Without someone that the player can genuinely love and relate to at the heart of the game, the whole thing can fall apart pretty quickly. For all the criticism that it receives, the Assassin's Creed franchise has almost always been great with its protagonists.
The perennial heroes of the story, the protagonists in each Assassin's Creed game have had a distinct personality and flair about them. Players have spent nearly 17 years with this franchise at this point, and that wouldn't have been possible without good characters and even better storytelling within these games.
There might be out and out "good" heroes in Assassin's Creed, while others operate in a much more "grey" area. That dynamic is precisely what players like about the series.
Top five protagonists in Assassin's Creed
- Altair Ibn-La'Ahad
- Jacob Frye
5) Evie Frye
The Frye twins were quite possibly one of the best aspects of Assassin's Creed Syndicate, and their opposing personalities were just the flair the game needed. Evie Frye is the more reserved of the two, with Jacob Frye having all the subtlety of a jackhammer while she had the precision of obsidian.
Evie is as deadly as they come, but that does not mean she is a character with little to no flair. Her appearance in Assassin's Creed Syndicate may not be all that indicative of an appealing character, but she truly gets to shine in the Jack the Ripper DLC for the game.
While she isn't loud, her wit and charm can rival that of her boisterous twin. Evie can lay down a verbal assault against the best of them while also cleaning an entire room with nothing but her fists and a blade.
At the start of Assassin's Creed Odyssey, players are given the choice of either playing as Kassandra or Alexios. The decision dictates much of the narrative that unfolds in a reasonably interesting way. However, both personalities remain much the same, which is why we can lump them together.
Although Kassandra has been confirmed as the cannon protagonist by Ubisoft, Alexios is also a competent character. While much of their personalities get shaped by the player and the choices he/she makes, Alexios/Kassandra shine on their own as well.
Their transformation from a carefree Misthios (mercenary) to an epic Greek hero is terrific to play through. At no point during the lengthy Assassin's Creed Odyssey does the protagonist ever get stale or bland.
3) Shay Patric Cormac
When we meet him at the start of Assassin's Creed Rogue, Shay Patric Cormac is a charming and carefree Assassin with a strong sense of morality. After events that lead him to denounce the Creed he has known all his life, he turns to the Templar to hunt down his former Assassins brethren.
What follows is possibly one of the most emotional and exciting Assassin's Creed stories in the franchise's history. For the first time since playing as Haytham in the first few hours of Assassin's Creed 3, players step into the shoes of a Templar for the entire game.
As a character, Shay needed to be sympathetic and interesting for players to invest in his story, and he managed to pull it off with excellent results. He is one of the most likable protagonists in history and one with a lot more layers of complexity than one might expect.
2) Edward Kenway
Edward Kenway, first and foremost, is a man of adventure and ambition. The whole Assassin bit is just a by-product at the start of the game. This swashbuckling personality first dons the Assassin robes as just a way to get money by duping a bunch of important-looking people.
What follows is a journey full of adventure with large-scale naval battles on the high seas, pirating, pillaging, and a whole lot of killing. However, his story in Assassin's Creed 4 has an incredibly emotional core that sees our somewhat selfish protagonist go through a massive transformation.
Edward presents an entirely different type of protagonist in the Assassin's Creed series, which is perhaps the most relatable. He isn't a man with a righteous sense of morals or one with massive plans for the world. He is a man of ambition who wants to go back home to England with gold in his pockets and make a better life for himself and his wife.
His journey from a selfish, albeit charming, pirate into a righteous Assassin truly is a great story to witness.
1) Ezio Auditore da Firenze
Very few times has the gaming community ever agreed upon something as unanimously as when professing their love for Ezio from Assassin's Creed.
At the start of Assassin's Creed 2, Ezio and his brother Federico climb atop a tall building and share a moment of serenity. The latter solemnly says, "It is a good life we lead, brother", to which Ezio's response is, "The best, and may it never change."
Ezio's life is torn apart when conspirators have his brothers and father murdered, which leads our loveable man from Firenze on a path of vengeance through several decades. Ezio, for all his seeming obsession with revenge, never devolves into the unlikeable territory and remains a loveable presence throughout.
With an endless supply of wit and charm, he remains to this day one of the best protagonists, not just in Assassin's Creed but in all of gaming.
Note: The views in this article are the writers own, and differ from what may be the views of others, or in general.Published 06 Nov 2020, 16:35 IST