Any long running franchise is bound to have some repeating features throughout all its instalments. That's partly what makes it a franchise. But when it comes to video games you can often find that once a company finds a gimmick that they can easily rely on, they're unlikely to give anything else a go.
This can become tiring fast as you soon realise that the last three games of a beloved franchise all just share the same qualities, often with a different skin and minor improvements, but always with that same $60 (soon to be $70) price-tag.
The games become less about trying to take players somewhere new with their experience, and instead they choose the safe route and rely on what they think works.
These gimmicks may be to do with the gameplay or story or it might be repetitive practices that the developers and publishers use to stir media attention towards the game. Some games are worse than others however, to the point where there are clear gimmicks that the companies are relying on for their games. Once you've spotted it, it's pretty hard to ignore too.
8. "It Can Always Get Crazier!" - Saints Row
The Saints Row series actually started out pretty tame, not too dissimilar from its competitor Grand Theft Auto. With the sequel the developers decided to up the ante a bit. They introduced more whacky elements such as a zombie horde mode and fan favourite minigames such as the underground fight club.
Saints Row The Third then took a real leap however and took the game into a whole new territory, and it paid off. Introducing even crazier minigames, characters such as Killbane and Burt Reynolds, and even providing players with superpowers in a DLC, the game threw all the rules out the window. Saints Row IV decided to take things even further, making the player the president and then having Earth literally being blown up by an invading alien race. The rest of the game took place in a virtual reality, like the Matrix.
The craziness continued as a stand alone expansion released called 'Gat out of Hell', which saw the players literally travelling to hell to save one our of their fallen allies. It got a bit too ridiculous for some fans, but you can't knock Volition for having the guts to try just about anything, even if it was just to differentiate from Grand Theft Auto.