Side missions have historically been a mixed bag. Usually found amongst RPGs and open-world adventures, they’re a good way of expanding a game’s lifespan, exploring the wider world that may seem out of place within your main quest.
When done well, developers can shine a new light upon their in-game universe, introducing us to exciting new characters, lore or gameplay aspects and usually end with a reward, most commonly additional EXP or a new item.
If executed poorly though, they become quite tedious and act as little more than filler content, much to the bane of completionists. This isn’t always the case though and sometimes, we find these missions hugely impacting the main story.
Occasionally this only relies on a one-off quest but other games often requires a wider effort, needing players to meet certain criteria to trigger a change, like collecting a full item set.
They’re more impactful than the name suggests and whilst it’s often tempting to rush to the end, it rarely pays off to do so. From better character development to different endings, here’s why its worth taking your time.
10. Horizon: Zero Dawn - Newfound Allies
It’s been three years now since Guerrilla Games released Horizon Zero Dawn. Set within an open-world, you played as Aloy, a Nora Tribe outcast that begins investigating her mysterious past and its become one of the PS4’s best-selling titles.
It’s a world filled with side missions, introducing you to many interesting characters that you’ll befriend upon completion. However, upon reaching the final mission, The Looming Shadow, your work on these side missions determine how the battle unfolds.
Aloy will always be accompanied by some friends but depending on which side missions you completed (if not all of them), you’ll find up to eight additional allies joining you, returning the favour in this crucial moment.
There aren’t any alternative endings obtained for completing them all but rather, it simply builds upon this final mission and goes beyond the usual bonuses, paying off the investment players have put into helping the people in this world.