Glitches are usually a source of frustration amongst gamers, a sign that a developer has been lazy in not quality-testing their product sufficiently, resulting in a problem that hampers our engagement with the narrative. While it can be a source of amusement, it can, within the context of the story, often be quite horrifying, as occurs with every game in this list. If it proves anything, it is that developers really need to focus on physics – that is, primarily, ensuring that characters’ heads stay attached to their bodies, and keep in the upright position.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of these glitches occur in open-world sandbox games like those produced by Bethesda and Obsidian, where testing every cubic centimetre of the open world is a tall feat. Still, given that some of these horrific glitches occur during the very opening cut-scenes and during blatantly obvious moments, it’s amazing that they weren’t fixed prior to release.

Honestly, part of us thinks the developers kept them in to give us a fright. And boy, did it work or what…

 

10. Messi’s Leg – FIFA ’12

We can imagine that if Messi or any other football player came running along the pitch looking like this, he’d have a clear B-line to the ball, and wouldn’t have much trouble scoring a goal despite apparently having a broken leg. Sure, the referee would be cowering in fear at what appears before him along with all the players and probably everyone in the stands, but with the miraculous abuse of physics that occurs in FIFA ’12, apparently a broken leg doesn’t slow you down one bit, giving Messi the ability to hobble around pain-free.

This is all part and parcel of the much-hyped Player Impact engine, which aimed to make the experience on the pitch more realistic than ever. The irony is that given the sheer glut of glitches that this has allowed for – you need only surf YouTube to see clips of players flying off into the stands – it really makes for a far more surreal experience that pulls us very much out of the visceral thrill of a footy game. When it’s got your players flying about, it can be funny, but when it’s a player with a broken leg still milling about, it really just makes us wince.

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This article was first posted on November 29, 2012