30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 15 – A game moment that totally surprised you

Call of Duty: Non-Russian

This one was easy. I don’t play Call of Duty anymore, but when Modern Warfare was released I was hooked. The famous or infamous scene “No Russian,” should be an obvious choice. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you play Joseph Allen, a CIA agent that’s undercover. He participates in a mass shooting at a Moscow airport in order to gain the trust of a Russian terrorist group. At the end of the level, Allen is killed. It is intended to lead the Russian government to believe that the United States was involved.

According to game designer Mohammad Alavi, he wanted the “level to explain why Russia would invade the United States, and create an emotional connection between the player and Makarov.” When I first played the level I was confused. Generally, you are the good guy and it’s often impossible to kill civilians in the game. I’ll admit that I was conflicted about killing civilians, but it was a rare experience. It should be noted that players can skip the level altogether.

The level sparked major controversy. Many journalists “described the level’s plot as illogical and derided the ability to skip the level.” Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was censored in international versions and removed from the Russian version. However, after a while journalists came to see the level as important. Laura Parker of GameSpot stated that “No Russian,” was a “watershed moment for the video game industry.”She also states “that if more developers were willing to take risks and include controversial material, then video games would finally receive cultural recognition.” Whatever your views on the level, it is clear that it was a surprising video game moment.

Source: Wikipedia

3 thoughts on “30 Day Video Game Challenge – Day 15 – A game moment that totally surprised you

  1. The “No Russian” level in Modern Warfare 2 was shocking, though I’d argue it suffers from that “Let’s blame the player for the narrative panning out the way we crafted it” problem a lot of games from this time seemed fond of for some reason and therefore doesn’t quite work in practice.

    There are plenty of ones I could think of, but one that stands out to me occurs within the first act of an indie game called OneShot. What makes it surprising? I honestly couldn’t say; you’d just have to play the game to know what I mean.

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