Side quests are standard for every adventure game or RPG you can find. They’re meant to give the character something to do other than the main story, so they can relax and do little quests as a Good Samaritan of sorts. There is a problem with this feature in games; too many developers botch it up. I can understand that this must be difficult to perfect, since putting too much of a storyline into side quests will make you forget about what you’re doing in the main story, but I find that too many developers stay conservative. Side quests in which the person in need doesn’t even say a word but you get a notification ordering you to accomplish something so this man can be lazy and wait for you to hand him everything are particularly egregious. Due to my anger towards this issue, I’ve written up the 4 most pathetic and lazy attempts at side quests in a game.
Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed 3 was one of my favorite releases of the last year. I was able to get it for only $39 the month after it came out. Then I discovered its side quests were pointless and terribly lazy. For some of the quests the only voice acting is “Oh Thank you, sir!” and then the greedy asshole constantly kisses your butt until you walk away. Along with being worthless throughout, the same quests repeat! That was what earned this a spot here. This was the first game I’ve played which repeated its side quests. For instance, I had just arrived in New York. I walk a few feet and find some greedy orphans who had just been pick pocketing a fisherman. They then ask me to beat a merchant down to the pulp so they can steal his food and walk back to the orphanage without dying (Good Samaritan, right?). I accept their crying and beat him, probably to death, which raises my notoriety to level 1. I’m pissed, but I get over it and head off to my main quest to avoid any more confrontations with bull crap. Then I find the same orphans, and they’re pick pocketing the same fisherman, and they ask me to beat up the same merchant so they can get the same food. WTF! It’s definitely a red flag if Black Flag doesn’t improve this feature.
The L.A. Noire side quests are the most annoying to me personally; they’re the main con of this game, its Achilles heel. The problem is each one is a bank robbery shootout, involving practically no detective snooping. I think it’s meant to make the game feel more like an action packed third-person shooter, but it would have been more meaningful if there was a mix. Also, when you get a dispatch call, (AKA side quest, they’re delivered to you the same way every time) 5 times out of 10 it’s on the other side of town. Trust me, it takes a while to get across town. Then you shoot up some bad men stealing some petty cash from the local candy shop with pop guns that have little effect on you. But wait! They’re not dead? We’re just putting them in a cop car? Tranquilizers weren’t invented in 1947. They were invented in 1952.
Champions of Regnum
Hey, did anybody pick up Champions of Regnum off Steam? No? You’re lucky. I can’t be too upset about this game because it’s free to play so I didn’t lose anything but it has terrible character design, a lack of voice acting, and of course side quests that make me want to throw up. Really, I feel like a fool going into that game expecting a lot, but at least now it’s kept me from not having enough topics. Now, why is it here on the list? The side quests are too much a part of the story to the point that I don’t even know if it’s a side quest or not. Also in some cases the NPC wanders around never standing still. So if I take a side quest, complete it, and then come back, the guy won’t be there! Immediate rage quit for the rest of existence. I guess it was a blessing that I went through this pain because it taught me to never download a free to play MMORPG again. Yeah, it’s completely free with no subscriptions, just some DLC that’ll clog up your hard drive. It’s not worth it.
World of Warcraft
The most probable reason for WoW being on this list would be that I got too immersed into the main storyline of my badass character to care about the side quests. They seemed dull, and with a lack of storyline to them, they were very lackluster. I still love the game enough to have two level 80 characters, so I’m not saying it’s a bad game, it just didn’t deliver enough in the side quests. One time, I was coming back to the village after fighting a huge boss in a dark cavern (I won’t spoil it). So I come to get my reward and see another man (Actually it was an ox) in need of help. I talk to him and guess what. I have to go to another village to get him a loaf of bread. Whoa, that just gets my blood pumping.
This article was written by Parker Kramer, a 12-year-old kid from Minnesota who loves to play RPGs (Not free-to-play ones though) and adventure games. He likes to game on the Xbox 360. You can find him there under the GT icyfirebombs. He also is on Steam under the same username. You can find him on twitter @theParkerKramer.