Assassin’s Creed Origins: The Hidden Ones DLC
Developer: 
Ubisoft
Platform: 
Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC
Cost: $13.49 CAD (included in Origins Seasons Pass)

A review by Stephanie Gerk

First off, to access the DLC, one must go to the store section on the Origins main menu and manually download/purchase The Hidden Ones DLC. Once downloaded, the DLC is accessed in game through the new Atlas map feature. From there it’s a simple fast travel to the Sinai region, and it’s four new locations (Arsinoe Nome, Kiysma Nome, Madiama Nome, and the Red Sea).

Picking up where the main Origins storyline left off (level 38 minimum recommended), Bayek comes to the aid of his fellow Brotherhood members who have encountered trouble with the occupying Romans. The expansion itself is basic and straightforward: Bayek is given new targets to assassinate and a small number of additional side quests that involve recruiting or rescuing members of the Brotherhood. The villains are hardly noticeable, a revolving door of men spouting how “The Order is eternal” as Bayek silences them forever. Having allied with the local rebels, the Brotherhood quickly finds that the key to their survival is their anonymity as they develop the Assassin’s Code we all know: do not kill innocents, hide in plain sight, and never compromise the Brotherhood. These tenants are created through the mistakes of Bayek and other members.

Perhaps the greatest moment is the return of Aya! Though she now goes by the name of Amunet, her relationship with Bayek continues to be the best thing about the Origins storyline. Having left their marriage behind, it is easy to see that the pair clearly cares about each other despite the distance and time apart. Amunet returns from Rome to support Bayek and help guide their budding Assassins. Though she does little in-game beyond more follow missions and cutscenes, her leadership and contributions are so pivotal and memorable. There is an interesting moment where Bayek turns to Amunet, in a moment of self-doubt, asking “Have we done good?” His question extends beyond the Brotherhood, to their shared past decisions and mistakes.

As Origins is already a massive game on its own, The Hidden Ones DLC offers nothing new withi its gameplay that the player hasn’t already experienced many times over. A brand new mountainous and coastal region, Sinai brings back treasure and animal hunting, fortresses, hermit locations, stargazing, and viewpoints. The return of stargazing and hermit locations are a bit of a surprise as, outside achievement hunting, they do not contribute much to the mythology and story beyond location completion and were my least favourite activity. While the stargazing at least gives you a quick mini-game overlapped with Bayek’s narration about the Gods, hermit locations offer nothing but a nice blanket to sit on for an ability point.

The cap level increase to 45 adds a nice change to enemy encounters, but the auto level/game difficulty option still continues to be the best option if a player likes to gives Bayek more of a challenge. Even with the introduction of new DLC equipment, I still preferred the weaponry from the core game, taking the opportunity to level it up instead of swapping them out. Players are also able to craft new levels of Bayek’s equipment, so learn from me and don’t sell all your supplies early on because you think you’re done upgrading equipment.

Verdict
Check it out. While The Hidden Ones DLC is severely lacking in any new features, it does build on the main storyline and gives the player more exciting places to explore and enemies to defeat. Just don’t go in expecting anything new or surprising after hours in the main Origins game.

Coming up AC Origins DLC: Discovery Tour (February 20)/Curse of the Pharaohs (March)

Stephanie Gerk
steph.gerk@gmail.com
A hermit who enjoys video games, comics, and everything science fiction.

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