Side Quests, a term I had not really heard of until the PS3 came out and I bought my first
Assassin’s Creed game. Gaming has changed so much, in particular with open world games Like Fallout, that the main campaign according to developers is not enough content within it to get the full experience of these games…enter side quests. Side quests are missions, or tasks you complete that have no irrevocable effect on the main story and can be completely unrelated to the focus of the game. However what they generally offer (at least in Fallout 4) is experience, new weapons, armor or items, even a mild story-esque mission of its own to improve the overall experience of your gameplay.
What makes side quests so rewarding to gamers is the opportunity to elongate the length of time you play a game. Now I know by now anyone who has played through Fallout 4 will have an unequivocal hatred for Preston Garvey and his radiant (side) quests of helping ANOTHER settlement that is in trouble. Those missions or radiant quests repeat, so that you always have something else to do even after you finish the main campaign, so rather than starting over you can still do other things rather than move onto a new game. This would also explain why so much DLC has been added to the game, Bethesda want gamers to keep playing.
In Fallout 4 there a huge number of side quests to get stuck into and I’m not talking about BoS radiant questing, I’m talking about genuine side quest exploration. Currently on my new playthrough I have in the region of about 30 different quests as it stands. Only one of those is the main campaign, that just shows the scale of what you can do without going near the main story. In my first playthrough I wanted to get through ALL of the side quests I could before focussing on the main campaign because I have OCD and I have to finish everything! It doesn’t help that radiant quests exist (damn you Preston!), but in anycase I got through a lot of quests which took a serious amount of hours to complete, which only added value to my playthrough of Fallout 4.
I am a firm lover of linear gaming, I have grown up with it and fallen in love with games that have amazing story lines so naturally to see so many side quests in Fallout 4 I was initially annoyed. I want to get lost in the main campaign, search for my son, without helping some kid find his parents or save the BoS from a horde of feral ghouls. But I did and only by doing that (and being a good character) can you get a more immersive experience.
Side quests are give and take, complete a few, get some extra XP and cool items, but never lose focus of your main mission in this game, finding your son!…even if you spend like 40 or so hours building a settlement to just sit back and look at…like me…sorry Shaun.