This fall, we’re seeing no less than three games centered around master assassins plying their trade: Dishonored, Assassin’s Creed III, and Hitman: Absolution. So, we thought we’d put them toe-to-toe and see who’s most likely to come out the winner.
Cloned from some of history’s worst killers, Agent 47 is pretty much as scary as it gets before you get into eldritch horrors.
Tools and Weapons: Agent 47 arguably has both the best and worst loadout of the assassins, with two poison syringes, two sedative syringes, a fiber wire, and a mine that can be remotely detonated. We’ll throw in his trademark Silverballers, but we will note those are optional. Granted, that’s usually all he needs, but considering what he’s up against here, he might wish he at least had a knife.
Powers: 47 has, on the other hand, what must be the most useful and effective power of the group. He can beat up some shmuck, take his pants, and walk around with his coworkers and be accepted without a second thought even though he’s a cueball with a bar code on the back of his head. It comes with a drawback, though: If he steps out of line even a little bit, like not wearing a costume into a bar where absolutely nobody else is wearing one, police and security forces seem incapable of proportionate response and start shooting.
Advantages: That blending in can be useful. Even people who should know better won’t question his wearing the outfit of a trained professional, like a therapist. Corvo and Connor might not be able to spot him until it’s way too late.
Disadvantages: He’s up against a wizard and an acrobat who aren’t as predictable as his usual targets and are just as capable of getting the drop on him as he is on them.
The wronged former bodyguard of an Empress, Corvo joins a resistance movement. For him, killing is personal.
Tools and Weapons: He’s got a handheld crossbow, a firearm, and a sword that we’ve seen, so far. It’s a good mix of tools but not exactly an ideal assassin loadout either.
Powers: Easily the winner here. He can teleport, possess animals and humans, fire blasts of wind to knock people off balconies, and who knows what else. In a head-to-head fight, he’d be a clear winner.
Advantages: He’s also got the most options for taking out or disabling his targets, by far. The other two will have to be on their toes.
Disadvantages: First of all, he needs to wear that mask all the time, because it’s LESS distracting than his actual face. Secondly, that means he’s in the shadows almost all the time. He’s not nearly as free to move around as 47 and Connor are, and he’ll have to keep in hiding the entire time to not draw attention. Similarly, in a head-to-head fight, Corvo will have to act fast because otherwise he’s getting a tomahawk or a Silverballer round to the face.
A half Native American, half English member of the Order of Assassins, who want to save the world by… by… it’s complicated.
Tools and Weapons: Tomahawk, hidden blade, and rope: Hand-to-hand, Connor has the most and most effective weaponry. Firearms, though, seem largely limited to what he finds on the ground and his most common ranged weapon is his bow. When it comes to ranged weapons, he’s outclassed.
Powers: He’s got a modified version of 47′s power: He can blend in even though he’s wearing the most outlandish outfit of anybody around him. Seriously, the guards seem unable to pick out the guy with the white hood, for some reason, even if they just saw him stab a guy in the chest.
Advantages: Connor is by far the most athletic and strongest out of the three, and neither of the other two are slouches. He might be able to win just by being able to escape more easily.
Disadvantages: From what we’ve seen so far, Connor has all the stealth of a brick through a window. He’s built for hiding and then striking one target before taking the rest in a straight up fight. This is useful against groups of opponents, but against a guy who can teleport and hide in the shadows and a professional who can hide with just a change of clothes, he’s got a problem.
So Who Takes It?
We think either 47 or Corvo.
Connor basically has to get close enough to score a kill. Against a wizard and a guy with modern firearms and explosives? Good luck. He doesn’t have the stealth to take them on and honestly he’s likely to get a fiber wire around the neck or get blown off his perch to his death.
Corvo is undeniably the most powerful, and hiding means 47 has to find him as he’s teleporting around. But on the other hand, Corvo might not see 47 coming if he can blend in well enough.
Finally, 47 can surprise you. 47 has bumped off assassins after him before. Ultimately we think it comes down to reaction times and sneakiness.
We’re leaning towards 47 just because Corvo is doing this out of revenge, and that may cloud his thinking. 47 is a steely professional. On the other hand, 47 screws up even slightly and he’s very possibly getting stabbed.
As for the games, well, we’ll find out this fall.