Ubisoft has been showing a fair amount of “Unity” with France in recent days. The Assassins’ Creed franchise has spanned over a few thousand years of human history and over 10 titles. All are hooded killers, packing hidden blades and have ranged from revolutionaries to pirates to Native American Indians. I’m taking a look at these characters from the main titles in the franchise, to see which assassin is the best, in terms of their character development and the adventure that they take us on through the power of DNA and the Animus.
5. Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad (Assassins’ Creed)
He is the first and the original Assassin of the Creed. He would enthrall us with a world in the hidden conflict between two factions with opposing ideologies that have no ground to make peace. Altair is the original hooded assassin. Many would find him rather dull and boring. Not saying very much – if anything – and never capable of cracking a joke or much of a smile. However, as the first Assassin, he set the tone and mood for what was to follow in the rest of the franchise. A serious and dedicated man, with a firm belief in the Creed which has been his guided and would shape his life, we follow his story and cannot help but be in awe of what he goes through, knowing it would probably break us if we had to survive his experience.
4. Shay Patrick Cormac (Assassin’s Creed Rogue)
Cormac was an interesting addition to the pantheon of the Creed. Because he showed us a very different side to the world and the war: From the Templar’s standpoint. He is a complex and still conflicted individual who is forever overshadowed by his life an deeds as an Assassin, and for what he will do as a Templar. Tough and ruthless as he is, his refusal to prey upon the weak, and penchant for showing mercy makes him a unique blend of subtle nuance. He is flawed enough to be relatable to us mere mortals which makes him ideal to tell the Templar’s side of the story.
3. Edward James Kenway (Assassin’s Creed Black Flag)
Deadly with his blades, charming and devastatingly charismatic, this Welsh pirate arguably goes through the greatest growth and change out of all the Assassins whom we are privileged to interact with. From a Welsh pirate turned prisoner to conman more interested in gold and glory, we watch him grow, and suffer loss and become an adherent of the Creed. Throughout all that, his attitude, bawdy sense of humor and personality makes him instantly likable. His growth through his Caribbean adventures keeps us hooked from the beginning through to the looking glass, remaining a swashbuckler on the high seas to the end.
2. Haytham Kenway (Assassin’s Creed III)
It’s strange to me, that the Assassin’s Creed title with the very worst lead (Rahkha…Connor) is the one that hides one of the best leads. You begin the third game as Haytham and he is immediately identifiable as a character of great depth. James Bond in his charm and yet decisively ruthless as Stalin, Haytham is complex and conflicted by his allegiance. There is good in him, and his actions are driven by that needs of the “Greater Good,” even if that “Good” is made murky by the very things he does in its service.
1. Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood, Revelations)
There could have been no doubts that Ezio would be number one. From his first appearance in Assassin’s Creed 2, Ezio has been an absolute fan favorite beloved by all. No doubt this also comes in part from the fact he has the unfair advantage of having several titles to his credit. Following in the footsteps of the dull and stone-like Altaïr, Ezio is a breath of witty, charming and dare I say it, mischievous fresh air that simply sizzles with life and personality. That near devil-may-care attitude from brawling in Florentine streets to the final moving scenes of Revelations keeps you enthralled with his story.
Remember, we’re looking at the characters here and how they grow and change, Agree with my list? Disagree with my list? Think I left someone out? Let me know in the comments section below and maybe I’ll get round to putting together a second top five list.