Ah, bugs... those should-be inevitable annoyances accompanying most big releases (and even some of the little ones). Here are some of the memorable bugs that bugged us in 2012.
Badass No More
Borderlands 2 players (across all platforms) got a nasty shock when a new bug began resetting their Badass rank. The bug also stripped players of rewards earned in the game, including stat boosts, heads and skins.
And worst of all, you couldn’t bolster your rank by replaying challenges, because the bug wouldn’t reset the challenges.
Gearbox announced on their forum that they were looking into the issue.
Dead, Dead, Dead
And there was more bad news for Borderlands 2 on Xbox 360 players, with the release of the Graveyard Virus epidemic.
The Graveyard Virus – triggered remotely by “malicious hackers” - attacked save files, replacing your files with infected ones – forcing you to play the game on “Hardcore” Mode. So if your character dies in the game, they won’t respawn.
But, Gearbox quickly released a patch to beef up security and prevent data loss; so you could return to playing Hardcore Mode...by choice.
The Graveyard Virus forced your character to play the notoriously difficult Hardcode Mode - which means you won't respawn in the game.
The Curse of the Invisible Ball
Shortly after the release of FIFA 13, EA released a patch to deal with the ball disappearing in the middle of a match.
Another unusual glitch that this patch fixed was for “rare cases of physics elasticity when two players collide.” Nope, this issue was never explained, but my guess would be “physics elasticity” refers to stretchy limbs and a weird amalgamation of two players into one odd-looking shape.
Resident Evil 6’s day-one patch was a nightmare for PlayStation 3 players – copies of RE6 downloaded from the PlayStation Network were rendered unplayable by the patch.
But, not to worry... Capcom released an updated patch the following day.
Assassin’s Creed Amnesia
Assassin’s Creed III’s Hidden Secrets DLC pack triggered an amnesia bug that could wipe all your save data. For some players, downloading this pack while their game was already in progress kickstarted the bug.
According to Kotaku, the bug is relatively rare. But the Hidden Secrets DLC pack was the alleged trigger, unleashing the bug on your save files and wiping them clean.
Ubisoft does know about the issue and is working on a fix. For now, to avoid this happening to you, don’t load your saved Assassin’s Creed III files while you’re downloading the Hidden Secrets DLC pack, and you should be fine.
The Hardest Boss
And the award for this year’s most fail bug goes to... Diablo 3!
“Man, Diablo 3 is super hard. I’ve been playing for 30 minutes and haven’t even defeated the login screen” – Rynier “Cranky” Schoeman in response to our story about Diablo 3’s servers failing on launch day.
On 14 May 2012 we met the world’s hardest game boss – Error 37. Unbreakable and undefeated.
2012's biggest gaming fail: the dastardly and soul-destroying Error 37.
For twelve years we waited for Diablo 3 – a hugely anticipated title – only to be stopped in our tracks on the night of the launch by an invincible login screen. It seems despite testing the servers’ capabilities ahead of the highly anticipated launch, Blizzard managed to annoy the majority of the world’s gamers when the servers couldn’t handle the - anticipated – high volumes of traffic.
Apparently, the login fail and the incapability of Blizzard's servers was the fulfillment of an age-old prophecy.
Blizzard responded quickly and effectively, but I hope we don’t ever need to go through this again.
No doubt we’ll see more of these with every new release. We can only live in hope that the bugs that kill our ranks, delete our files and generally just ruin our enjoyment when playing a new game will one day be history.