6 Unforgettable Side Quests That Outshine The Main Storyline

Highlights Side quests in gaming often steal the show and offer unique experiences that rival the main plot, providing a break from the game’s tonal norm.

A reoccurring phenomenon in the medium of gaming is side quests and storylines managing to steal the show and eclipse the core plot that governs their respective games. There are times when, due to providing such engrossing narratives and colorful characters, side plots manage to hook the players enough that they put the main campaign on hold for some time.

Side quests often provide the space and time needed to more fully flesh out the world and lore a video game has to offer. In turn, they provide players with unique experiences that often offer a break from the tonal norm of the game’s leading storylines and arcs. From humorous asides to gripping narratives that force the players to make difficult calls, side quests often wind up being as important as the lead plot when it comes to crafting an on-point gaming experience. Certain excellent games have managed to outdo themselves in this regard, nailing their core plots whilst also managing to upstage them with memorable, secondary missions for players to discover and experience that stay in the memory long after the playthrough is complete.

6 Lair Of The Shadow Broker (Mass Effect 2) mass effect 2 yahg shadow broker

Mass Effect 2’s Lair of the Shadow Broker pulled off the relatively rare feat of being a DLC with a rich subplot and set of side objectives that managed to outshine its main game. As Commander Shepard, players embark on a quest to uncover the identity and motives of the mysterious and powerful Shadow Broker.

The fresh and captivating narrative in Mass Effect 2 provides players with a thrilling blend of espionage, mystery, and jaw-dropping revelations. The Shadow Broker’s enigmatic status provides players with an immersive mystery to unravel and an increasingly complex villain to eventually confront. Along with the engaging storytelling, there is superb voice acting, and the opportunity to explore the hidden depths of the Mass Effect universe for players to enjoy. All of this and more make Lair Of The Shadow Broker an unforgettable thrilling experience that rivals the game’s main storyline.

5 Aberdeen Pig Farm (Red Dead Redemption 2) Red dead redemption 2 Tammy and Bray Aberdeen pig farm

Red Dead Redemption 2 offers a diverse array of rewarding side quests, with the horrific Aberdeen Pig Farm subplot standing out the most for its eerie atmosphere and constantly building tension. It all kicks off when Red Dead Redemption 2 players discover the dreaded Aberdeen siblings, an incestuous pair of cannibals in the Scarlett Meadows.

Taking a detour away from the more standard, epic Wild West experience the rest of the game provides, this troubling side plot provides players with a surprise fix of horror. Creepy encounters and a spooky atmosphere full of dread keep the storyline on offer chugging along at a brisk, unsettling pace. The beauty of this side quest lies in its ability to completely immerse players in a grim, psychological horror experience. The haunting visuals, chilling sound design, bizarre antagonists, and the general uncertainty of what awaits players all add to a visceral side quest that manages to steal the show.

4 The Silver Shroud (Fallout 4) The Silver Shroud Fallout 4

The Silver Shroud side quest in Fallout 4 charms players with a delightful homage to classic pulp fiction flair. The Fallout 4 quest allows players to don the titular Silver Shroud costume and adopt the role of a vigilante crime-fighter, cleaning up the streets of the crime-ridden Goodneighbor.

What sets this subplot apart is its nostalgic references, engaging storytelling, and the general fun of playing as the Silver Shroud and taking the fight to the area’s crooks. The quest cleverly incorporates the iconic Fallout brand of offbeat humor while offering a unique break from the dramatic, tough choices-laden main storyline. Not only does The Silver Shroud provide some laughs and thrills for superhero fans, but it also homages the noir genre, particularly its peak period during the golden age of Hollywood. While the core narrative of Fallout 4 proved polarizing for longtime fans, the eccentric thrills of The Silver Shroud garnered universal acclaim for providing the signature blend of humor, violence, and colorful character arcs fans have come to expect from the long-running series.

3 The Dark Brotherhood (The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim) the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary door in Skyrim

When discussing unforgettable side quests, the epic Dark Brotherhood questline from Skyrim is a prime example of how to steal the show. As players delve into the shadowy world of assassins, they become entangled in a web of conspiracy and betrayal that keeps getting bigger.

As is so often the case with the player character in this beloved Elder Scrolls installment, it turns out they are the chosen one, this time for Tamriel’s deadliest faction. Initially committing more standard acts of assassination, the storyline takes players to the top of the empire and back in one of the grandest, most engrossing pieces of writing on offer in the whole game. In turn, it manages to overshadow the considerably less dark and intrigue-heavy main plot. The colorful cast of characters, unexpected plot twists, and the moral ambiguity of carrying out assassinations, result in an enthralling experience that leaves a lasting impression on players long after its conclusion.

2 Lambert, Lambert, What a… (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt provided players with a tough decision in Following the Thread, taking players on a thrilling journey with Geralt as he gets involved with old pal Lambert’s quest for vengeance. What follows is a morally ambiguous, narratively challenging look at the culture of the Witchers.

Players must seek out Jad Karadin, an enigmatic assassin Lambert is determined to take out. Karadin is revealed to be responsible for the death of Lambert’s school friend, making the mission a deeply personal one relatively light on monster-hunting. In a grand-sweeping epic like The Witcher 3, taking a break from the masterful core plot to go on a more personal, emotional journey is a compelling change of pace. The character development both for Lambert and Karadin when players finally find him is incredibly well done and sensitively thought out, ultimately leaving players with a decision they’ll likely think over time and again for the rest of their playthrough.

1 The Bloody Baron’s Bloody Dilemma (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt) Witcher 3 The Bloody Baron

Phillip Strenger, the self-proclaimed baron at the heart of this morally complicated side story, proves to be one of The Witcher 3’s most memorable and challenging characters. The Bloody Baron sees Geralt get caught up in Strenger’s disturbing family issues.

A key reason why this sidequest proved to be such a big hit with players is One of the most memorable sidequests in gaming history comes from the critically acclaimed RPG, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In the Bloody Baron quest, Geralt of Rivia, the game’s protagonist, embarks on a mission to find a missing baron’s wife and daughter. What starts as a seemingly straightforward task soon plunges players into a dark and twisted tale of domestic abuse, redemption, and supernatural horrors. With multiple endings to choose from and an engaging cast of characters, this side quest provides a perfect showcase of the fantasy epic’s elite-level storytelling and character development.

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