Video games are hard. Any one of us who have slaved over a hot console can tell you this about a game they love, never mind one they outright hate. For every enriching story or bout of well-balanced gameplay, there's a glitch or a difficult part of a game that makes life seem that much harder for a few seconds. It's been the difference between me geling with an Overwatch team and abandoning the latest PS+ free game because the difficulty spiked suddenly.
Sometimes, games get so hard that we have to take matters into our own hands. Softlocks have stranded many a gamer in impossible situations via autosaves and botched attempts at levels that we wish we could take back. It wasn't easy narrowing stories for this piece, considering that there were upwards of 12K comments on the AskReddit thread they came from, but we made due with 13 eulogies of games that never were.
A couple times in Halo 3 I got a checkpoint immediately before driving over a cliff or getting smashed by a brute's hammer. Thankfully they put in a failsafe where if you die repeatedly at the same checkpoint, it will eventually push you back to the previous checkpoint.
Max Payne 2(?) I was in some kind of garage or something and there was a timer for a bomb, I didn't know when it was gonna go off so I saved the game. The bomb blew up and killed me half a second later. So everytime I play that save I get blown up instantly. Haven't played it since.
Old Sierra games were terrible about this. I still remember in Leisure Suit Larry 2, if you didn't buy a soda in the first twenty minutes of the game, you would die of thirst like 2 hours later. And there was no going back for it if progressed the story without grabbing the soda, so you would basically have to start the game over again.
I was softlocked in Potema's Catacombs in Skyrim for a solid month. Was too low-level with shit equipment and hardly any potions, faced like five waves of Draugr Deathlords and Wights, couldn't turn back and leave because one of the hallways was blocked somehow after you pass it (I forget how, maybe iron bars that were only retractable by a button on the other side from me, idk). It actually made me give up on the game, until one day, high off my ass, I sat down with drinks and snacks and spent four hours bruteforcing it until I finally lucked out. Most satisfying "mission complete" of the entire game.
Resident Evil Code Veronica:
On the plane, pretty much no ammo. Tyrant fight is impossible
Sid meiers Pirates!. Kill all Spanish towns and get sunk by Spanish mega galleons. I save at the beginning of battle... And six more ships drift onto screen. You get thrown in jail in a town that was destroyed. Game locks HARD. On Wii and pc.
Oblivion. I was a vampire, and the only way to cure vampirism was to speak to a woman in a small remote cottage. I waited until sunup to speak to her, but apparently it was too early in the day and she asked me to leave. I couldn't though. If I went outside I took damage from the sun (vampire). I couldn't fast travel to safe because I was taking damage. So I went back in, and eventually she got fed up and attacked me.
I didn't want to kill her, because I needed her to cure me. I couldn't let her kill me though. So I was fucked.
Eventually I did manage to get out of it. I jumped up on a wardrobe and did my best to dodge her attacks. Saving every couple seconds. If I got hit I loaded the save. It took me a couple hours real time to manage to dodge her attacks for an entire in-game day until the sun went down.
Once, I was playing New Vegas and I got chased by a giant radscorpion while I was at a low level. There was a building not too far away from me, so I booked it to try to escape. The radscorpion stung me and I hit the door at the most perfect moment to fuck myself over: the game gave me simultaneous credit for both getting into the building and for my HP reaching zero. So the interior of the building loads and I immediately fall over dead. The worst part is that I had autosave turned on, so the game reloaded the moment I entered the building only to have me die again. I stared in disbelief as it just reloaded my death over and over again. It was like a weird hellish afterlife or something.
I had been softlocked in the hardest mode in Bioshock Infinite, while I was up against a boss that has infinitely regenerating enemies. I didnt do well with setting up my powers and had very little ammo, and it was not possible for me to continue. The rest of the game was easy, but this was a cheap tactic to make it difficult (as opposed to upping the AI, they just made them infinite).
I got to the cannon room in twilight princess and saved there. The person in there is supposed to leave, and then you warp the cannon away. This causes him to leave, but also still be there. You can't warp it with him there, and you can't leave either because he'll stop you. However, since he's not actually in the room, you can't talk to him to make him leave.
I was showing my girlfriend at the time some stuff about dragon age and she asked if I could strip my characters and go into battle like that. Well, I didn't know the next scenario was the end of the game, so I stripped them and started it up. It auto-saved upon entering the area and I was unable to go back to camp and give them armor. It's the only game I played all the way to the end and then couldn't complete, and I've been too pissed about it to restart it from the beginning.
Dead Island, I was about to finish the game, and i was in a huge zombie hoard. I killed most of them and my weapons took a lot of damage. I died and the whole mission restarted, all the zombies i killed respawned and my weapons were super weak. I've been stuck there for a month and just gave up.
One of the worst games i've ever played
My brother accidentally saved in the PS2 game about The Fellowship of the Ring to where every time you loaded into it you immediately fell down a hole in Moria and died.
What sucks is that I could never get past the black riders in the Shire, so I never even made it that far on my own and he bricked it for me so I couldn't play on his save when he got tired of playing it himself.