During E3, Infinity Ward once again showed off the two campaign missions that we reported on after the unveiling of the game in May. However, because journalist Maddy Myers already knew the content in question, she decided to let the developers clarify some critical points that came up during the presentation.
In one scene, a flashback, two soldiers discuss the potential sexual abuse a young girl (the player). The child's name is Farah and she will go on to play an important role in the story of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
"Part of the reality of war is that there are people who face unpleasant events, and there is a portion - I'm really trying to work around spoilers - but what we don't want to shy away from is the realities that some people face in war," design director Jacob Minkoff said.
The developer made sure to add that "we have many consultants on staff", but back-peddled a little on his statement after Myers pushed on the topic, leading the developer to contradict himself later when saying that the action is set in a "fictionalized world" and that it is merely an "entertainment product with a fictional story". At the same time, of course, everything is anchored in realism, Minkoff asserted.
Subsequently, according to Kotaku, a press spokesman approached the journalist and said that this particular dialogue scene will be deleted from the final game and that the line foreshadowed events that has also been cut.
The second controversial chapter saw elite soldiers storm a terrorist hideout in London. In this mission, a woman will try to protect her baby from the attackers (including the player) and it's possible to shoot the woman and her child during the attack.
According to Minkoff, killing civilians is noted by systems running behind the scenes in the game. Shooting innocents can, therefore, lead to a restart or altered conversations with your comrades:
"We have a lot of [mechanics] running behind the scenes to try to determine: Are you a freaking psycho who's just shooting everything? Fine. But if you're really trying to do your job and you're just like, 'Oh God damn it, I made a mistake and I feel really bad about that', we want you to feel that. We want you to really sit with that."
"If you are taking an action that is over the line but understandable, your dialogue with your allies will branch," Minkoff said. "In some cases, their performances will branch, and they will call you out on it, and there will be other animated captured performances."
What is clear from these statements is that Infinity Ward is exploring morally grey areas surrounding soldiers during times of war, and that could well prove controversial in the long run.