBoy Dec 13 '12 at 11:48
    
What are they then? I've always though of sequel and prequel to be sort of before and after, irregardless of when it was released. –  Svish Dec 13 '12 at 14:13
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I think a prequel is typically something that comes out after the original, but chronologically occurs before the original. Predecessor would probably be a better word in the context that you used prequel. –  turbo Dec 13 '12 at 14:55
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@Derp They came out after the original so they would be prequels –  asbumste Dec 13 '12 at 15:21
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@Derp I'm not sure what you mean by "the stories they're based from," but, Star Wars Eps. 1-3 were prequels because they were created after 4-6. Assassin's Creed (1, 2, BH, etc) was released in sequential order, so they would not be prequels. turbo has the right of it by calling them predecessors. –  Fluttershy Dec 13 '12 at 15:37
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There are plenty of things you might not get if you played it without having an idea of the prequels. However, I wouldn't necessarily recommend playing them to get the story.

The first one is incredibly repetitive and involves many menial tasks whilst the second one struggles in aspects of the story line.

Strictly speaking, there won't necessarily be things you won't get, just things you won't notice. Most games are developed so that you would be able to understand the plot without having to play previous games (although I think most people would struggle with Metal Gear Solid 4).

I'd recommend either reading the wikis for the plots or there is a handy video here that will sum up everything brilliantly. (Obviously, don't watch if you wish to play the games instead)

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I played AC3 with no previous knowledge of the series and found it quite enjoyable... I think I only looked up one thing the entire game and it was minor. –  user4139 Dec 13 '12 at 12:35
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AC3 also has a video that catches you up to the overall plot when you start a new game. –  aviangentile Dec 13 '12 at 14:26
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Despite it not being necessary, if you can pick the predecessors up for cheap, I'd highly recommend playing them! I believe yesterday there was an Amazon lightning deal for 2/brotherhood/revelations all for $30. You don't have to do much besides the story missions, but I found them to all be very enjoyable, especially in the way that they use (bend) history. –  turbo Dec 13 '12 at 14:58
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@turbo I agree. Plus, in playing from the beginning, you can really tell how Ubisoft adapted to the desires of their community. Each game was, in my opinion, progressively better than the one before it. So, do you need to play the first three? No. Should you play them? Yes. =P –  Fluttershy Dec 13 '12 at 15:34
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"the second one struggles in aspects of the story line" This is crazy talk, the second one is all-around awesome. –  Shinrai Dec 16 '12 at 23:10
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It's not really necessary to play the previous games but if you do you'll surely have a deeper experience with the story. You can also take a look at The Assassin's Creed Wiki. The main games previous to the third are (in order): AC, AC2, AC Brotherhood and AC Revelations.

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