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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare has received praise for its graphics and seamless action sequences, but the game has also been condemned for being too violent. In one scene the player must decide whether to kill unarmed civilians at a Russian airport in order to infiltrate a terrorist group. Game publisher Activision has pulled leaked game footage from the Internet that allowed the gamer to play as a terrorist. You decide: Based on these official screenshots, does Call of Duty 2 look too violent?

Modern Warfare

Footage leaked from the game (and since removed from a variety of Web sites) reveals that players can shoot innocent civilians in an airport in a realistic rendering of a terrorist attack.

Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare

In a statement, game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. said the footage was taken illegally and is not representative of the game's overall experience. Instead, the scene is designed to evoke the "atrocities of terrorism," Activision said in an e-mailed statement.

Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare

The game follows players as they "face off against a terrorist threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse," the Santa Monica, Calif. company said. This includes a plot line in which the player infiltrates a Russian villain's inner circle to defeat him. Presumably the airport attack is one of the scenes in which the player acts as part of the villain's group.

Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare

In an interview before the footage was leaked, Vince Zampella, head of the game's developer, Infinity Ward, said studio intended for its game to startle players.

Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare

"We push the story," he said. "We want the player to be emotionally attached. We want them to be emotionally shocked."

Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare

Gamers are warned that the scene may be disturbing, and they can choose not to play through the part. It's unclear, though, how many gamers will heed the warning for fear of missing part of the game's intricate story. Activision says the game is designed so the part can be skipped over without losing any of the story.

Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare

The game's makers said before the leak that they strive for "real world" authenticity in weapon types, military tactics and locations, but the plot is more James Bond action movie than ripped-from-the-headlines.

Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare

"As far as the story goes, Makarov is this super villain and you are this task force," Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling said in a recent interview. "And it's good versus evil. So we really like to be cinematic but also not let that ruin the fun."

Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare

Infinity Ward hasn't shied away from disturbing imagery in the past. "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" begins with a character being driven through an occupied city, dragged out of the car, tied to a pole and then executed — all from the victim's point of view. The player controls other characters throughout that game, including one who perishes in a nuclear blast.

Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare

But what's different in the upcoming game is that people can play from the perspective of someone inside a terrorist group, similar to how gamers can play criminal in the "Grand Theft Auto" titles. The gamer can play a CIA agent who infiltrates a rogue group and appears to be a double agent.

Infinity Ward

Modern Warfare

"It's a very cinematic experience," Bowling said of "Modern Warfare 2" in the interview. "You get to play from multiple perspectives and get a broader picture of what this conflict is, and see that it's much more than just winning a war with a bullet."

Infinity Ward

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare has received praise for its graphics and seamless action sequences, but the game has also been condemned for being too violent. In one scene the player must decide whether to kill unarmed civilians at a Russian airport in order to infiltrate a terrorist group. Game publisher Activision has pulled leaked game footage from the Internet that allowed the gamer to play as a terrorist. You decide: Based on these official screenshots, does Call of Duty 2 look too violent?

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