Friday Night Fights - Master Chief vs. Commander Shepard

Truth be told, last week's bout between Agent 47 and Ezio was closer than we were expecting. That's no knock against IO Interactive's bio-engineered stone cold killer; he just doesn't have the same name recognition (and, who are we kidding, sex appeal) as gaming's deadly Don Juan. Maybe this month's release of Hitman: Absolution will change that. But to the week that is...

When a villain is loose, when war is imminent, when the very known galaxy is facing certain destruction *breathless pause*... it's totally inappropriate timing to have a popularity contest. But right now we've got peace, and with our 100 Best Heroes of All-Time rankings out, it's time to tease out--scientifically!--just who is better than whom. We'll tally up the votes at the end of each week and let you know which hero reigns supreme.

Tale of the tape: Intergalactic badasses on a bit of a tear, anyone? Halo 4 and the Mass Effect Trilogy drop this week, so, well, you see where this is going. Master Chief, Commander Shepard. Your time has come.

Commander Shepard (Mass Effect): Sure, Shepard is no Garrus, but just because he can't live up to the awesomeness of his most loyal squadmate, that doesn't mean he's not worth tipping an intergalactic hat to. He does, after all, end a systematic, bi-millennial process of genocide of the entire galaxy, saving untold trillions over billions of years. He might get his hands dirty sometimes, punching out reporters for no reason or endorsing too many shops in the Citadel, but his total body-count-to-saved-people ratio is high enough to justify his sometimes-insane actions.

Master Chief (Halo series): Master Chief is an against-all-odds kind of guy. He’s a guy who’s brought in when the day is clearly lost. When his faction’s armies are facing down impossible odds, facing enemies with superior numbers, firepower, technology, and positioning. And then, like a logger with a job to do, Chief employs brute-force tactics to clear a path, cripple the advance, and pound the advantage home, using whatever tools he can find, including but not limited to whatever weapons his vanquished enemies have left behind. Chief isn’t the strongest or most crafty hero, and he isn’t particularly charismatic or intelligent or playful. But when civilization is on the line and all other options have been exhausted, Chief is the guy who’s going to get you through.

And if you're looking for more, check out 21 must-know facts about the Mass Effect universe and 21 must-know facts about the Halo universe.

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  • HeadshotPro - December 18, 2012 4:17 p.m.

    I think Master Chiefs inability to feel pity would give him an advantage since when we say commander Shepard we mean the default one. Mention that there's no way a girl could resist that voice.
  • needles - November 6, 2012 3:45 p.m.

  • Vincent Wolf - November 5, 2012 10:57 p.m.

    This is exceptionally tough since Shepard, unlike Master Chief, is not "set in stone" appearance wise. So if we talk about female Shepard, the she definitely no doubt wins as an ultimate badass. She's simply awesome. But if we speak about lame male Shepard, then ofc he's nothing compared to Master Chief. Didn't vote.
  • AH88 - November 5, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    Don't bother with this shit, it's rigged.
  • needles - November 5, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    Shepard would win. Not because Mass Effect is way better than Halo. All Shepard would need is overload maxed out. Then when cheifs sheild are dropped he can just walk over and put a bullet in master cheifs(uncapitalization intentional) big old ugly head. Then he'd have sex w/Cortana or an Elite or something.
  • Druupwnz - November 4, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    In a very close fight, I think a strong biotic or tech Shepard would win against Chief; Chief isn't used to those types of attacks, and would therefore not be able to counter them very well. However, a default soldier Shepard would most likely get destroyed. Don't get me wrong, Shepard's good (N7 isn't a laughing matter), but Chief's augments would easily let him win out.
  • PBC13 - November 4, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    I went with Master Chief. That mother don't die. Depending on who is controlling him Shepard CAN die. Forever. I'm putting my money on The Chief.
  • yonderTheGreat - November 4, 2012 1:07 a.m.

    Who is that dude on the left and where is FemShep?
  • boondocks50 - November 4, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    honestly this isnt even fair MY Sheppard would beat Master chief(ver close fight) because shes a biotic, but default Chepard would stand a chance against Master Chief. Ever.
  • Dmastaj187 - November 4, 2012 12:36 p.m.

    Shepard doesn't stand a chance against chief, PERIOD, remember with biotic abilities you need to aim and hit chief, people don't realize chief has insanely heightened reflexes and has dodged everything from plasma cannons to stickies. Shepard stands no chance
  • Terranator - November 3, 2012 10:31 p.m.

    Just based on the fact that Shepard has tech and bio abilities i'd say he'd take this one, but it's hard to say, both characters just don't seem to die
  • MadMan - November 3, 2012 5:52 p.m.

    This is kind of a unfair poll question. Masterchief is on one console, while Shepard is on all three platforms.
  • Dmastaj187 - November 3, 2012 8:05 p.m.

    This is about who would win in a fight, not who has more games on different consoles. Try to read next time
  • Terranator - November 3, 2012 10:25 p.m.

    What he meant by that comment was there are more people that have played just ME than have played just Halo (e.g there are more people who are biased towards ME than there are towards Halo)
  • yonderTheGreat - November 4, 2012 1:05 a.m.

    Congrats on explaining common sense to someone who is allergic to it.
  • Sjoeki - November 4, 2012 4:46 a.m.

    Halo is a systemseller, it might be only on one console but pretty much everybody knows Halo, I still meet people who don't know what ME is about. With that said, I think that Shepard's influence on other people would help him win.