SPOILER WARNING: For any of you who haven't played the original Modern Warfare and have the intention, then read no further as I am going to be discussing and giving my impression of a major revelation in the game. 


Yeah yeah, the second Modern Warfare is out so why am I blogging about the first one is probably the question you're currently asking yourself.  The answer to that question lies within the fact that Modern Warfare was one of the earliest casualties of my 'pile of shame', being thrown almost instantaneously into the heap the moment I purchased the game back in 2007.  HEINOUS BLASPHEMY, you must be screaming into your headsets, but keep in mind at the time I was finishing up entries from my PS2 and GCN pile of shames.  I feel like I'm always on the backburner when it comes to playing games, as there never seems to be enough hours in the day to properly enjoy a game without having some other priority (such as a job, university, chores and sustenance) preceeding it.  But I digress...

The release of the second Modern Warfare (technically, Call of Duty 6) has pushed up the original's priority in my pile of shame considerably.  I'm really big on consuming media in order, you see, and therefore in order to properly enjoy the second Modern Warfare I must play through the first to properly understand the improvements and the nuances and the tinkering incorporated into the sequel.  Though since this is an entry into the pile of shame I must therefore skip the multiplayer action in favor of the sequel's, since most players will immigrate to the second game's multiplayer upon its release.  So, I'm just a little saddened that I missed the two-year Modern Warfare multiplayer epidemic but something tells me I'll survive once I've gone onto the second game.

I began playing on Hardened, since I find the normal difficulty a tad boring and easy and Veteran far too insane (one-hit kills?  No thanks).  I made it all the way through the first act and found myself thoroughly enjoying the gameplay experience.  I wasn't expecting to actually man an AC130 and let me just say that the first mission in the sinking ship was intense. 

But nothing prepared me for the epilogue of the first act.

The Nuclear Bomb.

The epilogue begins with you and your fellow marines attempting to bring your stranded tank 'Warpig' to safety, and waltzing through enemy infested streets.  Believe it or not, that's the easy part as you gun down terrorists with rocket launchers and taking out entire squadrons of trigger happy enemies as you hustle your way through broken-down buildings and lobbing grenades back at baddies who've thrown them first.  The second part of the mission has you manning a rocket launcher in a helicopter and swooping in a battlefield to soften the resistance against your ground forces. 

In that mission you disembark from your chopper twice for search and rescue missions, with the foreshadowing report from higher command that the terrorist in question may have his hands on a live nuclear bomb and that forces may be called back until the threat can be properly assessed. 

'Big deal' You tell yourself, 'He's got a bomb.  Okay.  We'll find him and take him out before he uses it on American soil.'

Then the chopper next to you gets hits by a rocket launcher and goes down and yet despite the rumblings and growing uneasiness, your team goes out one final time to find the survivor and get them to safety.  You make your way to the downed chopper, hoist the survivor on your shoulders and cart them back to your own chopper, relieved that you saved a mate.  You watch as your chopper lifts off the ground and you're still shooting to provide cover support, even lobbing a grenade as a final farewell to those baddies.  It's a great victory, you and four other choppers are clearing out from the city and you're just about to breathe a sigh of relief and finally let down your guard when it happens.

A huge mushroom cloud suddenly appears and a dust wind rushes toward you.  You lose your breath as you realize that the psychotic terrorist actually detonated it in his own city.  Then your heart sinks as you realize that you're going to be caught in it.  It consumes all your fellow helicopters and you think for a fleeting moment that maybe you'll be able to outrun the blast but it's all for naught as your chopper goes down in circles and you're holding on for dear life.  The guy next to you flies out.  The pilot is screaming.  Then it all goes black and you're watching a news report about a nuclear bomb going off.

Then the next part is the most horrific.

You are given control of your character who survived the nuke.  Everything is saturated in crimson red.  You crawl out of the helicopter and try to get up, now so frail that just standing up nearly kills you and you crumple to the ground once more; with a feeling that your limbs are barely hanging onto the rest of your body.  There is static on the radio and no music, not a single sound but death's rapture coming to consume you.  You take a final look at the mushroom cloud and stop breathing as the screen fades to gray.

Such a powerful effect and it left me completely speechless.  The horrors of the nuclear holocaust explored in a videogame.  When I finally got over the scene I told myself: "THIS is why I play videogames."  Infinity Ward has created such a great scene that conveys such a powerful emotion of actually making you live through a nuclear bomb that the commentary provided would be impossible to communicate through any other means of media; the lasting emotional effect would not be the same if this scene played out in a movie or in a work of literature, 

I have to commend and tip my hat to Infinity Ward for creating such a work of beautiful (if a bit macabre) art in a videogame.