Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is still months away from release, but the game is already hugely controversial. Not only has its multiplayer been criticized for featuring a White Phosphorus killstreak, but people have also spoken out against its single player campaign for being too realistic and disturbing. However, some may recall similar reactions to past Call of Duty games as well, which also had their fair share of shocking moments.
While fans wait to see what kind of shocking scenes floor them in the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot, here are the five most shocking moments from the original Modern Warfare trilogy.
5 Soap's Death (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3)
Besides Captain Price, John "Soap" MacTavish is one of the main heroes in the original Modern Warfare trilogy. In Call of Duty 4, he is the one who manages to kill Imran Zakhaev, and in Modern Warfare 2, he literally pulls a knife out of his own chest and throws it into the head of the traitorous General Shepherd. Due to the wounds he suffered in his fight with General Shepherd in Modern Warfare 2, Soap is injured throughout Modern Warfare 3, but it still comes as a shock when he's killed. Luckily for those who miss Soap, the beloved character will be making a comeback, as it's been confirmed that Soap will be in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot.
4 General Shepherd's Betrayal (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)
In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, fan-favorite characters Gary "Roach" Sanderson and Simon "Ghost" Riley successfully raid the safehouse of Vladimir Makarov, who has helped spark a war between the United States and Russia following his leader Zakhaev's death in Call of Duty 4. However, Ghost and Roach are betrayed by their commander, Lieutenant General Shepherd, who shoots them both and lights their corpses on fire. Shepherd's betrayal persists as one of the most shocking moments in not just the Modern Warfare trilogy, but Call of Duty games in general.
3 Davis Family Vacation (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3)
Throughout the majority of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, players control a soldier that's armed with a gun and fighting terrorists. But in the mission "Davis Family Vacation," they instead take control of Mr. Davis, who is armed with only a camcorder. Mr. Davis, his wife, and his young daughter Sarah are on the third day of their London vacation, hoping to see the Big Ben clock tower. Mr. Davis records his wife and daughter as they walk to Big Ben, but a truck suddenly parks on the corner of the street, and its drivers quickly run away from it. The Davis family, perhaps distracted watching their daughter play with the pigeons on the sidewalk, don't seem to notice. The player has no choice but to keep walking forward, following the Davis family to their doom as the truck explodes, killing everyone nearby, including little Sarah Davis.
This scene in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was easily the game's most controversial moment, and it's one of the rare times that a video game has shown a child being killed. Child death is a subject that video games have mostly avoided, but it seems as though the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot will be taking some cues from this scene in Modern Warfare 3. Apparently, the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot has a child soldier mission that shows dead kids in the aftermath of a bombing raid, so it may be even more shocking than what's seen in Modern Warfare 3.
2 Nuclear Explosion (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)
Prior to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty was more or less the typical war FPS series, showcasing various famous World War 2 battles in video game form. Call of Duty 4 is when the series started to deliver a more connected narrative, with better-defined characters that allowed the developers to take larger risks with the storytelling. The Call of Duty 4 campaign often finds itself praised as one of the best campaigns in any Call of Duty game, with many fondly remembering the first time they experienced the infamous nuclear explosion scene, and its chilling aftermath.
Instead of just showing the nuclear explosion, Call of Duty 4 has players crawl through the wasteland it leaves in its wake. They're not long for this world, and one of the last things they see before they die is a massive, imposing mushroom cloud in the distance.
1 No Russian (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)
Easily the most shocking Call of Duty moment to date is the No Russian mission from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In this mission, players control an undercover CIA agent as he infiltrates Vladimir Makarov's terrorist organization. To keep their cover, players have to participate in a mass shooting in a Russian airport, mowing down helpless civilians. And at the end, it's all for nothing, as Makarov reveals that he knows the player's identity the entire time, shooting them dead, framing the United States for the attack, and basically triggering World War 3 between the United States and Russia.
Considering how controversial and shocking No Russian was back when Modern Warfare 2 first launched, it's no small thing when developers claim that the entire Call of Duty: Modern Warfare campaign will be on the level of No Russian. Needless to say, the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare may very well become one of the most shocking and controversial video games of all time.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launches on October 25 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.