Unlike in film or TV where a story can be wrapped up and called time on whenever the creators deem fit, the world of gaming can be far more... elongated. If a game sells well, it's almost a non-negotiable fact that there are going to be an arsenal of follow-ups made over the next couple of years.
Not only is the turnaround time on new titles significantly shorter, but video game companies are now expected to keep churning out new entries into their series with the same level of creativity in their stories, gameplay, and mechanics from their very first project.
And this quest for constant creativity can sometimes push a developer too far, and into that 'Wait... what did they just do?' territory. The ramifications of these moments can end up losing entire fanbases, stunt the momentum of well-performing series, or just derail a franchise entirely.
So, whether it be creative visions gone too far, shocking plot twists that failed to hit the mark, or simply the bizarre decision to give a cartoon hedgehog a submachine gun, these are the exact moments when video games completely lost the plot.
10. Lara's "Death" - Tomb Raider: Chronicles
Is there a lazier writing trope in the world than a supposed "death" of a flagship protagonist? 1999's Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation concluded with the supposed death of Lara Croft, left hanging from a rock as the Great Pyramid of Giza crumbles around her.
Despite this supposed death, Eidos Interactive wanted to plow on with the series, prompting developers Core Design into writing a storyline that revolves around some of Lara's friends toasting to her memory with tales from her past. With six entries released in just five years, the Tomb Raider series had been growing stale for a while.
However, Chronicles is really where Eidos and co. really lost their way.
The number of new gameplay features introduced in Chronicles can be counted on one hand, and with no new developments to the lore of either Lara or the series on the whole, the game felt pumped out as a way of cashing in on the Tomb Raider name yet again.
Hardcore fans of the series remember The Last Revelation as being where the "true" Lara Croft series died, with Chronicles and other games following it being a mixed bag of convoluted reboots and remakes designed to keep the revenue ticking over.
Angel Of Darkness might be a more obvious point of no return, but the issues go right back to here.