The story campaign in the new installment of Modern Warfare aims to show contemporary war in the most authentic way possible. However, the media coverage of several strong scenes with civilians from two initial missions is already controversial. According to Kotaku, the devs from Infinity Ward are constantly investigating how far they can go in showing drastic situations and have already announced some cuts.
After the article and a panel with the devs of Modern Warfare at E3, Iraq veterans, especially Dan Rosenthal, who is currently a game producer in Bethesda and who was strongly involved in the campaign against the release of Six Days in Fallujah, also expressed their critical opinions. Fans, who have been waiting for a long time for a slightly changed formula of Call of Duty, are afraid that the creators will censor the game too much before the launch.
The controversy is raised by the scene in which, during a SAS assault on a household, we target a woman with a small child on her hands. Shooting them is supposedly possible and will not necessarily end the mission. The devs boast that thathave included collateral damage procedures in the game. This term means unintentional civilian casualties or damage to property as a result of planned military action. The game engine is supposed to judge for itself whether we hit a civilian deliberately or accidentally, which will result in a completely different dialogue line of our character or companions.
The combination of this information with the words of the creators about how they are trying to force us to think, to show the difficult choices of a soldier and the reality of a modern war that is 'grey', in which you never know who the enemy is, has angered two veterans from Iraq. In a long series of tweets, they emphasized how futile and primitive the attempts of Infinity Ward are, because the horror of many soldiers takes place on many planes and lasts for the rest of their lives, and not only during those few seconds, when we decide to shoot. In general, they accuse the creators of superficially treating human tragedies and transforming the nightmares of war for cheap entertainment:
The next scene was highlighted by the journalist of Kotaku. In another mission, as a girl of about ten years old from a fictional country called Ursekstan, we are witnessing a Russian invasion and the death of our both parents. A moment later, caught by a soldier, we hear his dilemmas, whether to put us in the hands of a commander who evidently has paedophile tendencies. The author stresses that the events and trauma we have witnessed before are so strong that it is an exaggeration to add to this suggestion of sexual assault.
Interestingly, just after the presentation, the creators unofficially assured the journalist that the scene would be cut out, allegedly together with some later mission to which it was to refer. This information has caused anxiety among game fans, who areafraid that there will not be much left of the initial announcements, and the creators will censor the entire story campaign.
Rumors about censorship of the game are not true. We're never gonna do that. (...) This isn’t a thing. Every medium- film, tv, games, art, iterates as they go, making the final product better. All we are doing is refining OUR vision," said Taylor Kurosaki, Narrative Director of Infinity Ward.
So far Infinity Ward seems to assure each side that it has everything under control and reassures the players. It is worth remembering, however, that one of the war veterans who spoke bitterly about the creators of Modern Warfare is Dan Rosenthal from Bethesda, who recently worked at Fallout 76. As a result of his efforts, Konami withdrew its plans to release the controversial Six Days in Fallujah game in 2009, which was also intended to authentically show the nightmare of a modern battlefield. So far, the devs from Infinity Ward do not want to publicly show the game materials from the aforementioned missions. They'll do it when they're ready.