No software is perfect, so bugs and glitches are bound to pop up from time to time. That goes especially for video games, since players often have enough freedom to play them how their creators never intended. In video games, glitches can be silly, annoying, or even game-breaking. Here are some that can ruin games, either by taking players out of the moment or by causing permanent damage.
1. Assassin’s Creed Unity
Assassin’s Creed Unity was the series’ first installment made just for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 generation of consoles. The 18th Century Paris depicted in the game is visually stunning. Unfortunately, the game reeked of being rushed out the door to launch in time for the holiday season.
Glitches and bugs popped up everywhere, but the most horrifying ones messed with characters’ faces. Sometimes a character’s skin disappeared, leaving their eyeballs and teeth floating in space. Other times the faces became distorted, and looked like something out of a horror movie. Either way, it was hard to concentrate on the game when the bugs were so evident. Ubisoft eventually patched things up, but not before gamers captured the horror in screenshots and videos.
2. Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition is an impressively massive fantasy role-playing game. Its mechanics are deep, its writing is top notch, and its characters are endlessly fascinating. One of the best parts of the game is that you get to know the heroes as you explore, because they chat with one another often. Or at least they’re supposed to.
Thanks to what players have dubbed the “banter bug,” your party might stop talking altogether while you’re out in the world. You’ll still hear them during cutscenes, but their automatic banter simply stops for the rest of the time you play the game. The only way to know if you’ve been affected by the banter bug is to realize that you haven’t heard anything from your party in a while. It’s a devious little glitch that makes the game much less surprising and fun. And from the looks of it, the only way to get the banter back is by starting over from scratch.
3. Aliens: Colonial Marines
This game from 2013 is no good (just check out is abysmal Metacritic score), but that doesn’t mean it should actively prevent you from playing it. If you’re unlucky, it just might. During certain parts of the game, you’re supposed to run to escape from a giant xenomorph alien. If this glitch affects your game, you won’t be able to. The bug makes the alien hone in on one member of your party and repeatedly throw him to the ground, rendering him useless until you revive him. Once he’s revived, the alien does it again. And again. And again. You might be able to get past it if you’re persistent, but who has the time?
4. Pokémon Red/Blue
The original pair of Pokémon games that came to the U.S. in 1998 had one major glitch that some people actively sought out. If you followed a precise series of steps, you could summoned into existence a glitched-out Pokémon named MissingNo.
This was enticing for players who wanted to follow the game’s tagline and “catch ‘em all,” even though the game’s creators didn’t put MissingNo in there on purpose. If you did see MissingNo, a few things happened. First, the sixth item in your inventory would be duplicated many, many times. Then certain parts of the game would begin to look wonky. Eventually your save file would become corrupted, meaning you’d lose the dozens of hours you’d invested in the game. No Pokémon is worth that.
5. Viewtiful Joe 2 demo
If you think losing a save file sounds rough, check this one out. There used to be a magazine called PlayStation Underground that came with discs containing demos of upcoming games. The magazine’s “Holiday 2004 Demo Disc” gave players a glimpse of Viewtiful Joe 2. The problem was that if you tried to load a save while you played the demo, your entire memory card would be wiped clean. All those hours playing PlayStation 2 games, gone in an instant. Talk about a bad day. Sony emailed subscribers and suggested that they remove their memory cards before playing the demo, but the advice came too late for some unlucky players.
6. Guitar Hero 2
If you think losing a whole memory card is bad, just be thankful you get to keep playing your console at all. The people affected by a buggy update for the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero 2 didn’t have that luxury.
The update was supposed to fix an issue some players were having with the guitar controller’s whammy bar. Unfortunately, the update caused some people’s Xbox 360 to start freezing and eventually stop working altogether. Hello, Red Ring of Death. Goodbye, Xbox 360.