Realism versus fun is a very difficult balance for a game developer to strike. As technology improves, gamers want to see lifelike environments, impressive physics engines and animations on par with the best that Pixar has to offer.
But they also want to be able to get shot 700 times over the course of a 6 hour campaign and somehow only die two or three times. It’s a dilemma, to say the least, which is why we often don’t feel the stakes of the story.
So what’s one surefire way to get players to make the most of their decisions in a game? Give them a death sentence.