Here's the New ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’ Trailer. Yes, It Does Feel Weird

Today, Activision released a trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which is not a remake of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and is instead a sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019). It is the first Call of Duty game to so in the wake of a redefinition of what “modern” war is, brought on by the war in Ukraine and the United States pulling out of Afghanistan.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xgyq54/modern-warfare-2-reveals-first-trailer-in-the-wake-of-a-real-modern-war

I was going to make fun of the trailer for referring to the Mexican Special Forces as “the Mexican Special Forces” instead of looking up the name until I Googled the name and it is indeed “Fuerzas Especiales”

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I’m always pleasantly surprised by the influence Jacob Geller has on games crit and games press. This video is excellent:

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I have two thoughts about Modern Warfare these days.

  1. The 2019 reboot was in many ways a perfect turkey. From a pure design perspective, there were a lot of bold choices that paid off and floundered in equal measure. One the one had you have the Gunsmith, which tapped into the id of gun obsessives in a way that could only have been achieved with sheer craft and production value. On the other you had extremely experimental map design that really didn’t gel well with how the game played.

  2. Modern Warfare as a franchise is the natural metastatic growth of a country that has the military budget of a large nation’s GDP and and armed forces that can fight and win two different wars on opposite sides of the world with an all-volunteer force. The reverence for violence and militarism in the US is almost absolute to the extent that Activision can package up those aesthetics and sell them as a retail product to the entire world.

America has the greatest military in human history and the greatest entertainment industry in human history. The two are complimentary and their influence over global entertainment trends is co-morbid.

You can’t make Modern Warfare not propaganda in the same way that you can’t stop mass shootings in America. Militarism and violence is top-down, deliberately endemic to the national character, and games like Modern Warfare exist to capitalise on that investment.

EDIT: mind-blowingly awful trailer I might add. Why would you use any of these clips, voice-lines, or songs this way?

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I’ve hated this series of games since they left WWII as their perspective has always been this fetishistic veneration of soldiers and warfare, theoretically in a critical lens but truly as nothing more than cheerleading. It’s a worldview that so easily generates revanchist “stabbed in the back” fantasies when the general public dares question the pure ethics of the front line soldier. Never mind the wars these games obsess themselves with are unwinnable quagmires, the purity of the brotherhood of good death dealers will overcome all. It’s manufacturing this class of humanity entirely separate and ultimately superior to the civilian, a weak servile form of human who deserves no say in matters beyond their ken.

And it gets real, real gross when you see how the logics of this kind of thinking come home. When the police decide they’re the morally gray superheroes making the hard call nobody can ever understand, and then the apparatus of the law and media subserves themselves to it. And then suddenly you’re ruled by classes of violent, unaccountable death cults all living out gritty comic book arcs in their own heads. Only a few small steps to deciding the soldiers/cops lives are truly more important than the civilian lives. The stated position of the police forces in the US at this point might as well be that Only Blue Lives Matter.

Because in the end, you’re not the beneficiary of this empire building, you’re under it. But at least you can play pretend in a video game that you’re part of the death classes.

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I thought Modern Warfare felt really good but I don’t understand why they keep chasing the “ripped from the headlines” stories. Does that appeal to people? Do people want to be the hammer of empire?

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(Michael Jordan voice) Republicans buy video games, too.

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Honestly I spend so much time in left/liberal circles that I forget that Republicans do things other than resign from their jobs and write angry op-eds about how they were “cancelled”

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That presentation at the summer games thing wasn’t very exciting but something in it’s steam store page just caught my eye

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Let :clap: the :clap: fascist :clap: supersoldiers :clap: fuck.

(Knowing the way these fucking games work, the “sexual content” is definitely going to be some kind of assault scene to show off how bad the baddies are, isn’t it?)

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i mean Steam tags are barely (if at all) regulated user-aggregated shit, because it’s Steam.

sky’s the limit for cod campaign cringe though, and either the literal war criminal military backers or the world-class dogshit publisher or just the direly bored lead devs wanna fly so never say never

Oh, right, I forgot that those would be user tags because Steam is allergic to curating literally anything.

One of the things that’s sort of kept me off my Steam Deck is that trying to find anything to play on Steam is a roulette wheel of “I’ve played it already,” “nobody’s done the port work,” and “add this to the therapy list”