Leaked Modern Warfare 2 Opening Will Be Controversial

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JeanLuc761:

Tiamat666:
This is not going to happen in a mainstream title such as Modern Warfare 2.

Why not? Why shouldn't mainstream titles strive to elevate video games as a form of interactive storytelling through darker and more adult means?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/91256-Update-Konami-Backs-Out-of-Fallujah

That's why. People suck, and the last generation can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that games don't cause gun violence. Lousy parenting, and a failure to buy triggerlocks cause gun violence.

Shalkis:
To me, it seems that Infinity Ward's relying on gamers to bail them out from the ensuing controversy by pointing out that:

a) free speech
b) this is a small part of the game, with the rest being apple-pie-patriotic terrorist-killing
c) games are a maturing medium, and thus can and should handle "adult" and "dark" subjects
d) the media are a bunch of ambulance-chasing, controversy-manufacturing luddites

However, Activision's pre-emptively shot Infinity Ward in the foot with the price increase, Bobby Kotick and the lack of dedicated servers. They're not exactly swimming in gamer goodwill right now.

In any case, the ensuing hullabaloo is going to be amusing. *gets popcorn*

I agree to the letter.

Haven't read the whole thread, but I do want to mention that I think one of the shacknews interviews has an IW rep talking about how this is a trashed concept and that it won't actually be in the game.

Looks real enough to me, especially after watching the video with the original game sounds. You can clearly see weapon drops pop up on screen, has weapons not seen in the first Modern Warfare, and other action popups I didn't see in MW. Might be a mod, but it's a very high quality mod if it is. The fact that the guy dies in the tarmac area then comes back and finishes the level makes it rather apparent it's not just a controlled sequence. I think it's probably pushing it a bit far. Modern Warfare is fine because even in multiplayer when you can play as the terrorists, it's still military combatants fighting each other. Throwing in massive amounts of screaming, crying civilians try to drag people to safety and being able to shoot them in the head as they do so is a bit over the top. I'll still play it, but it seems like a major shot in the foot for Infinity Ward, the amount of controversy this will cause will be close to unparalleled. After seeing what happened with Six Days in Fallujah, the wholesale slaughter of civilians in an airport seems like it might boil more than a few biscuits.

Here's my opinion, for anyone who cares after 5 pages:

I played many so-called controversial Games, like Manhunt or the Columbine thing, and had no qualms with it...but this crosses a line for me.

Why? Because not only the game wants you to do something disgusting, but because it MAKES NO SENSE!

Of course, i haven't played the full game and that one might provide enough context to rethink my opinion, but as i see it, that is just something that wants to show you how evil the evil guys are...by making you one of them.
That might be actually something interesting and deep if it is woven in the story narrative in a way that the terrorist are made sympathetic until this point where you just slaughter innocents, but as a standalone chapter, that is just controversy for controversy's sake. I can't blame anyone misunderstanding the purpose of that sequence because, in the end, this is essentially a terrorist sim.

Until Infinity Ward, through the game, cannot answer me the following questions, i consider this opening dumb and disgusting, and won't, for the first time ever, play this game despite wanting it due to morale issues:

1) Why can't this chapter be played through the eyes of one of the civilians, running away without a chance to fight back, and eventually get killed at the end?
THAT would show MUCH better what makes your enemies something that must be stopped.

2) How are you supposed to really want to fight the bad guys through a "emotional" motivation if you first play one and then just "change team"?

3) And most importantly: How do such mature and dark themes weave into a game that is essentially MICHAEL BAY'S WAR!! and puts you later in very hollywood-esque snowmobile chases and lacks overall real depth?? (not that this is a bad thing, but it just does not fit with the things shown in the opening)

watched the video you linked to
i wonder how this guy thinks hes going to get away with it when YOU CAN SEE HIS REFLECTION very clearly
hilarious
OT:

Frybird:
Why? Because not only the game wants you to do something disgusting, but because it MAKES NO SENSE!

im not a whiney "hey thats baad person", but it does seem to be harsh
the only even close possible reason, is that its a tutorial level, where people cant attack back, then you move on to security guards with pistols, etc.
but its doing something new, so i dont mind really
also, this is gonna sound weird, but if im stressed i would not mind holding down the trigger and seing loads of pink things go "fwoop"
but then again, i have L4D for that, so maybe it is the wow factor, like manhunt, making sales by people wondering why its controversial

It's a good thing no one else has ever made a game where you slaughter mass numbers of innocent people as a heartless terrorist.

That doesn't count.

Okay, I don't think this is real. I really really think this is either a hoax, or a misrepresentation. Sure it looks good, but FFS this would cost them so many buyers, after all there is a subtle and distinct difference between having dark subject matter, and just being a shithead. But just to be clear no one would actually do it, and let me list the reason's why.

Sales: Bobby Kotick might be evil, but he also know what sells, and I doubt he would have a game that forced you to play as a terrorist killing INNOCENT civillians be released cause people wouldn't buy a game where you shoot up an airport.

Playability: Now I am pretty sure that Activision's big release of the year had something called Beta testing and I think that at some point one of the testers commented that this was truly fucked up, cause you know while I do love my achievements I honestly don't think I would go through and play the game, and that would impact my view of it pretty negatively.

So I doubt this is real, and if it is it certainly isn't playable.

Frybird:
Here's my opinion, for anyone who cares after 5 pages:

I played many so-called controversial Games, like Manhunt or the Columbine thing, and had no qualms with it...but this crosses a line for me.

Why? Because not only the game wants you to do something disgusting, but because it MAKES NO SENSE!

Of course, i haven't played the full game and that one might provide enough context to rethink my opinion, but as i see it, that is just something that wants to show you how evil the evil guys are...by making you one of them.
That might be actually something interesting and deep if it is woven in the story narrative in a way that the terrorist are made sympathetic until this point where you just slaughter innocents, but as a standalone chapter, that is just controversy for controversy's sake. I can't blame anyone misunderstanding the purpose of that sequence because, in the end, this is essentially a terrorist sim.

Until Infinity Ward, through the game, cannot answer me the following questions, i consider this opening dumb and disgusting, and won't, for the first time ever, play this game despite wanting it due to morale issues:

1) Why can't this chapter be played through the eyes of one of the civilians, running away without a chance to fight back, and eventually get killed at the end?
THAT would show MUCH better what makes your enemies something that must be stopped.

2) How are you supposed to really want to fight the bad guys through a "emotional" motivation if you first play one and then just "change team"?

3) And most importantly: How do such mature and dark themes weave into a game that is essentially MICHAEL BAY'S WAR!! and puts you later in very hollywood-esque snowmobile chases and lacks overall real depth?? (not that this is a bad thing, but it just does not fit with the things shown in the opening)

While I do not believe this to be real, (Probably some clever modder stirring up controversy) I do believe that your first idea would work a hell of a lot better. So sir I award you an internet. and thank you for coming up with a good idea.

kotorfan04:

While I do not believe this to be real, (Probably some clever modder stirring up controversy) I do believe that your first idea would work a hell of a lot better. So sir I award you an internet. and thank you for coming up with a good idea.

Thanks ^^

Unfortunately, Eurogamer.de (German Branch of Eurogamer) just posted some information regarding the footage and stated that the source is apperantly the same one as the leaked footage of the "3rd Person Mode" that was since then confirmed by IW, giving it further evidence that this is indeed real.

Also, they translated the mission briefing: It seems like you are playing an Undercover-Agent while participating in that massacre.

While it does add SOME context, it certainly isn't enough to change my above opinion

Tdc2182:
3rd point) I'm old fashion and find women and children the image of innocence. Its just my opinion and I do view it as destroying something delicate and precious. (I swear I'm not a sexist)

That's fair enough and, just to clear it up, I didn't find your comment sexist. I was just interested in what made you say that and I agree with you, partially.

How spoilerish is the video?

This looks fantastic, but not in the medium of "Wahey, gunning down innocents," but because of the emotional build up it'll create. Remember how pissed you were when the nuke went off in COD MW and you controlled the dying Paul Jackson? I was pissed off. I spent much of the next level angrily killing the people responsible. Infinity Ward successfully got a rise out of me, and here it looks like they're gunning for something similar. Controlling a mass murderer, witnesssing the atrocities they commit first hand, and even participating? It's gonna paint a pretty bad image of the guys you'll be fighting the rest of the game.

It won't bother me, afterall IT'S JUST A GAME... I'm not going to go out and do it in real life just because I saw it in MW2. Personally I think it's a pretty good move, MW1 had some amazing set pieces like the guy in the car on way to his execution, the crashed US chopper with you on, the entire sniper level and the very last sequence on the bridge... MW1 is one of the most cinematic feeling games I've ever played and I've been playing games for over 20 years and started on the Amiga 500+ :-D

It'll just be the sterotypical American knee-jerk reaction, your fine with showing other countries, real and not, blown up but the moment it's your own you get all shouty

I'm temped to side with faux news on this one because of all the dick moves by IW recently.

I personally don't see the problem with casting a character as a terrorist. You can kill nazi's, play as psychopaths and do generally anything else but crash an aeroplane now. End of the day it's a game and the way games like this get your attention is to make you do something or experience something that pulls on your emotions. It wont be the first or last game to make you kill civilians.

You mean they haven't just repackaged Modern Warface and slapped "2" on the end? Just when I was losing hope in the games industry...!

*peers closer at the game*

Wait a minute....

UPDATE

This scene is now confirmed to be real, however, if you want to, you can skip the scene beforehand

http://www.vg247.com/2009/10/28/confirmed-leaked-mw2-civilians-vid-as-real-skippable-through-checkpoints/

"Showing the cold-bloodedness" sounds like a rather weak justification for adding so much shock value, but i am definitely relieved that the game gives you the choice if you actually want to play something like this.

However, i don't know yet if i want to play it...

I now want to play MW2. I did not before.

arkangel14:
How spoilerish is the video?

A ton. It's probably a major plot shift in the game. Don't watch it if you want the full experience playing

In my view it's about time that games came of age and portrayed violence in a darker, more realistic and morally questioning way. I shall definitely be pre-ordering this game.

WanderFreak:
It's a good thing no one else has ever made a game where you slaughter mass numbers of innocent people as a heartless terrorist.

That doesn't count.

No, that counts...Alex is specifically said to be a psychopath by one of the web of intrigues, and is basically a terrorist. (Hell, his "'No, their all dead...except me.'*Smile*" line should have told you that..)

The difference is that you aren't told Alex is a Psychopath directly. You need to search for it.

This is the opening of the game, something all you have to do is select new game to watch/play. o3o

Frybird:
UPDATE

This scene is now confirmed to be real, however, if you want to, you can skip the scene beforehand

http://www.vg247.com/2009/10/28/confirmed-leaked-mw2-civilians-vid-as-real-skippable-through-checkpoints/

"Showing the cold-bloodedness" sounds like a rather weak justification for adding so much shock value, but i am definitely relieved that the game gives you the choice if you actually want to play something like this.

However, i don't know yet if i want to play it...

Tell me...is it the Cold Blooded Violence against civilians that gets you, or is it the fact that you, the player, are the one causing it that is bothering you so much? o3o If this scene was in a movie, it wouldn't be causing such a big controversy already, IMO. o3o

Then again, if something like this gets to you, I'd hate to see you try and play Saints Row 2 or GTA. >_>

Frybird:
Here's my opinion, for anyone who cares after 5 pages:

I played many so-called controversial Games, like Manhunt or the Columbine thing, and had no qualms with it...but this crosses a line for me.

Exactly. In other games, random murder means nothing. But in this game, people are actually opposed to it. Gamers that played the most violent games in the world are being challenged by this scene. It's absolutely genius, and really sends a message; we still have morality.

I'd post this under "Games as Art".

sorry this could never be as bad as the terrorist using Microsoft office flight simulator to plan the 911 attacks...

Honestly, if you're a CIA agent and can shoot the terrorists in the back, I will have so much fun playing that level. If not, you could always not shoot anything and let the other guys do it. It's a game, the only people getting pissy over it will be Fox News and uneducated mothers.

I am about to say an unprecedented thing here...

I actually object to this
I'll let that sink in for a minute.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to stop the game shipping, but I'll probably not shoot anyone, I would be disgusted if I stooped down to any form of terrorism.

Bravo IW, can't wait to buy this.

I'm not sure what to make of this yet. On one hand, killing innocent people is MW2 is no different from killing innocent people in GTA, Fable, or any other sandbox game. On the other, it seems they did this simply to BE controversial, as if to entice people to play it on shock alone and why they made it skippable.

It's just a game tbh. Probably the most basic answer you could get, people are so sensitive over small things, the civilians you're "killing" are just polygons, really you shouldn't have any emotional attachment to them. Even in the most heart rending of game stories I'm aware that they're polygons, the story will surprise me but I won't feel any emotions towards it, it's stupid to really.

I found and update about this.

Apparently vg247.com received a statement from Activision, where they confirmed that the video was real.

Here's what they said:

Activision:

"Yes it is. The scene establishes the depth of evil and the cold bloodedness of a rogue Russian villain and his unit. By establishing that evil, it adds to the urgency of the player's mission to stop them."

"Players have the option of skipping over the scene. At the beginning of the game, there are two 'checkpoints' where the player is advised that some people may find an upcoming segment disturbing. These checkpoints can't be disabled.

"Modern Warfare 2 is a fantasy action game designed for intense, realistic game play that mirrors real life conflicts, much like epic, action movies. It is appropriately rated 18 for violent scenes, which means it is intended for those who are 18 and older."

Source

Can. Not. WAIT!!!

SPOILER!!
(is it possible that the guy who's shot at the end is Ghost?)

Just to spite you all, I'll be buying and supporting this game, playing through the airport mission, quite possibly choosing to gun down innocents. Why?

Specifically because it chooses to cross those boundaries. If games are going to get the same level of respect as other medium, it needs to be willing to tackle tough issues like how humans are cold-blooded, horrible creatures. I felt a shocked watching that footage, but the point is that I felt it. I have never felt serious emotion from a game in my life. It is said that good art can make you feel something, in which case MW2 delivered. Besides, it handled the event very tastefully. No booing of the villains or glorifying of their actions. They just walk in and do something horrific, a casual reminder that under all the cinematic action, we get a cold reminder that, as Yahtzee said, "People are shit". I hope this game is successful, because if we can maturely handle things in a game like this, maybe we can touch on other things that have only been accessed by movies and books. There's always the argument that games are just supposed to be fun. Maybe, but why is that limited just to games. You wouldn't call Schindler's List a "Fun" movie, but it's still very good. What I'm just wondering is, will video games ever be able to have their own "Schindler's List"?

xscoot:
I'd post this under "Games as Art".

LOL!!!!

It isn't "art," it just tries to realistically show what it's like when terrorists go on a shooting spree in a public place. It's not like we haven't seen this sort of thing before in movies. And despite the fact that this is more realistic than what's been done before, there also isn't anything new about the player killing civilians in video games.

This is yet another manufactured "controversy" about nothing, like Resident Evil 5's and Left 4 Dead 2's "racism" and Mass Effect's alien rape orgies and whatnot. Some journalist somewhere was Outraged and now the gaming press is playing into it because it generates traffic. I wonder what nonsense we will see when the next Outrage occurs?

This is a non-issue. Yeah, it's nice that a war game is taking another step further in terms of realism (the first Modern Warfare already did some interesting things), but this "controversy" is bullshit.

Wolfy4226:

Frybird:
UPDATE

This scene is now confirmed to be real, however, if you want to, you can skip the scene beforehand

http://www.vg247.com/2009/10/28/confirmed-leaked-mw2-civilians-vid-as-real-skippable-through-checkpoints/

"Showing the cold-bloodedness" sounds like a rather weak justification for adding so much shock value, but i am definitely relieved that the game gives you the choice if you actually want to play something like this.

However, i don't know yet if i want to play it...

Tell me...is it the Cold Blooded Violence against civilians that gets you, or is it the fact that you, the player, are the one causing it that is bothering you so much? o3o If this scene was in a movie, it wouldn't be causing such a big controversy already, IMO. o3o

Then again, if something like this gets to you, I'd hate to see you try and play Saints Row 2 or GTA. >_>

The First one, but it is more complicated than that.

For me, it is about a combination of many things, starting that i feel uncomfortable with the scene being very eager to recreate real-life terrorism (as opposed to the crazy antics of the Saints Row Games), with a focus letting your victims act realistically (actually something i already felt pretty dirty about some of the "Euphoria-Features" of GTA IV) and generally being dead serious (wich even GTA IV really wasn't)....in a game that is essentially a Michael Bay Movie (so there is no real purpose or message to that scene other than "Woah, look how evil they [you] are!!1").

My problem is that i cannot really abstract the senseless violence here. In...i dunno, a fantasy role playing game, i'd happily slaughter entire villages with fireballs and summoned skeletons for giggles. In Hitman, you could go on a killing spree and slaughter innocents along with the people you are supposed to kill (and are generally "Evil!!" anyways), but it's not the way i am supposed to play it, and the game will actually punish me for that (even if just very lightly).
In fact, if MW2 would show me scenes like this in a cutscene, i wouldn't mind much.

But when the game expects from me to perform a unironic and fairly believable act of terrorism, just to prove a point that is actually rendered moot by letting me partake in it, THEN it's just appalling for me and i just don't want to play something like that.

(And, once again, since the rest of the game probably amounts to just slightly more than a tough-guy-80ies-action-flick, the whole thing does not make sense to me)

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