'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare' ESRB Description Reveals Intense Campaign Content
It was no secret that the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot would be a pretty grim and gritty affair. As soon as the game was announced back in May, developer Infinity Ward and publisher Activision made it clear that the game's campaign in particular would not shy away from the harsh realities of modern-day war, with hands-on reports confirming hostage situations and even missions in which you were put into the shoes of child soldiers.
Ahead of further official details on the game's campaign, which are expected next month, Modern Warfare's recently-released ESRB rating has been discovered online (via Charlieintel). The game has, as you won't be surprised to learn, earned an M for MATURE rating, thanks to its "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Drugs" and perhaps most terrifyingly of all, "In-Game Content Purchases."
While all of that was obviously to be expected, the ESRB's accompanying description of certain gameplay elements suggest that there are some seriously dark moments in store for players. Said description reveals that there are scenes involving torture, failed hostage situations, and civilians - including children - killed in a gas attack. It goes on to confirm that there are also scenes in which terrorists threaten or, in "rare instances" attack and shoot young characters.
Elsewhere in the description, a few gameplay details are confirmed. "In some situations, players must quickly determine which characters are terrorists and which are just innocent bystanders," it reads. Later on, there's mention of certain dialogue options leading to prisoners being executed, and failure scenarios in which you witness hostages get murdered if you fail to react quickly enough. It sounds as if there will also be at least one scene in which the player will have the ability to threaten a suspect's family during an interrogation.
You can read the whole thing for yourself below:
"This is a first-person shooter in which players assume the roles of special forces soldiers and freedom fighters as they battle terrorists. Players can engage in a variety of combat missions, such as saving hostages, escaping/infiltrating war zones, and assaulting enemy compounds. Characters use machine guns, shotguns, sniper rifles, and explosives to kill enemies in frenetic combat. In some situations, players must quickly determine which characters are terrorists and which are just innocent bystanders. Combat is highlighted by realistic gunfire, screams of pain, and large blood-splatter effects. A sniper rifle causes increased damage (e.g., decapitation, dismemberment). Some sequences prompt players to make choices that influence enemy behavior: using a pistol to threaten a suspect's family during an interrogation; timing actions to prevent terrorists from shooting hostages (failure scenarios may occur). One sequence depicts players' character interrogated/tortured via waterboarding; if players select certain dialogue options, then a bound prisoner is seen executed. Cutscenes depict additional acts of violence: a hostage killed by an explosive vest; civilians (including children) killed by a gas attack. Some scenes depict terrorists threatening and, in rare instances, attacking or shooting young characters (e.g., a boy held hostage; young siblings attacked in their home-players can control their ability to fight back). The game includes multiplayer badges that depict illustrations of marijuana leaves and smoking; other illustrations depict close-up angles of partially exposed cleavage and buttocks. The words "f**k" and "sh*t" appear in the dialogue."
It remains to be seen just how well Infinity Ward handles all of these heavy moments in its campaign of course, and there's always the chance that certain things have been included just for the "shock" value, rather than in aid of telling a good story. We'll have to reserve our judgement until Modern Warfare launches next month, of course, but it sounds like this could be the darkest Call of Duty campaign to date. Infinity Ward did tell us as much, to be fair.
Featured Image Credit: Activision