Assassin's Creed originally started as a Prince of Persia Spin-Off, "Prince of Persia: Assassins". It was going to follow the events of a young Prince's female bodyguard as she escorts him through Jerusalem. The game was also going to feature co-op. However the game was cancelled when ##Ubisoft## heard the game was about the bodyguards and not the Prince himself.
During the game's opening, Altair is seen shooting a crossbow at an enemy. In the beta version of the game, the crossbow was a usable weapon, but was never made available in the final release of the game. The opening cinematic was very likely made during the beta period of development. The crossbow doesn't make an appearance until Assassins Creed Brotherhood.