If you die, you will control the next agent, who happens to have the same xp level and appearance, who is dropped off at some standard location (aka "spawn point"). There could be a counter attached to your identity, that records the agent number, which gives player some sense of how skilled they are, as well as being embarrassing if that number is exceptionally high.
I like this idea. The player loses the closeness of identifying with the character, but it's a nice balance between perma-death and avoiding frustration from having to start over. Rather than having the exact same appearance though and xp, since I don't know that I'm going with an xp based system here (see previous post
), maybe giving the player the ability to respec the new character would be nice. That could be frustrating too, at higher levels unless the process is relatively easy. Allowing the player to see the previous character's specs would be good with the option to just copy perhaps.
Also, death surely means Scaramanga's henchmen has taken the solex agitator from your dead body, and MI6 hasn't magically got it back. That's the job of the next agent. So key items in your inventory should be lost in death. Next agent is issued with new pistol with full ammo, and a set of other discreet gear. You may be able to choose some of that gear.
That means handing out missions dynamically which adds a bit more complexity but is a nice touch.
Also, evil geniuses will rarely want to see you shot. They're much more creative than that. They'd prefer to capture you and put you in some pernicious situation, such as strapped to a table with an industrial laser slowly cutting through it, or on a small island in a crocodile infested pond.
I'd like to stay away from this and make it a bit more realistic. No bad guy is going to just tie the agent up somewhere and let him escape.