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.

Who's the better intergalactic badass?

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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