Return the player to their last key point of progress when they fail, instead of making them restart the game as a whole. This softens the blow of failure to the player and encourages them to keep trying, as the task of repeating a single piece of the game is less daunting than having to replay the whole thing. Checkpoints are also handy in that they allow the player to leave a game and return to the same point at a later time. Allowing for longer game play and the ability to play within a busy life.
An example of frequently used checkpoints can be found in many of the levels of Rayman Origins. Most levels are composed of several separate “rooms.” If the player dies within a certain room, they are then returned to the beginning of that room, instead of the restarting the entire level, to try again.
Resident Evil 5
In Resident Evil 5, when players reach a checkpoint, their state can be temporarily saved. Checkpoints can also be seen as respawn points, and you can begin your progress at the last checkpoint when you die.
Little Big Planet
Little Big Planet has a very clear checkpoint system. There are checkpoints throughout the levels, and they act as respawn points as well. Once the player passes by a checkpoint, it will light up, and the player will know the game is saved at this point. If the player dies before reaching the next checkpoint, he or she will respawn at the previous checkpoint.
GTA 5 Edit
Gta 5 has a new feature which is different from its previous games. In GTA 5, there are checkpoints available for missions which have a large playtime. This helps to not start a mission over and over again which makes the game more enjoyable and less stressful. Checkpoints were added to appeal to a wider, more mainstream audience.
Shovel Knight does an excellent job of implementing checkpoints that allow the player to choose their difficulty. If the player wants to take a checkpoint, then they will respawn there when they die. If the player decides that they want a little more difficulty, then they can destroy the checkpoint to receive more loot. This allows the player to be able to choose which route they want to go, which tailors the game to all different levels of play.