Awhile back, we talked about death and saving in CRPGs in Death And The CRPG, Save Me!, Would You Mind Dying?, and Would You Mind Not Dying?. Recently, I read a synopsis of Bioshock, in which, it seems to me, death is meaningless.

The game takes place in an underwater city called Rapture, which has revival chambers scattered throughout. Any time our hero dies, he simply comes back to life immediately in the nearest chamber.

Now, that certainly cuts down on the save/restore routine. And matters are made even easier because any opponents are still in a wounded condition while you are fully restored.

Well, it’s one way to keep the story going. But I wonder if that’s really a good method. After all, where’s the suspense? Shucks, this is practically having god mode without the cheats.

Now, it’s true when our character/party bites the dust in a typical CRPG, we hit the “load game” button to try again. But before then, there’s usually some amount of uncertainty, a little nervousness, going into battle or some other dangerous situation.

After all, we don’t look forward to restoring, and doing something over again. Much better to do it right the first time. So there’s a certain tension, a certain “kick” to the situation without which the game would become dull.

I’ve seen comments around the ‘net that Bioshock is too easy, and this “immediate resurrection” is probably a factor. Why bother being careful, when you know you’ll be able to come back and keep battering the enemy until you win?

Where’s the anxiety? That “uh oh, this one’s gonna be tough” feeling? After awhile, the edge wears off and fighting simply becomes a routine interspersed with annoying revivals.

What do you think? Would this sort of system keep the game fun for you? If you’ve played – or are playing – Bioshock, has this “automatic resurrection” taken something out of the game? Or doesn’t it matter?