*This will be a new type of content for my website that focuses on clear and concise reviews for games or content such as DLC that I don’t have the time to make a full length review for. Or the games are smaller, therefore, a shorter review works better.
Assassins Creed Origins: The Hidden Ones
Reviewed on Xbox One X
Assassins Creed Origins was a great game, and it ended with the creation of the Hidden Ones, the beginnings of the Assassin Brotherhood. The DLC picks up after the events of the main game as Bayek travels to the Sinai Peninsula assisting with the Hidden Ones outpost there and being thrown into a conflict between Roman and rebel forces. The story is interesting to an extent, with later events and twists being well written, however, it is very quick and doesn’t provide enough time to become invested in the characters, where to 100% complete the region, it only took me around 6 hours. This would have been okay if the majority of that was spent in the story, but half of the time was spent completing the icons and locations on the map. Which brings me onto the new region.
The Sinai Peninsula is not interesting or really different in any way from the main game’s world. I believe DLC’s are opportunities for the developers to experiment with new ideas, places and narratives, The Hidden Ones doesn’t accomplish this. The region is too similar, with a story that isn’t strong enough to compensate, which makes the DLC feel like it should have been part of the main game as an epilogue. The region is littered with filler content that we have already done so much before, which in reality, means the DLC really only provides about 3 hours of new content.
Overall, The Hidden Ones had glimmers of promise. While the story was definitely interesting, with some promising new characters, the similar and bland looking region is a big issue that doesn’t do anything to make the player want to explore it. While it was good to see the early times of the Brotherhood and the difficulties it faced, it wasn’t compelling enough to make the experience worthwhile.
Score = 5.5/10
Assassins Creed Origins: The Curse of the Pharaohs
Reviewed on Xbox One X
Where The Hidden Ones felt too similar and not experimental enough from the main game, The Curse of the Pharaohs is the complete opposite. Throughout the base game, I was hoping to see the mythological elements incorporated into the experience, however for the most part I was disappointed, yet I understood why. This DLC is huge, varied and leans heavily into the mystical, which helps a lot in making this a great 15-20 hour experience.
Set 4 years after the events of the main game, Bayek is tasked with travelling to Thebes and the Valley of the Kings to solve the mystery of a curse which causes Pharaohs to rise from the dead. The story is much better than The Hidden Ones and a certain twist is handled with care and I honestly didn’t see it coming. The land of Thebes is beautiful, but its the afterlife regions where the DLC truly shines. These sections are all unique and relatively big, making this DLC one of the most expansive I’ve ever played. You will be solving the problems of the dead, whilst fighting mythological creatures such as giant scorpions. In all honesty, Thebes and the afterlife are definitely some of the most interesting and beautiful places in any DLC, especially in 4K.
While there is plenty of filler open world content you can do, which would likely drag the play time to around 20+ hours, there is enough main and side quests to provide a lengthy experience regardless. The best part of the entire DLC are the Pharaoh boss fights, which are all unique to each other and are genuinely difficult and remind me a lot of Dark Souls bosses. Some can drain half of your health in one blow if you’re not careful, requiring you to analyse its attacks patterns to plan your next moves. The final Pharaoh you face is the hardest fight I faced in the entire base game and DLC’s combined.
The Curse of the Pharaohs was a breath of fresh air and a huge improvement over the first DLC. The regions were unique and breath taking, the story was engaging and the new enemies were memorable. This is nearly everything that you want from a piece of DLC and is the best the entire series has put out.
Score = 9/10
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