Sometimes I worry that the Ubisoft of today has lost its sense of humour. Just look at the publisher's recent releases on Xbox 360 - save for Just Dance 4 and Rayman Origins, it's a regular carnival of misery, a parade of vengeful scowls and glinting gunsights.
Tom Clancy's probably to blame. I've yet to read one of his books in full, but my sense is that according to Tom Clancy, smiling is the province of anarchists, and laughter a sort of debilitating muscle spasm, best hidden beneath a camo balaclava.
Fortunately, Assassin's Creed 3 likes a joke now and then. Or at least, the DLC does. The game's first three expansion packs form The Tyranny of King Washington, an alternative telling of the post-revolutionary era in which the original George Dubya succumbs to the temptations of power.
The choice of an alternate history premise is driven by more than a wish to amuse, however. "For me, the DLC has always been a touchy thing for putting important story moments into," lead designer Steve Masters told OXM during a preview showing. "Ultimately it fractures the audience and makes it really difficult for people to keep up with what is the canon of the series.
"For us, we want to have a little fun with it, and have a less serious experience, a less earnest experience, and setting it in an alternate history environment gives us room and freedom to play around with things in a more whimsical manner," he went on.
"We think people are going to enjoy it, have fun with it - we've just got to remember it's not part of the canon, it's just there as something for players to enjoy."
Which other major historical events or figures would you like Ubisoft to have its whimsical way with?