Wikipedia describes the Assassin’s Creed game premise like so:
The Assassin’s Creed games primarily revolves around the rivalry between two ancient secret societies: the Assassins and the Knights Templar, and their indirect relation to an ancient species pre-dating humanity, whose society, along with much of Earth’s biosphere, was destroyed by a massive solar storm. The games’ real-world chronological setting is the year 2012, and feature Desmond Miles, a bartender who is a descendant of several lines of prominent Assassins; though raised as an Assassin, he fled his nomadic family to seek out a more common lifestyle. He is initially kidnapped by the megacorporation Abstergo Industries, the modern-day face of the Knights Templar, who are aware of Desmond’s lineage. Desmond is forced to use the “Animus”, a device that allows him to experience his ancestral memories.
Initially, when I started playing Assassin’s Creed, I thought that this whole ancestral memory exploration idea was very cool. It gave the game an easy opportunity to travel back in time, as well as it explained how the main character could die and resurrect many times during the course of the game.
Well, apparently, this is not all fiction – there is a scientific basis for the idea. Mysterious Universe covers a few bits of research, including this:
Prof Marcus Pembrey, from University College London, said the findings were “highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders” and provided “compelling evidence” that a form of memory could be passed between generations.
He commented: “It is high time public health researchers took human transgenerational responses seriously.”
Not exactly an exploration of ancestral memories yet, but a step in that direction.