Yesterday, a video of what appeared to be Modern Warfare 2 emerged featuring some pretty bold, some might say extremely shocking, gameplay. Unsurprisingly it has sparked a massive online reaction. Today, Activision has issued an official response.
If you somehow missed it, and/or intend on enjoying the game spoiler-free, then we suggest you don’t read the rest of this post. Otherwise, if you are curious about the footage and want to read Activision’s response, please continue. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.
The gameplay video (which Activision have done their best to remove every trace of) shows a group of what appear to be terrorists — one of whom is the player-controlled character — emerging from an elevator at an airport and mercilessly gunning down scores of unarmed civilians.
It’s pretty harrowing stuff, with the terrorists systematically making their way through the airport making sure that everybody they encounter is dead. Injured civilians are gunned down while desperately trying to escape, defenseless crowds are fired into from atop a balcony, and all the while their terrified screams ring out. Chilling.
The scene ends with the player’s character being betrayed and shot by the terrorist’s leader.
Earlier today, in response to an enquiry by VG247 over the authenticity of the footage — and presumably to head off any “Terrorist Simulations Corrupt our Children” headlines — Activision had the following to say, “Yes it is [from Modern Warfare 2]. 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.
The statement concluded, “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.”
Well, we very much doubt that explanation will be good enough for Fox News and the outraged masses. But is it good enough for you? Let us know.