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Historically Accurate: AC III's 'King Washington' DLC

Evil Washington 2012!

Ubisoft’s officially taken the star-spangled wraps off Assassin’s Creed III‘s first batch of DLC, and it’s probably not what you were expecting. Well, OK, it’s partially exactly what you were expecting – for instance, one of those ever-popular pay-it-all-upfront Season Passes and a couple helpings of extra multiplayer content. But then there’s also the part where you’re trying to kill George Washington. Evil United States Post-Revolutionary God Emperor George Washington. Alternate history, ahoy!

Yes, it’s a wonderfully silly idea, but – depending on execution – it could either come across as chin-strokingly thoughtful or horrendously offensive. For now, though, here’s Ubisoft’s description:

“As the revolution comes to a close, a new and most unexpected enemy emerges. Driven by the desire to secure the fate of the colonies, the greatest hero of the revolution, George Washington, succumbs to the temptation of infinite power. The new King is born and his reign leaves no one untouched. To return freedom to the land our new hero must dethrone a tyrant he once called friend.”

“History is our playground, and Assassin’s Creed teams have always loved playing with historical facts and their consequences as a way to better understand a time period. While Assassin’s Creed 3 concentrates on history as it happens, we wanted to take some liberties with this DLC and tell you how things ‘could have happened.’”

The “what if” tale will unfold over the course of three single-player episodes – each of which will be part of the $29.99 season pass, if that’s your thing. Otherwise, you can simply purchase them as you please, sans the looming specter of financial commitment. 

Setting aside the fact that it’s among the more historically implausible ideas ever conceived (George Washington pretty much single-handedly dismantled any dictatorial powers a US president could’ve had), I’m open to completely batshit over-the-top alternate history craziness. Three episodes implies the storyline will be pretty elaborate, so I imagine it’ll be quite a bit more than someone saying, “Over there! It’s the nefarious yet improbably athletic villain, George Washington. Chase him across some rooftops en route to a supremely anticlimactic and vaguely offensive slow-mo kill.” Time will tell. Or it already has, really. Alternate time, that is. I think? I don’t know. My head hurts.

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Nathan Grayson

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