236: Finding Meaning in Modern Warfare

Jack Baldwin

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Jan 11, 2010
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Finding Meaning in Modern Warfare

How do you take a bunch of guns and explosions and make people care about them? If you're working on the Call of Duty franchise, you create characters that actually matter. Jack Baldwin interviews Jesse Stern, the writer of Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2.

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Onyx Oblivion

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While I do care about most (see bottom of post) of the main characters in MW2, I just did not give a shit about the random civilians in "No Russian". How am I supposed to feel emotion about them, you know? They don't even talk or have names. I care about them as much as I cared about hitting a civilian with my car in GTA.

That mission didn't deserve its controversy.

On the other hand, I usually felt some emotion for some of the randomly generated soldiers in CoD, because they talked and had funny names.

Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.

 

Jack Baldwin

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Onyx Oblivion said:
On the other hand, I usually felt some emotion for some of the randomly generated soldiers in CoD, because they talked and had funny names.
I know. A guy called "Meat" deserved to die of multiple venereal diseases, not to be gunned down by the Brazilian mob.
 

Onyx Oblivion

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Xiado said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
On the other hand, I usually felt some emotion for some of the randomly generated soldiers in CoD, because they talked and had funny names.
I know. A guy called "Meat" deserved to die of multiple venereal diseases, not to be gunned down by the Brazilian mob.
I fought like hell to keep him alive as long as possible. Especially on Veteran, where that mission is the second hardest in the game due to a really lengthy solo segment. The safehouse was a bigger *****...
 

Jack Baldwin

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Onyx Oblivion said:
Xiado said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
On the other hand, I usually felt some emotion for some of the randomly generated soldiers in CoD, because they talked and had funny names.
I know. A guy called "Meat" deserved to die of multiple venereal diseases, not to be gunned down by the Brazilian mob.
I fought like hell to keep him alive as long as possible. Especially on Veteran, where that mission is the second hardest in the game due to a really lengthy solo segment. The safehouse was a *****...
I hate that mission on Veteran.
 

Tonimata

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"Can you still make the story work?" His reply? "No! But I'll figure it out."
THIS is exactly why the stories in FPS are so mind-blowingly disjointed, yet some still manage to show glimpses of absolute brilliance. Seriously, they need to bear the writer's opinion first, by all means!
 

Jack Baldwin

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Onyx Oblivion said:
Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.
Ghost is actually Gaz back from the dead, he lost half his face to a .50cal round back in CoD4 and now he must hide it under his gimp mask.
 

Tonimata

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Onyx Oblivion said:
While I do care about most (see bottom of post) of the main characters in MW2, I just did not give a shit about the random civilians in "No Russian". How am I supposed to feel emotion about them, you know? They don't even talk or have names. I care about them as much as I cared about hitting a civilian with my car in GTA.


Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.

Onyx Oblivion said:
While I do care about most (see bottom of post) of the main characters in MW2, I just did not give a shit about the random civilians in "No Russian". How am I supposed to feel emotion about them, you know? They don't even talk or have names. I care about them as much as I cared about hitting a civilian with my car in GTA.

That mission didn't deserve its controversy.

On the other hand, I usually felt some emotion for some of the randomly generated soldiers in CoD, because they talked and had funny names.

Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.

I agree with you. In fact, if you take a peek at the basement floor when one of the Russians is filling his comrades with lead you can see that they all die the same way.
Did you know that the funny names are actually randomly generated from the game credits? RANDOM GAME TRIVIA!

And yes, Ghost was a dick. He had MORE than enough time to react after Shepherd shot Roach, BUT NOOOOOOOOO, he had to be the useless prick whoring the ACR and get shot too! HE EVEN TOOK AIM! YOU DON'T NEED TO TAKE AIM AT POINT BLANK!
Douche, he is.
 

Onyx Oblivion

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blue_guy said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.
Ghost is actually Gaz back from the dead, he lost half his face to a .50cal round back in CoD4 and now he must hide it under his gimp mask.
Are you 100% certain or just pulling this out of your ass?
 

Tonimata

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blue_guy said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.
Ghost is actually Gaz back from the dead, he lost half his face to a .50cal round back in CoD4 and now he must hide it under his gimp mask.
... Prove it. Seriously, just please. Gaz wasn't that much of a loser anyways.
 

JourneyThroughHell

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blue_guy said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.
Ghost is actually Gaz back from the dead, he lost half his face to a .50cal round back in CoD4 and now he must hide it under his gimp mask.
NONCONFIRMITY!!!


Tonimata said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
While I do care about most (see bottom of post) of the main characters in MW2, I just did not give a shit about the random civilians in "No Russian". How am I supposed to feel emotion about them, you know? They don't even talk or have names. I care about them as much as I cared about hitting a civilian with my car in GTA.


Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.

Onyx Oblivion said:
While I do care about most (see bottom of post) of the main characters in MW2, I just did not give a shit about the random civilians in "No Russian". How am I supposed to feel emotion about them, you know? They don't even talk or have names. I care about them as much as I cared about hitting a civilian with my car in GTA.

That mission didn't deserve its controversy.

On the other hand, I usually felt some emotion for some of the randomly generated soldiers in CoD, because they talked and had funny names.

Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.

I agree with you. In fact, if you take a peek at the basement floor when one of the Russians is filling his comrades with lead you can see that they all die the same way.
Did you know that the funny names are actually randomly generated from the game credits? RANDOM GAME TRIVIA!

And yes, Ghost was a dick. He had MORE than enough time to react after Shepherd shot Roach, BUT NOOOOOOOOO, he had to be the useless prick whoring the ACR and get shot too! HE EVEN TOOK AIM! YOU DON'T NEED TO TAKE AIM AT POINT BLANK!
Douche, he is.
That doesn't mean he's a douche, just an idiot.
I kinda liked him, not as great a character as MacTavish though.
OT: Private Elder in COD. Private Fucking Elder. The guy had little dialogue but, man, did I try to save that bastard every time on that god-forsaken Brecourt level.
Writing isn't even that important.
 

spiritslayr

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Oct 25, 2008
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Lol, it does seem somewhat likely that ghost = gaz as I'm pretty sure they're voiced by the same person.
 

jamez525

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spiritslayr said:
Lol, it does seem somewhat likely that ghost = gaz as I'm pretty sure they're voiced by the same person.
They are voiced by the same person, i remember him being interviewed in a video on inside xbox.
It is annoying that they recycled the "bloody hell, we just got our arses kicked" in multiplayer just because they can say it is ghost saying it now.

blue_guy said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.
Ghost is actually Gaz back from the dead, he lost half his face to a .50cal round back in CoD4 and now he must hide it under his gimp mask.
This is exactly what i thought (because i would rather have gaz back than have ghost) because it is the same voice but you mysteriously cant see his face and ghosts are dead people... Makes sense to me
 

Dogstile

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Onyx Oblivion said:
blue_guy said:
Onyx Oblivion said:
Side note: I fucking hated Ghost because of his stupid mask. No emotion for this douchebag.
Ghost is actually Gaz back from the dead, he lost half his face to a .50cal round back in CoD4 and now he must hide it under his gimp mask.
Are you 100% certain or just pulling this out of your ass?
He's pulling it out of his ass.

They were voiced by the same person though, to keep a connection with the players. It worked.
 

Jakkar

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Mar 22, 2008
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Am I the only person seeing the irony of this article?

Or am I the only one lacking the subtlety to just stay away and pretend it wasn't published?
 

CAW4

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Feb 7, 2009
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Jakkar said:
Am I the only person seeing the irony of this article?

Or am I the only one lacking the subtlety to just stay away and pretend it wasn't published?
You're soooooo funny. People on this site don't like the story because they're too lazy to actually put the damn pieces together. Every argument against it I've seen has been easily disproven.

P.S. and before you start raging 'fanboy,' note that I got benned from the IW forums for insulting IW a shitload and then digging into a mod who tried to defend them.
 

Tiamat666

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Dec 4, 2007
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MW2 starts out great. Unfortunately, after the moment you jump over a cliff in a snowmobile everything goes bananas.

I wonder how they intend to top the ridiculous drama once they start on MW3.
 

CAW4

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Tiamat666 said:
MW2 starts out great. Unfortunately, after the moment you jump over a cliff in a snowmobile everything goes bananas.

I wonder how they intend to top the ridiculous drama once they start on MW3.
Copying Yatzee doesn't make you look cool, it just shows how weak your argument really is, if you're just copying someone else's opinion, or can't come up with their own material for why it's bad.
 

Tony Harrison

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Jan 28, 2008
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I recall Charlie Brooker referencing Citizen Kane.
Charlie Brooker said:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the Citizen Kane of repeatedly shooting people in the face. The storyline makes less sense than a gas ladder, but in terms of technical achievement, this is an undoubted masterpiece.
Ah, OK then.
 

Kadayi

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Sep 6, 2007
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CAW4 said:
Copying Yatzee doesn't make you look cool, it just shows how weak your argument really is, if you're just copying someone else's opinion, or can't come up with their own material for why it's bad.
Things that didn't make much sense to me: -

1) Why on earth would a footsoldier get selected to become an undercover operative? Surely someone with a Russian Heritage and an undercover background would have been a better choice no?

2) What kind of terrorist leader knowingly puts himself in direct danger? The problem with No Russian from my perspective is the fact that it would only take 1 ying yang special forces with a sniper rifle to put a permanent end to Makarovs little scheme. No terrorist leader would put himself at that level of risk in reality. Let alone the fact that there is no way that they'd have not been caught on camera, even if they did get away using the ambulance.

3) Shepard's motivation. That things go tits up and he's attempting to clean house is one thing, but what exactly was he trying to do before then?

If you've got logical answers that would be great.