2010, as a year, has killed off important characters in pretty much every huge game. I will take it upon myself to say if the games did it well or terribly.
did it well
MASS EFFECT 2
Seeing as no character can die without the player making a bad decision, this is a very good thing. Every loss is on the player (and Orange), as no deaths are scripted (well you know).
Sir Walter is taken by the darkness, and Hero must kill him to stop the darkness forever (?). This isn't a throwaway death, as it is tragic and, in a way, forseeable. You did Sir Walter proud. You always do him proud.
(i'm tearing up just thinking about it)
ROCK BAND 3
The band is in an aeroplane over the sea, when it crashes!!! They're proclaimed dead, as no one can find them. They're actually on an island, taking a break from touring. What greats
KINGDOM HEARTS: BIRTH BY SLEEP
Ven, Terra and Aqua don't really die, per se. Terra's body is possessed by Xehanort, and he eventually become a heartless and possesses Riku. Ven fuses with Vanitas again to become whole, and then Sora absorbs the fuck out of him. Sora becomes a heartless, and splits into a shadow and Roxas. When Kairi hugs the shadow, it becomes Sora. Aqua is Kairi somehow.
did it okay
RED DEAD REDEMPTION
John Marston kills Dutch, his former, um, boss. He retires to his ranch with his family and helps them maintain it. The army comes after John, and kills Uncle. John sends his family away, and steps out to his death. Why he didn't just take cover behind one door and pick them off systematically is beyond me.
You, Joe and Henry do a drug deal with some Chinese dudes. They kill Henry in broad daylight, so you and Joe go off to get revenge. You kill all the Chinese dudes, and the leader says Henry was a rat! This is confirmed by Leo, much later.
did it horribly
ASSASSIN'S CREED: BROTHERHOOD
Desmond gets to the Apple of Eden, which Ezio stashed in Minerva's temple under the Colosseum, after jumping around like an idiot and falling a lot, because that room wasn't too well-designed. Desmond, Shaun, Rebecca and Lucy get to the platform with the Apple, and Desmond picks it up. Minerva possesses him, and makes him kill Lucy. A button command is required from the player. The game ends, with no explanation. After the [unskipable] credits, the player is in Ezio's, um, greaves, and cannot leave the Animus as per usual.
RED DEAD REDEMPTION: UNDEAD NIGHTMARE
Herbert Moon is eaten by zombies, and John does nothing to help him.
R.I.P. no one because i don't suck at games
R.I.P. Sir Walter
R.I.P. FUCK IT I DON'T EVEN KNOW ANY MORE
R.I.P. John Marston
R.I.P. you fucking rat
R.I.P. Herbert Moon