The campaign story of Black Ops II is pretty foolish. Maybe not stupid, but seen as subversive propaganda or as American imperialism, it’s straight down contra-productive. If you aren’t mentally ill, you’re likely to sympathize with the antagonist, Raul Menendez, and his motive. At least I found it much easier to understand his actions, rather than the mean U.S. hard-ass army thugs’.
Do recall that I’m talking about a video game and how it’s being told. Politics aside, I’m not saying anything about how the world today is run.
Anyway, whilst the villain – in the eyes of the U.S. – is portrayed as a criminal mastermind, a terrorist, a leader of a sect, he is at the same time celebrated by others (read: the enemy) as the champion of victims of economic inequality. The Americans then are bluntly imaged as a bunch of assholes. Yeah, the whole chain of command.
For example, Frank Woods is being a total dick throughout the whole campaign, spanning from 1986 to 2025. And Admiral Briggs doesn’t say anything remotely diplomatic at all, and he seems to be fueled by as much hate, as the antagonist.
Menendez on the other hand, douche or not, his motive is personal and has to do with the wrongdoing of his family. The CIA had sanctioned the assassination of his father and his sister was injured in an act of arson committed by American businessmen for insurance money, and then later killed by Woods during a raid.
Now that could turn a good and sane man bad. (Even if Menendez do get a little megalomaniac about it.)
Still, Menendez’s motive is pure. In one of the alternative endings, when his vengeance is fulfilled, he visits his sister’s grave, dousing himself in gasoline, and readying a lit match.
P. S. Another recent game with a really bad protagonist is Assassin’s Creed III; compared to the capable Altaïr and entertaining Ezio, Connor’s characterization is just lame and stiff, like Keanu Reeves.