Trashy gameplay calls for trashy presentation, and sophisticated gameplay calls for sophisticated presentation. However, Duke Nukem 3D is a game that is constantly in tension between these two principles.
Amid a hail of gunfire, the player-character crumples to the ground, defeated, that is, before a loading screen pops to revive her. At least, that's how most action games represent death. In Tomb Raider, I've seen Lara Croft stabbed through the neck, had her head split open on a coral reef, seen her torn apart by wolves.