Assassin’s Creed 3 ‘Hidden Secrets’ DLC Review

The same is more or less true of the additional two naval missions added by the DLC. Apparently, the “hidden secrets” that aren’t swords are hidden on ships, and those are secrets that Connor can’t allow to be known. So you sink those ships in a series of three naval battles.

Good news here is that the naval battles can be pretty fun, so returning to the ship after you’ve blasted through the rest of Assassin’s Creed 3 is a welcome addition. These three mostly take place in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, and that gives them a distinct feel — there are a lot of sandbars and rocky outcroppings, and a lot of rogue tropical winds to contend with. However, just like the naval battles in the main game, these three missions quickly remind that the ship-to-ship combat seen in Assassin’s Creed 3 is already pretty thin. All three missions are repetitive compared to each other and to the missions you’ve already played. It’s all stuff you’ve seen before.

The single-player content for Hidden Secrets wraps up inside of an hour. The DLC also adds some new skins and multiplayer characters to the mix, but all that stuff is superficial at best. If you’re really keen on new characters for AC3 multiplayer, there’s a little something here, but when it comes to single-player content, Hidden Secrets just doesn’t have much to offer.

What it really comes down to with Hidden Secrets is its price tag. For $5, you get maybe an hour of content and some new costumes, and that’s just a little steep for content that doesn’t offer much to players. The Mayan temple itself feels like a missed opportunity that Ubisoft would do well to continue to explore, but right now, it’s just a simplified version of great features we’ve seen in other AC games. If the DLC comes as part of your already purchased Season Pass, then that’s fine — hopefully Ubisoft is going to offer some much more substantial fare to make that purchase worthwhile later.

But as for spending $5 on this DLC, I can’t recommend it. There’s just not enough on offer.

Pros:

  • Mayan temple is one of the cooler-looking scenes in the whole game
  • It’s nice to have a new environmental puzzle to explore, even if it’s brief
  • Naval battles are fun, as usual
  • Extra skins and weapons, hooray!

Cons:

  • Really short
  • All three single player content add-ons are very thin
  • Mayan temple looks cool but seriously lacks substance as an environmental puzzle
  • More of the same in terms of naval battles
  • Price tag feels a little high for about an hour of content

Final Score: 65/100


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2 Comments on Assassin’s Creed 3 ‘Hidden Secrets’ DLC Review

Ray

On January 10, 2013 at 3:41 am

Nice review. Fully agree about the lack of environmental puzzles in AC3. They were some of the best parts of earlier AC games; amazing views and quality gameplay combined. Unfortunately though the new simplified controls might make them a bit easy.

R.J.

On January 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm

This is about what I expected from this since it’s really just selling a pre-order bonus. The DLC for this series hasn’t been very good since the Da Vinci DLC for Brotherhood, and it’s pretty disappointing to hear that the environmental puzzle here is so short, since those were my favorite parts from AC2 and ACB. As Ray pointed out, the simplified controls in 3 seem like a hindrance to the challenge of something like this. While playing 3, I felt like the goal of making the controls more “accessible” overshot the mark and took out much of what I liked about having to actually analyze a climb in favor of making the same technique the solution most of the time.

I’m definitely pleased that I decided to not buy the season pass for this game. The Tyranny of King Washington comprises three of the five bits of DLC, and then another part is this, and the other is MP, which I don’t play for this series, so it really isn’t worth it for me.