The success of Assassin’s Creed Origins has been immense with the series being refreshed after ten years for long term fans and those who may have stepped away. The new open world style combined with Witcher 3 combat and quest lines really brought this series up to date but also told the very intriguing story of how the Assassin’s Brotherhood was founded back in ancient Egypt. I had finished every mission, uncovered all the floating ‘?’ on the map and uncovered all the secrets whilst taking Bay’ek to his maximum level of 40. So it was the perfect time to have something new to sink my teeth into and so the first story driven DLC content has been released in ‘The Hidden Ones’ and I was eager to take a leap of faith back into Egypt.
It does have to be said that if you were expecting a huge chunk of new content to play through with this DLC then you may be a little disappointed. There is a good three to four hours of actual story driven missions to undertake and at least another three to four hours of exploration and side quests in this new region of the Sinai Peninsula but the pricing of this DLC outside of the season pass does reflect that, so for not much £ you can continue the journey of Bay’ek and his brotherhood and it is a really nice first step into expanded this already massive world for players who enjoyed the main game.
Thanks to a nice little additional side mission that came with the December title update for the game, players and Bay’ek discover that a new Roman General is heading to Egypt to continue the Roman mission into Egypt. It was a nice tease to lead into The Hidden Ones content and showed that life in Egypt continued passed the main story ending to the game. This DLC is set four years following the ending to the main game which saw Bay’ek and his wife Aya decide to create the Brotherhood to protect the people of Egypt from those who would seek to undermine its people for their own agenda. We saw Aya leave Bay’ek in order to set up the same brotherhood elsewhere and take the new name of Amunet so the opportunity to jump a few years ahead to see where Bay’ek and the brotherhood is was a welcome one for me.
The news that two Hidden Ones, as the brotherhood has yet to refer to themselves as Assassins at this point, have been killed in the Sinai Peninsula and Bay’ek is called on to help investigate what happened and sets sail. Once there he discovers that the local rebels are in conflict with the Roman forces that are pushing the harsh agenda of Caesar upon the people as they attempt to take control of the region. This leads to Bay’ek focusing on the Roman occupancy and those in charge, creating four targets for him to take out, three of which will draw out the main target Rufios.
The opportunity to explore a new region, all be it a pretty small one, is still appealing and the rocky environment certainly provides a very interesting playground for Bay’ek to explore and climb. The first thing you notice though is the change in look for Bay’ek who is now wearing a more familiar look in his robes which are now very much in the same style as iconic Assassin Ezio and the Assassin’s logo featuring far more on the attire. Gameplay wise the increase in level cap from 40 to 45 has an immediate impact when tackling enemies in this new region which makes a pleasant change as having everything maxed out at level 40 previously made the combat rather simple and easy. Now enemies hit harder and take less damage until you once again bring your weapons and gear back up to match or to the new 45 cap level. Now thankfully, the few story missions the DLC brings also come with large XP rewards so in no time at all you will hit the new cap with only the cost of bringing your kit up to your new level perhaps the sticking point as it will be expensive, especially with legendary weapons.
Whilst this DLC content is not massive in terms of things to do overall, it is a nice continuation of the main story and to see the early days of The Hidden Ones. To see a bureau where The Hidden Ones take refuge and plan their missions is a lovely little touch as a fan of the series and has been one of the strengths of Origins, to tell the story of how it all began. So The Hidden Ones is just another chapter in telling that origin story, though short compared to the main game, it does give fans more to do and experience with some nice little nods to what series fans will recognize as we see the Brotherhood grow in scale and scope. It also has a nice little touch in the end which again cements the lore fans will know only too well and is rewarding to see told in this way.
This is certainly DLC worth playing but I do hope that the limited gameplay time will lead to a much richer and longer expansion with The Curse of the Pharaohs which will release on March 6th. The price point is just right for the amount of gameplay that is in The Hidden Ones with nice story tidbits to further Bay’eks story and enough new weapons and gear to discover via exploration and side missions. I was left wanting more from this DLC however with over a month to go before the next content drops, but I did enjoy this and was nice to have some new content to sink my teeth in for the few hours it took to finish the main story missions and still having enough there to work through after.
The story of how the Assassin’s came to be is still thrilling to discover with Origins and The Hidden Ones DLC, and with some nice teases into how the Templars also began entering into the story, there is still much for this game to give fans going forward with a New Game Plus mode confirmed for a later update to the game. For now the story of Bay’ek and the birth of the Assassins continues but future DLC must deliver far more for me.