Assassin’s Creed Origins: The Hidden Ones DLC Review

After giving up sixty hours of my finite existence upon this planet for Assassin’s Creed Origins, it’s safe to say that I like the game quite a bit. It managed to breathe new life into a franchise that had grown tired, predictable, and stale. Origins utterly delivered on its virtual recreation of Ancient Egypt and, even more impressively, it managed to successfully re-imagine the gameplay and mechanics of a decade old series.

There were issues, of course, such as a slightly lacklustre plot, an utterly unnecessary modern day component, as well as all the day one bugs that Ubisoft are so infamous for, but nonetheless, Origins was a return to form and perhaps even the best in the series to date. And now it’s time for the release of the obligatory expansion packs. How does the Hidden Ones fare in continuing the tale of Bayek of Siwa?

Set four years after the dramatic conclusion of Orgins, The Hidden Ones sees Bayek travelling across the red sea to the Sinai peninsula. The villagers here are under the yoke of their Roman oppressors, and its up to Bayek to fan the fires of revolution. How will he do this? By murdering lots of people, of course.

The plot and structure for the gameplay is essentially a miniature version of the main game. This time you have to hunt down and kill only three lieutenants before being granted the opportunity to murder the mastermind behind their evil machinations, but the similarity to what I’d just spent the last three months playing was striking.

There’s even a section where Bayek is captured by the Romans who, rather than simply killing Bayek as punishment for hacking the limbs of literally thousands of their countrymen, make the same mistake as Ptolemy did. I won’t go into the details here, because spoilers, but using the same plot devices and even an utterly predictable betrayal by a former ally, reeks of laziness on behalf of the developers.

The main quest is also slight in its length, clocking in at around three hours of play time. There are three regions to explore in Sinai, each with a specific feature location where Bayek’s target lurks. The pyramid being deconstructed limestone by limestone is a definite visual highlight, and almost equal to it in scope is the massive and oppressive quarry, filled with labourers. Then there’s the biggest fortress in the game so far, appropriately titled Walls-of-the-Ruler.

Unfortunately, despite the size of these new areas, the techniques used to identify and assassinate your target remain the same. Hiding in bushes and whistling at guards until they amble unwittingly into murder range is once again the best approach. Or, as with my character, if you’re equipped with some of the best weapons the game has to offer, then it’s simply a case of carving through the legionaries until you eventually reach your target. Even with an increased enemy level cap of 45, they offer little challenge. It would have been nice to see a re-imagining of the tactics needed to defeat Bayek’s foes, but other than an attack on a flotillia of triremes near the end of the story, the gameplay and its requirements of the player remain exactly the same as Origins.

The rest of your time with Origins will involve completing side quests, none of which stand out in anyway from the many other side quests available to the player in the main game. There’s also some treasure to find, and thankfully this time the chests provide the player with valuable jewels. This is infinitely better than ending up with hundreds of pointlessly underpowered weapons, which serve to make a mess of the player’s inventory and are only of use when cashed in for gold. Finally, you have the add-on’s versions of the the Philakitai to track down and kill. That’s about it, really.

Then there’s the issues that we must now expect from a Ubisoft release. Loading times, in places, are utterly atrocious, even leading to a game ending crash in one instance. Also, Bayek seems to spend a great deal of time merging into the red rocks that he so enjoys clambering up. Sometimes this even results in him being stuck in the middle of a mountain, as the game thinks he’s too far from the next ledge to continue his ascent. I’ll also never forgot the moment that Bayek dramatically leapt from a wooden platform to the water below to dodge an enemies attack, only to end up trapped in a swimming animation on dry land. Suffice to say, that didn’t end well for anyone involved.

So, in all ways, The Hidden Ones is more of the same. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing. I really liked Origins and an expansion pack and, being an add-on, it is usually just going to be more of the same. Yet, I can’t help feel that there was a missed opportunity to offer a more exciting experience in this instance. The characters spend a lot time talking about the historic events involving Marc Anthony and Cleopatra occurring elsewhere, so it would seem to me that a story revolving around their adventures, rather than one spending a lot of time talking about them, would be a much more interesting expansion to play.

What’s Good:

  • More of the same
  • New locations are visually striking

What’s Bad:

  • It’s just more of the same
  • Poor loading times
  • Clipping issues

If you liked Assassin’s Creed Origins, then you’ll like this The Hidden Ones DLC. You just won’t like it for very long though, as you’ll have it wrapped up in an afternoon. It’s an add-on that is sadly both lazy and derivative, and when players are being charged around £30 for a season pass, I don’t think its unjustified to expect a little more bang for our buck. Let’s hope that the March release of Curse of the Pharaohs offers something that is both new and worthy of the price tag.


  1. You don’t have to pay £30 for it though. Isn’t the season pass just 2 main bits and a bunch of extra crap you wouldn’t want to pay for? If this one is £8, and the season pass is £33, that means £25 for the rest of the stuff. But that includes the 2 pointless DLCs that cost £5.79 each.

    If the next DLC is bigger, then it might be £9.99 to somewhere around £15 or £16.

    But 30+ hours in, it’s fairly safe to say I don’t need any more of it. Half the little question marks are still there on the map, a couple of main quests left, and I’m struggling to be interested enough to finish it. It needed to be half the size. Yes, it looks great, and the map is huge, but it’s filled with endless copies of the same things to do. And Bayek is possibly the worst character in any of the AC games. Apart from his wife. (I guess after the pointless moaning about female characters in Unity they thought they’d better include some in Syndicate and Origins, and it’s not worked out well either time)

    Hopefully the next game goes back to how the last 2 were and we don’t end up with another Origins/Black Flag. Which are both good games, just not how AC games should be.

    • Well in america the hidden ones was 10$ and the curse of the pharaohs is annonced at 19.99 $ which is double so as the hidden ones is £7.99 the new dlc will probably be like £16 which makes the season pack interesting since it gives 2 mounts , 2 outfits, 2 bows , 2 weapons and 2 shield all legendary and set as your curreny level wheb installing .. the pack also have 500 helix so it could be applied on.the exclusive weapon set which will not be in the heka chests neither at the legendary weapon store located at the hidden ones bureau in memphis this is according to ubisoft announcement! It also include day one calamigy blade which had a base
      level 3

  2. AC Origins is somewhere in the middle for me:

    AC Brotherhood
    AC II
    AC IV Black Flag
    AC Rogue
    AC Syndicate
    AC Origins
    AC Revelations
    AC Freedom Cry
    AC III
    AC III Liberation
    AC Unity

    Seems I have wasted several weeks of my finite existence on this planet :O

    • For a moment I wasn’t too sure which order your list ran in. Was it top to bottom or bottom to top. Then I saw Unity at the bottom and figured that couldn’t be anyone’s favourite Assassin’s Creed!

  3. I really enjoyed Origins but I was completely done by the end. Just got too familiar and the story lost all interest to me. No DLC for me.

  4. Wife was out for the night last weekend, so I was home with my 4 year old. Thought I’d give it a go for £8 once he’d gone to bed. Was alright. Kept me entertained for the evening, so in that respect it was good. Nothing particularly exciting though.

    Also, one of the Ubisoft Club achievements is to kill X amount of Romans with the Ballista? Anyone know what that is?

    • Big deadly fixed crossbow style things. Usually mounted higher up in some of the forts. If you can sneak up there and get to one, the enemy won’t know what hit them. Or that anything did hit them, due to being quickly and fatally killed.

      • Cheers! Was confusing Ballista with Bolas!

  5. I absolutely loved ACO, it’s one of my favourites of the whole series so I was looking forward to the DLC but was sensible for once and didn’t get the season pass early.
    I’m glad I didn’t as the DLC is only £8 on its own and it doesn’t seem to be a significant addition to either the story or the gameplay.
    I might be tempted in a sale but at this point I think I’d be better off jumping into NG+ while waiting for a sequel.
    Hopefully the Curse of the Pharaohs expansion will be more impressive and mix things up a bit.

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