(Killzone 2 spoilers ahead!)
So I've been thinking about Rico and his purpose in Killzone's story. In Killzone 1 Rico was an angry but competent soldier, and served as a foil to Hakha, the intellectual half-Helghast. He was book dumb and very eager to avenge his fallen friends, but at least he didn't make incredibly stupid decisions with dire consequences. Well, okay, he threatened to kill Hakha once but he didn't actually do it.
Killzone 2 comes by, and it looks like Rico might have been suffering from brain damage after being shot at so many times by the Helghast. He not only caused Garza's death by not listening to Sev, but he also ruined any chance for Helghan to become peaceful by killing Scolar Visari (which was the opposite of what his superiors wanted!). All Rico had to do in both situations was just WAIT, and we might have had a happier ending.
Sometimes I get the feeling that the game's developers, Guerrilla, might not be aware that a large portion of the Killzone fanbase does not like Rico. By the end of Killzone 2, it seemed to me that Rico was supposed to be portrayed as a 'human' or 'broken' soldier who was unable to keep his emotions in check. Unfortunately, this just falls flat on its face as if he did the things he did in real life, he'd have been arrested or executed on the spot for being an extreme liability. If you're a soldier who disobeys orders, especially when disobeying said orders gets your comrades killed, your superiors would be even bigger idiots than you to not have you disarmed and locked up.
As far as I can tell, Rico's current role is 'the guy who makes players angry and wish he was dead a thousand times over'.
It might be too late now, but I'm going to email Guerrilla Games or something and tell them what I think about Rico. email@example.com, I think is the address. I wonder how many people already tried to contact them and tell them that Rico is an awful, unpopular character mainly because of his terrible mistakes?
On a side note, I personally hope the player can actually choose whether to side with the ISA or the Helghast in Killzone 3's singleplayer, unlikely as it sounds. Just picture it: A Helghast general captures you and offers you a chance at 'redeeming' yourself by fighting for the 'right cause'. It would be great to play with Helghast troops on your side instead of shooting at you, and then find out that they are not quite the monsters you thought they were in your time fighting as ISA. Hell, maybe it turns out the ISA kills civilians too, but doing it discreetly with 'black ops' units or something. A perspective flip would be a welcome breath of fresh air into this series.
Anyway, point is, Rico should have been dead the moment he killed Scolar Visari. The man ruined goddamn everything.
(Killzone 2 spoilers ahead!)