A saint or a sinner? The assassin can be either depending on which side of the trigger you are stood. The dark allure of the assassin has woven its way into each and every form of entertainment since the beginning of time. They have been the star focus of many a novel, movie and in more recent times, video games.
Everybody loves an assassin – these cold-blooded killers evoke something different within each and every one of us. There are many reasons why people love a good assassin – the real reasons of which we will leave to the video game science guys – but what we can say with absolute certainty is that these calculated killers are awesome and we must take the time to appreciate their greatness.
With that in mind, we thought we would take the afternoon out to sit down and list through our favourite video game assassins. It’s a hard life – but someone has to do it. The list that follows is a roundup of the gaming world’s most deadly, elusive and let’s faces it, most awesome video game assassins to ever grace our screens.
10) HK 47 - Star Wars
A bloodthirsty droid out to put an end to any “meatbag” that steps out of line.
HK-47 is everyone’s favourite metallic assassin. This killer droid first made his appearance back in 2003 appearing in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. He was so well received by the fans that he was included the sequel in 2004.
This Hunter Killer (that the HK ) was actually a rather scary dude to be around – his antics were at times verging on sociopathic – he enjoyed killing those that stepped out of line. For a droid, that should be devoid of emotion. this guy certainly got off on obliterating the human scourge.
HK 47 even bagged the title of best ‘original game character of the year’ in the 2004 game developer’s choice awards.
9) Sam Fisher – Splinter Cell
Ok, so not your stereotypical “assassin” but Fisher has performed many a secretive hit in the name of democracy – or so they say.
Lieutenant Commander Samuel Fisher is part of the highly secretive special operations & counter-terrorism unit which is answerable only to the President of the United States.
Fisher has all the trademarks of a great assassin, he is a master of stealth, having been trained in various Navy Seal infiltration tactics. Fisher is a crack shot but is an expert in close-quarters combat specialising in the Israeli martial art Krav Maga. Add in surveillance tactics, computer hacking, demolitions expert and firearm ambidexterity this cat makes for one formidable assassin.
Did you know that Tom Clancy did not originally allow Fisher to wear the goggles with the three green lenses? After a lengthy debate, he finally allowed the goggles to be included.
8) Sniper Wolf – Metal Gear Solid
Sniper Wolf who was originally brought up by Big Boss is a Kurdish sniper who specialises at reading the battlefield from afar. She is a member of the rogue group FOXHOUND led by Liquid Snake. This group were prevalent during the revolt on Shadow Moses Island. When Wolf was not scoping out her next target she would reminisce about her love of wolves back home.
The MGS games have a definite anti-war theme, even though they kind of all take place in or amongst them. Wolf’s character absolutely personifies this subtle message of the games. She will always form an emotional attachment to her target before killing them – making her life even more painful – this is the reason that she has become addicted to diazepam and pentazemin. This is the only way she can stop the shaking.
7) Corvo Attano - Dishonoured
You could certainly say that Corvo has a Killers mind. This is the classic - to prove I am innocent of murder, I must kill these several hundred people, type of situation.
Framed for murder, Corvo Attano is the former guard turned assassin in the Dishonoured series. Corvo is a highly skilled fighter who’s repetition precedes him – you can often hear the guards and city folk discussing his general awesomeness as you navigate around the streets. A classic tale of retribution – and that mask!
6) Nina Williams - Tekken
Otherwise known as the world’s sexiest assassin. Ok, so you don’t exactly interact with Nina as an assassin but she definitely is one - it says so on the box. Nina is a cold-blooded Irish assassin that made her first appearance in the original Tekken series. She is also the only female character that has featured in each and every edition of Tekken. So, she fights, she kills, she’s pretty bad ass.
5) Thane – Mass Effect
Thane is one of the most caring assassins you are likely to meet. Thane feels the guilt of each and every kill – you often find Thane praying for his victims before sending them off on their bloody way. Thane joins Commander Shepard in an attempt to quell the moral imbalance in his soul – he believes that if he helps the commander rid the galaxy of bad-guy-scum then he will somehow be forgiven. Oh, yea he is dying – should have started with that really. So, yeah? it kind of all makes sense really.
4) Grey Fox / Cyborg ninja – Metal Gear Solid
Whichever name you choose to identify with this assassin, I think we can all agree that each one is f****** awesome. Grey Fox or Cyborg ninja, which to use today? Now that’s a cool decision to have to make before heading to work.
This guy scared me for life – fortunately, I do not see a lot of cyborg ninjas walking around my neck of the woods – remember the first time we encountered this guy? I just remember blood, blood everywhere!
3) Solid Snake – Metal Gear Solid
Another one with a kick ass name. This guy is the gaming icon of the century - born of the Les Enfant Terribles programme, this guys kill count alone is enough to support his icon status.
Snake is a master of hand to hand combat, firearms, field craft – I’ll stop there – just, everything really. The legacy left by this man is one that will never be overshadowed; neither will that of his creator. Each and every one of you reading this piece will have come into contact with Solid Snake at some point in your life. It is like the six degrees of separation theory, the theory that everyone and everything is only six or fewer steps away from one another in a chained sequence - we should start the six degrees of Solid Snake in the comments.
2) Agent 47 - Hitman
Video game, assassin royalty right here. This is probably the definitive choice for the genre. 47 is a straight up cool, calm and collected killer. The suit, the gloves the bar code scream coldblooded awesomeness. Who doesn’t remember the first time they embodied 47 – the twin handguns and the freedom of approach.
Hitman gave us the choice – games rarely gave us choice back in the day – this is another reason why Hitman has come so far. The next in the series is just around the corner and I can’t wait to assassinate me some presidents.
1) Ezio – Assassin’s Creed
We couldn't put an assassin piece together and not include any one of the protagonists from the Assassin’s Creed series. This was a tough one – I genuinely could not choose between Ezio and Altaïr. Altaïr introduced us to the life of the assassins. He was the first assassin we were ever able to control. But, Ezio is the coolest protagonist in the series – the guy had way more about him than any other character in my book. His personality is what won me over to mark him as my number one.
Ok, not just his personality - the outfit, the moves the hidden blades everything about the assassins in the Creed games is just way too cool for school – I love these games. Numero uno in my book.
There we have it; my top ten list of video games all-time greatest bad ass’s. Now, I know that you will l have an opinion on this and as ever I would love to hear them. Who takes your number one of all time great video game assassins?