I think maybe there's a moral in multiplayer first person shooters - I mean, you tend to get wasted time and time again. Kind of pounds in the idea that you'd just die if you went into a real life gun battle. And in real life, you tend not to respawn (if the games are somehow giving people the impression they respawn after death, well, that's surprising...)
So possibly my idea is more violent for there being less death.
The idea is that you have some sort of beat down status, instead of dying. Your character goes into a sort of defensive mode - you can't shoot, only try and get away. In the levels, there are escape hatches, which only people in beatdown status can use. You get to one, you crawl in and you see your character run down a series of escape tunnels, grab some supplies to replenish themselves, then exit from another escape tunnel point. Effectively much the same as respawning, but you have a solid narrative link from one event to the other.
It is possible to get killed whilst trying to get to an escape hatch, you only have X amount of life left. Getting killed lowers your beatdown score. So you want to develop a strategy with where they are, in case you get beat down. Or maybe your good enough you wont need it...hehe. Sure!
Getting killed can only lower your score, say, three times. And only after you've made two beat downs. So if you've only beaten down one member of the other side, you don't loose that (to give newer players some sense of accomplishment, rather than losing their very first three points of beatdown score). But if you beat down two then being killed loses that second beatdown score.
I think it'd be interesting to play in a combat where the core of the combat isn't...so freankin' rediculous, ie, coming back to life just out of thin air? Ahh, that's stupid!
Some sort of play where self preservation is actually part of play, instead of a stupid macho fantasy of going in guns blazing, neva gunna miss a shot. A fantasy that can only be supported by a rediculous respawn mechanic, showing just how stupid dumb ass that macho fantasy is!