Discussion of permadeath has always been an interesting one. The topic is getting some more attention of late thanks a lot in part to XCOM and it’s “Ironman” mode. Ironman essentially means that the game is constantly overwriting your singular save file, make a game where death of squad members is nigh inevitable, that much more difficult. But as Leigh Alexander discussed in here excellent article on emergent narrative, this is the kind of thing that can make a game that much more special and meaningful.
When you can permanently lose a character at any moment you cherish the time you have with that character more than you normally would. If you can simply reload and they are back on their feet it removes some of the weight of your decisions and consequences. For me this makes for a more intensive and interesting gaming experience, not mention a much more challenging one.
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