Urgency in games: Why should i hurry up if there are no consequences?

Slight Far Cry 3 intro SPOILERS -- just some stuff you'll see right when you begin the game (first half hour) -- but better warned than disappointed.

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Pictured: not the very urgent main quest (via images4.wikia.nocookie.net)


A friend was telling me that he'd read a post by someone somewhere about the sense of urgency in games -- i.e. what has to be done and how urgent is this thing. Take Far Cry 3 for example. You're supposed to hurry the hell up and free your friends/family, but you can d*ck around the island as long as you want before you actually get to any of that. Shouldn't there be consequences? I'm almost 10 hours into the game and haven't done a single official story mission since that very first intro one after you wake up in the village and are shown how to purchase stuff, unlock towers and take over bandit camps. What i'm saying is that once i was set "free", i just got down to some cool stuff and am in no hurry to save anyone -- i've been hunting/upgrading, unlocking towers and having the time of my life clearing camp after camp after camp without ever getting spotted (.. mostly).

So what i'm getting at is that a game where a certain sense of urgency was maintained would have already killed off some of the people i'm supposed to save. There's no way their (allegedly) precarious situation could have been maintained in balance for that long. Maybe they moved around a little if they were free and maybe they got caught again. Perhaps they were already in the bandits' custody and they got pissed (or drunk or both) and put a bullet in'em. Urgency brings (or is supposed to bring) consequences is what i'm saying.

And on that score, what about my flash-takeover of the island? Frightened gringo tourist or not, i've killed over a hundred bandits to date and liberated half the camps on the island. Shouldn't the bad guys be revising their situation at this point? Perhaps going from sitting around, raping and smoking crack to maybe planning a counterattack? Or a full retreat? Something, that's for sure.

It would be interesting if there were actual stakes to all the hurry-up-and-do-something.

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