Now Playing: ass ass in’s creed origins DLC
Fancy eagle diving back into Ancient Egypt? Assassin’s Creed Origins’ new DLC will nudge you off the synch point
Fine, I’ll admit it now. I have an Assassin’s Creed
Origins problem. No, I’m not sleeping in piles of hay just yet, but where previous Brotherhood outings could be rinsed and shelved, Bayek’s journey just keeps going. Every achievement, over one hundred hours on the sandy clock, a shield that makes enemies sleep when I block, a literally flaming Abyssal Steed, and it’s still not over. Daily quests, Heka chests, God battles, and various Ubi unlockables have made Origins my infinite fantasy AC. I could play something else, or I could just dress Bayek as Michael Fassbender’s Spanish Inquisition hood-wearer, Aguilar, and try and win myself a spear that looks like a giant cotton bud. No, seriously.
It’s a good thing then that the first of Origins’ two chunks of DLC has arrived to save us all (ie me) from complete madness. Taking place four years after the end of Origins,
The Hidden Ones delivers new story missions, but also a whole new sizable chunk of map to explore which, of course, is scattered with those elusive question marks. Satisfyingly too, you need to be level 40 to head across the water to the Sinai Region if you don’t fancy your next trip into a tomb to be a very one-way affair. As someone sitting at the level cap longer than I’d like to admit, the increase to level 45 is waking up on a Saturday morning when you’d forgotten what day it is levels of exciting.
But what awaits in the beautiful Sinai Region apart from XP actually meaning something for a while? Honestly? A lot more of what makes Origins so ridiculously enjoyable. More animal lairs, more ‘places to rest’, more enemy encampments (this time led by some seriously nefarious Romans), more papyri scrolls to solve, and more of the heart-filled quests that made last year’s addition to the series the best in the franchise so far. There’s even some bonus stone circles to hunt down if you’ve missed stargazing since finding the original 12. And the story still matters too. There’s nothing here that dramatically rocks the Assassin boat so to speak, but as I make my way through the campaign missions, I’m hit by just how much I want to see the continuation of Bayek’s story. I need more of the birth of the Assassin Brotherhoood, and a lot more of that frankly ludicrously intense relationship with Aya. This will be spoiler free for those who potentially haven’t finished the main game, but there’s so much to tell here. This is a story that won’t be closed after March’s Curse Of The
Pharaohs DLC. If the next Assassin’s
Creed doesn’t cleverly tap into the Animus to continue this era, I’ll eat my carefully curated collection of hidden blades.
Thankfully, it’s not all over once you’ve finished the story campaign after a few hours. The side quests of the Sinai Region are packed with legendary weapons and mounts. A camel called Gertha is a particular highlight, and an enjoyable light and mirror puzzle sets you up with an impressive set of dual swords for your trouble. There’s a beautiful sense of discovery at work here. Sinai isn’t quite as varied as the dangerously sprawling Egypt but Arsinoe Nome in the north is a fascinating construction site, while Madiama Nome in the south delivers impressive mountains and an endless
desert. It would also be rude not to mention an idyllic looking tropical island with some disturbingly nasty secrets hidden just out of view. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about Anubis Island. People are clearly just dying to get there.
Intersperse questing with uncovering the locations across the map and delving into the Sinai Region feels particularly rich. The story campaign takes you past a Roman encampment called The Walls of the Ruler, a sprawling mountain barracks packed with high level enemies, treasure to loot, and an intimidating skyline of ziplines and braziers. I ignore it on my first run past, but upon returning to vacuum up all the collectibles and get that precious tick, it becomes a perfect playground that epitomizes everything
Assassin’s Creed has become. I sneak up to rooftops, pot-shotting enemy skulls with my new Predator bow, and set each brazier to stun those foolish enough to attempt to bring in reinforcements. Two commanders await slaughter, as does a captain, and there are six hidden treasures to hunt across the camp. I’m suddenly using every tool at my disposal.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you about Anubis Island. People are clearly just dying to get there”
Sleep darts, warrior bows, chain assassinations. It’s not a good day for Rome, but a great day for Bayek of Siwa. I even take the chance to tick off the Zip it Off achievement, assassinating three victims from a zip line and trying not to holler ‘Are you not entertained?’ too loud to my empty flat. It’s reassuring then to look at Origins in 2018. The Hidden Ones out now, The Curse Of The Pharaohs in March offering mythical creatures to hunt across the new and even bigger Valley of the Kings region. The map already teases a 10 level increase from 45 to 55, and I expect Thebes will have plenty of new side quests and secrets amongst the probably not historically accurate mummy slaughter. Between this and the release of Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered in March, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s no announcement of a new Assassin’s until early 2019. Ubi’s onto a winner a decade on and I get the feeling that it’s going to want to give Origins’ sequel the love and care it deserves to truly do it justice. Dive into The Hidden Ones now, though. Everything is permitted after all. And once it’s done, there’s always a flaming steed and a giant cotton bud to try for.
above Quipping while guard killing is the true Assassin way. Say arrow to my little friend...
below The new area of Sinai offers a new playground to explore. Spoiler alert: there’s still a lot of sand.