Assassins Creed Origins made waves by being the first AC game to release DLC after the main release and in my not so humble opinion, The Hidden Ones is a classic example of a DLC done right. Set about four years after the events of Origins, Bayek is drawn into a war between the Sinai and Rome with the help of the Sinai Hidden Ones bureau.
The Hidden Ones further expands on the creation and refinement of the Assassins Brotherhood as we have known it throughout the franchise’s history with many emotional tragedies that solidify those tenets. The story of Origins culminates in the creation of the Hidden Ones, a shadowy society that protects the innocent from oppression. The Hidden Ones expansion adds, Never Compromise The Brotherhood and Stay Your Blade From The Flesh Of The Innocent to the core tenets.
We see a more linear path to the foundation of the core principles of the Brotherhood in The Hidden Ones than we did in Origins through an intriguing and captivating story that will see new but ultimately forgettable characters rise and fall. But The Hidden Ones does not let you forget that this is a continuation of an intense story that began with Origins’ revenge plot. Players will see the return of old characters and old stories, even an aesthetically charged nod at Assassins Creed 2.
This expansion follows a tried and tested true path where Bayek has to draw out a Roman General by assassinating his lieutenants, but the difficulty has been kicked up into high gear, especially if, like me, you decided to tackle the quests when you are five levels too low. But never fear because stealth attacking then hiding, only to repeat that a few minutes later is always an effective strategy. Fitting a full-scale invasion, the Sinai is chock full of Roman camps and filled to the brim with ruthless soldiers. Despite having a fully upgraded Hidden Blade when beginning the expansion there were some foes that I could barely do a sliver of damage to when stealth attacking.
However, this makes the final assassination all the more satisfying as you explore new routes and strategies to your target. The harder challenge made The Hidden Ones feel like a true assassin experience, as you set traps, create distractions and in my rather gory case, tossing bodies off high walls.
This is only made better by the fantastic and abundant plethora of Legendary loot that excites the eye and decimates your foes. Where you start by hiding and stealthily moving through camps, you can end up strolling into a camp and bellowing a challenge with your potent Legendary arsenal at your side.
The Hidden Ones hides an emotional depth that is accentuated by the culmination of what longtime players of the Assassins Creed franchise know as the Brotherhood. While the actual assassinations can get a bit so-so at times, the sheer number of guards and the challenges they pose, not to mention how ready they are to call reinforcements makes for exciting and fervid combat moments.