The first story-driven DLC expansion for Assassin’s Creed: Origins is out. Entitled The Hidden Ones, it’s the first wave of extra content that’s included in the season pass for the game – though it’s also available as a separate purchase. Here’s our look at the new content, which we played on a PC.
Normally, I’m not a big fan of story-driven DLC coming out post-release. When I stop playing a game, I have a tough time going back to it – even if there’s new story DLC for it. It’s why I usually play games a year later, when there’s a “complete edition” or even “game of the year” edition out for it. When DLC feels like it was supposed to be part of the main game, which subsequently feels too short, it’s even worse. Assassin’s Creed: Origins is different. Not only is there so much story content in the base game that it feels like more story could have been overwhelming, it’s also a game that’s kept my interest since completing the story thanks to regularly updated (daily) challenges inside its rich game world.
As such, The Hidden Ones feels like a massive breath of fresh air for the game, with a big new area to discover and play in. Taking place in the Sinai region of Egypt, your main concern is the Roman army that’s occupying the land here. Besides the more open areas of the desert (though The Hidden Ones is less “open” than the base game was), a lot of the action also takes place inside often immense army forts and bases. This provides plenty of opportunity to sneak around and attack when no one is expecting it, which is of course still the name of the game.
As mentioned, things feel less “open” here. That’s not a bad thing though, as everything in The Hidden Ones feels a little more tightly designed than Origins did. There are fewer opportunities to stray from the main story path and get lost, though plenty of side missions and items can be found when exploring secrets alleys and locations. The main story itself also stays on point better than Origins’ main quest, which had multiple threads and would regularly switch to the present day as well.
In terms of the amount of content available in The Hidden Ones, you’re looking at about four to five hours’ worth of gameplay – about a quarter of what’s in the main game but excellent value for money when you look at how much you get out of the typical story-driven first person shooters out there. Call of Duty WWII’s story mode didn’t take me much longer to complete, and I haven’t touched the multiplayer portion of that game.
At the end of the day “The Hidden Ones” is more of the same, but that’s not a bad thing when you consider how good Origins was when it came out after the Assassin’s Creed franchise returned last year. There’s new story content, new locations and new characters – as well as several connections to the storyline from the base game. For those who already enjoyed Origins, it’s really just a question of whether you should buy this as a standalone item or as part of the season pass. Either way, you’ll have a blast – I personally can’t wait for the next DLC installments.