Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Review Bombed for Russian Representation

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is being review bombed by unhappy players due to how the game uses Russia as the main antagonist.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare appears to be raking in the negative reviews as the user review scores over on Metacritic whack the game down to a 2.5 at the time of writing. The reasoning behind the review bombing seems to come from angry players over the past few days voicing their frustration towards Activision’s shooter portraying Russia as the enemy.

Many, many negative user reviews come in with anger towards Infinity Ward and Activision stating that the game shows Russians as animals “without any morality and conscience”. Another user says, “I’m angry how it was possible to slander the people of my country”, while another says, “Vile propaganda and rewriting of history.”

Last week we also saw Sony pull digital copies of the game in Russia, although the reasoning wasn’t clear, “Sony Interactive Entertainment has decided not to sell Modern Warfare on the PlayStation Store in Russia at this time”.

It’s not just the fact that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare portrays Russia as the villain, but numerous reviews are outing the company for rewriting a real event with one conversation I’ve seen on Twitter. This tweet calls attention to how the game uses the real-life Highway of Death event that took place in 1991. This saw American, Canadian, British, and French forces assault the area resulting in hundreds of deaths. However, the game uses this event in a fictionalized country and makes Russia the ones who led the assault.

In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the Russians invade a fictional country known as Urzikstan and are the primary antagonists. Earlier this year, Game Informer interviewed Jacob Minkoff, the gameplay director and brought up the subject of politics. He denied that the game was political and that it was focusing on “thematic things” and not current politics.

The studio narrative director, Taylor Kurosaki was also in the interview and says,

“In a world where no one is purely good and no one is purely evil, in that big meaty grey area in between, the conflicts that arise out of people wanting to get their way and achieve what they consider victory, the conflicts that result from that — that’s the meat of the conflicts we want to examine,”

Minkoff then adds,

“We want to present the different perspectives. We don’t want to say that one of them is correct…. What we want you to come away with at the end is an understanding of why all these different groups fight, or groups like them, and to have empathy for all of them and what puts them in this situation.”

However, the review bombings seem to indicate that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare just has you going against evil Russians and that’s it.

The negative user reviews continue to creep up with the PC version’s sitting at 895, while positive user reviews sit at 261. The PS4 version has over 2,000 negative user reviews, and the Xbox version has 309 negative user reviews.

At the moment the critic reviews haven’t received enough ratings on Xbox and PC, but scores are looking positive. The PS4 version, however, has 22 critic reviews and sits at a rating of 86.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. We’ll have a review on it hitting the site soon.

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Ben Bayliss

Based in the UK and adores venturing through FPS horrors and taking photos in pretty much anything with a functioning photo mode. Also likes car games.

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