"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war." It was General Douglas MacArthur who said that, and his words are as true now as they were in his time.
The reason I know MacArthur said that is because I've read those words, over and over, as I've died in Call of Duty games. Every time the player dies in many of the past games in the series, he or she would be greeted with some gritty, hard-bitten truism about war, usually spoken by some famous general or politician.
I've never liked those quotes. They stand in often stark opposition to the comical, overblown proceedings of the games themselves, and they're salt in the wound of a tough death after a difficult fight.
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
- Winston Churchill
Oh really, Mr. Churchill? I'm so glad you're here to tell me that failure is not fatal, as I reload the last checkpoint for the 16th time and attempt to singlehandedly take down that entire Russian platoon again.
"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic."
- Joseph Stalin
Oh, how true, Mr. Stalin! Wait hang on, I need to leap off this cliff and grab ahold of the landing thingy of this helicopter before warping into the brain of another dude who is fighting off hijackers on a plane.
Thankfully, Black Ops II developers Treyarch have never quite taken to this practice—it seems as though the quotes are the realm of the other CoD developer, Infinity Ward. When I die in Black Ops II, whether I'm shot off a horse or stabbed in the desert, I see a dark, blurry screen, and then I blast away, back in time to the last checkpoint. The game doesn't try to inspire me, nor does it take it upon itself to impart some crucial words about the horrors of war.
And really, guys: Thanks for that.