Infinity Ward's renewed use of the Modern Warfare brand isn't only a sign of the franchise returning to more grounded roots. Several key members who left the company after Modern Warfare 2 returned to make the 2019 title. The game is so far pleasing fans of the series, and its changes to the formula and graphical enhancements make it a good entry point for newcomers.
Given its status as a re-imagining, the new release is chock full of easter eggs and nods to the original. The following ten entries will showcase easter eggs only true fans would be able to spot, whether they be references to Call of Duty 4 or tiny details for especially observant eyes.
When Price and Garrick go to Russia, the captain says an old friend will help them out. This comrade turns out to be Nikolai. It is a common Slavic name, but those who played Modern Warfare in 2007 will recognize it as the same name given to the Russian contact in that campaign.
His older counterpart was in need of rescue, but the new Nikolai is there for Price and Garrick, helping them out in St. Petersburg. He also gets more characterization and a distinguished personality in the 2019 game.
9 His Fruit Killing Skills Are Remarkable
The tutorial mission of Call of Duty 4 sees Soap destroy an innocent watermelon, to which his superior comments, "Your fruit killing skills are remarkable." It was a standout moment of levity in an otherwise dour story.
In the "Highway of Death" mission of Modern Warfare, Alex uses a watermelon for target practice when adjusting to long-range shooting during a sniping segment. Upon blowing the fruit the smithereens, Hadir says the same line in Arabic. It is currently unclear what watermelons did to Infinity Ward to garner such ire from the developer.
Captain Price and Soap spend the majority of the old game in Russia. While in the large Eastern European country, they receive help from Russian Loyalists, led by a man known as Sgt. Kamarov.
Some tension stirs between the two groups when the protagonists briefly feel they are being used to simply help the Loyalists instead of getting the information they need but, by the end of the game, they are on good terms. During the ending of Modern Warfare, Kamarov makes an appearance in a similar role, hinting at a larger role in a potential sequel.
7 Simon Reilly
While conversing with Kate Laswell over a cup of tea, Price talks about soldiers he wants to recruit for an elite black ops team. One of these soldiers is Simon Reilly. Fans of the series know him by another name, Ghost. In the cinematic, Laswell questions why no photo is available, a nod to the character never revealing his face in the old trilogy.
Here's hoping the fan-favorite meets a better fate in future Modern Warfare titles than he did in Modern Warfare 2. If Shepard comes around, keep the two separate at all costs.
6 Reading Russian
A small part of the game takes the player to St. Petersburg. Despite it being a brief mission, one really has to admire the amount of work and detail put into the environment. What's more, all the signs are written in Cyrillic, so only those who know Russian can decipher what is written on the walls and posters.
After going downstairs at the start of the mission, one particular poster has a giant bear shooting lasers and causing havoc. The words written above it read "Bear God" in Russian.
When Kamarov and Price meet, it is clear the two have a storied history. Upon their reunion, the Russian soldier hands Price a bunch of cigars, saying "I owed you...for Beirut." The two bring up the same country during their first encounter in the original game.
It doesn't seem like players will ever find out what happened in Beirut, but it must have been something major for Kamarov to feel so indebted to Price. Maybe a prequel mission in a future game will finally reveal the mystery.
4 Sgt. Griggs
Sgt. Griggs was an American soldier who fought alongside the SAS in Call of Duty 4 after the nuclear explosion. He valiantly lost his life while trying to save Soap. Fortunately, Griggs makes a return in the 2019 reimagining, helping Alex and Farah on their search for The Wolf in the "Hunting Party" mission.
Griggs is beloved because he is modeled after Mark Grigsby, the head of the animation department at Infinity Ward. Grigsby also voices the character and performs the famous rap during the 2007 game's credits.
The second mission takes place in London's Piccadilly Circus. If one steals time away from fighting terrorists to observe their surroundings, they will find a funny easter egg in an electronics store. Inside is a fictional game console dubbed 'Actibase'.
It is a nod to the game's publisher, Activision. Apparently, Modern Warfare takes place in a timeline where the company went into the console business. Given their reputation as not being the most consumer-friendly, one could spend all day cracking wise about possible microtransaction features of an Activision console.
Kyle Garrick is one of the playable characters. He is also recruited by Price for task force 141 in the ending. At this point his nickname is Gaz, revealing him to be a new version of the character from the first Modern Warfare.
It was nice to see him get a more fleshed out arc because he is entirely forgettable in the original incarnation and dies before getting a chance to really become a character. Given the danger these characters face in any given Call of Duty game, there's no guarantee Garrick won't meet a similar fate in the future.
1 "Are You Serious?"
Children are often in harm's way during the story. One section even has a baby in a crib. While no penalty is dished out for killing the mother, pulling the trigger on the child will immediately cause a game over, with the message "Children are noncombatants" showing up against a black screen.
Do it several times and the game will ask the player "Are you serious?" and boot them back to the main menu of the single-player campaign. It does bring up a point about violence against civilians in video games. How many players really take the consequences of their actions in a title seriously?