Infinity Ward has made it clear that it wants Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to deliver an emotional story, and in pursuit of that, the studio is definitely not shying away from controversial scenes. Prior to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's announcement, it leaked that the game was going to be inspired by Modern Warfare 2's No Russian mission, where players actively participate in a mass shooting in an airport, and it definitely sounds like that's going to be the case.
It's been revealed that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has a playable child soldier mission. This mission will tell the origin story of a character named Farrah, who witnesses Russian soldiers murdering civilians. Players then take control of young Farrah as she kills enemies by stabbing and shooting them.
Child soldiers are a horrible reality of war, and it's a subject that has rarely been touched on in video games. Considering the intense subject matter, the child soldier mission is no doubt going to drum up quite a bit of controversy for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. However, simply making a controversial mission for the sake of being controversial is not Infinity Ward's goal. As explained by narrative director Taylor Kurosaki speaking to Variety:
"We showed you Farrah’s origin story, where her life was turned upside down, and we showed you that to express how we want to delve into the backstory of these characters to explain their perspective. We weren’t showing you those assets to show how provocative we can be. We were showing you those assets to show that modern war isn’t always pleasant, it’s serious business and it can be kind of messy."
Infinity Ward showed off another potentially controversial mission to the press after the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reveal trailer was released. This mission takes place in a London townhome, where the player has to be careful not to shoot innocent people (like a mother and her child) while trying to kill terrorists. Presumably, players will fail the mission if they shoot civilians, but it's suggested by Kurosaki that they will be allowed to kill innocent people to a certain extent before failing the mission. "If you are Tier 1 and are overzealous or aggressive and responsible for unnecessary harm you can be court-martialed, arrested, you can be prosecuted. We do our own version of that in the game, allies will chastise you and eventually, the game will boot you out of the game."
It seems as though Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will not be shying away from controversial subjects in the least, which is something that the original Modern Warfare series embraced as well. Longtime Call of Duty fans will be happy to see these emotionally-charged elements return to the campaign, despite the controversies that may come from these scenes.Combine this return to Call of Duty's envelope-pushing campaigns and the fact that the multiplayer will support cross-play with no season pass, and it looks like Infinity Ward is making a genuine effort to please fans of the franchise with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will launch on October 25 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.