Quiet, unassuming, deadly. These are the traits of a master assassin. They can blend in with a crowd, disappear into the shadows, kill a target without being spotted and then disappear without a trace. But why does one become an assassin? Is it for revenge? Are they born into it? Or is it something more? With the wealth of assassin based games that are coming out this season I felt now would be a great chance to look into this dark and seedy underworld.
In this article we are going to be focusing on three, sometimes four, assassins. Going in reverse order of this years releases we start with Agent 47. The ultimate engineered assassin, 47 did not have a choice on what he was going to do for a living. The Agency created him from the DNA of five of the worlds most dangerous criminals. The criminals each coming from different ethnicities gives 47 the ability to not outright stand out in different world locations, allowing him to blend into crowds. Mixed with artificially enhanced strength, speed, and intellect 47 is not a man to be trifled with, and weapons to be feared. As for why he kills, it is nothing personal (as far as I understand, IrishPride may correct me on this). For Agent 47 death of others is just a job, most the time.
Then we have Connor / Desmond in Assassin's Creed III to release at the end of the month. While not born as assassins, they each have the blood line and embedded memories on how to assassinate with the best of them. This does not mean that they can innately sneak, climb and kill. That still takes years of training, but when they do train, it seems to come to them as naturally as breathing. Connor, the main character, is half-Native American (birth name being Ratonhnhaké:ton (pronounced "Ra-doon-ha-gay-doon")) and half-English. He follows the age old task of hunting down and killing Templars and those that would aid them. Conveniently for the revolution these people happen to be Red Coats. We don't know what travesty the Templars committed that makes Connor want to kill them, but I am going to bet they took out a good portion of his tribe. To Connor his assasinations would be in the revenge category.
Finally we have Corvo Attano from Dishonored. His turn to assassin was not a career path he would normally have considered. Once the Lord Protector of the Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, Corvo returned from a long trip just in time to be framed for her murder. Now, after being jailed for a year he has escaped and, with help form some allies, will not only take revenge on those that killed the Empress but will get her daughter crowned as the new Empress. What makes him unique is that a being known as the Outsider took an interest in him, and granted Corvo amazing abilities. While Corvo is a formidable foe by himself, these abilities make him a true force of nature. He can traverse distances in a blink, see through walls and possess other creatures. These abilities allow him to take paths that no normal person can. Corvo is driven by revenge. Had he not been betrayed by those that took power then he would most likely be protecting those that killed his Empress. I think he is better off in this sense.
There we have it, three different assassins, most motivated by revenge, but created in very different means. And seeing how this most often means you lose those that you love, I think I will avoid the assassin career train. But now that I have looked at these three I have to pose a question. Once that I need you all to answer for me. Who would in a fight? Would Agent 47's knowledge and honed skill bring him to victory? Would Conner's ancestral instincts allow him to surpass the others? Or would Corvo's military training and supernatural abilities grant him an easy victory?