Assassin's Creed Origins came out last year and managed to take a stale formula and revitalize it. Ubisoft has been giving the game free updates, but now it's time for the first paid expansion to release. The Hidden Ones features a new storyline, a new region to explore, and new activities to partake in. Does this expansion improve the experience, or should it have remained hidden?
Taking place four years after the events of the main game, The Hidden Ones opens up with Bayek learning from fellow Assassin Tahira that the nearby region of Sinai is revolting against the Roman Empire. Not only that, two Assassins have been caught up and killed in the conflict. Having difficulty controlling the situation, Tahira calls for Bayek to come to Sinai and help her. The story itself is pretty predictable, and you shouldn't have a particularly tough time guessing what will happen. That said, the DLC does play out like an extended epilogue to the main game, helping establish what Bayek will be doing in the future while finishing up several character's stories. It's solid and more than enough to carry the expansion.
If you're used to Assassin's Creed Origins' gameplay systems already then you won't find too much different here. The Hidden Ones follows the same kind of gameplay notes that you've come to expect. You'll get quests asking you to assassinate people, spot the target using Bayek's pet eagle Senu, and then make your way there so you can do your job. There are no real new gameplay elements to be found here, nor does the DLC have any unique moments that totally alter how things work.
Instead, The Hidden Ones is more about expanding the already working gameplay loop. The new map of Sinai is a surprisingly meaty addition to the world of Assassin's Creed Origins. Stretching across four unique regions, the map is filled with content similar to what Egypt offered. Furthermore, there are plenty of well made and unique sidequests for you to partake in. Helping liberate child slaves or assisting in investigating a tomb with mysterious noises coming from it are just some of the stories littered around Sinai. If you set out to do everything you can pull a serious 10 to 12 hours of gameplay from the expansion.
There is some smaller content added by The Hidden Ones as well. The level cap is now 45, but that doesn't mean much as each level just raises your attack and health slightly. No new weapon types are added, but there are a few new legendary weapons to discover. By the end of the expansion I saw myself with a bow that could put enemies to sleep upon hitting them and an ax that had a critical rate so absurd, I basically hit nothing but criticals. In a small but awesome addition, Bayek can also now regrow his awesome hair and beard, which should have never been shaved in the main story.
The truth is, there's not much to The Hidden Ones. It's just more Assassin's Creed Origins. Is that a bad thing? Considering that it adds a substantial amount of "more", and that Assassin's Creed Origins was already a fantastic game to start with, the answer to that is no. In fact, it's a great thing. If you enjoyed the base game and at any time said "I want to spend more time in Egypt with Bayek", then you'll enjoy this expansion.
- Story Serves as Good Epilogue
- Interesting New Map
- Large Chunk of New Content
- Bayek's Beard Returns!
- No New Systems or Gameplay Elements
- New Level Cap Kind of Pointless