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Nightmare Fuel: Call of Duty
We all know that war is hell, right? And we are reminded of it on certain passing days. But this series does not sugar coat how bad war can be...and the tropers who have played this and attained nightmares (and probably browned pants) can attest to that whole-heartedly.
The guy in the helicopter as it spirals out of control... the look of absolute fear on his face... then he's gone.
If you listen carefully near the end of that scene, there's the sound of a playground full of happy children in the background.
There's also plenty of instances where, unlike in most FPS games, wounded or dying enemy soldiers will still be moving around, crawling, stumbling, and writhing on the ground as they slowly die - though in some cases, they fight back. Watching it is rather disturbing, and in Call of Duty 4 you actually get an achievement for being cold-blooded enough to execute wounded enemy troops with your knife.
The first sign that the creators weren't screwing around is in the opening credits. Why? Because while the credits roll, you see through the eyes of the president of an unnamed Middle Eastern country as the victorious revolutionary troops drive him through a war-torn coastal city, showing civilians being gunned down by their rather menacing army without the driver even commenting to a courtyard, where you get to see the president's execution in first person.
Remember "Death from Above"? Fun, right? Not so much when you think about how it must've felt being the Ultranationalist troops on the ground as their comrades are suddenly disintegrated by the dozens. The application of Danger Deadpan, which implies that the player character and his fellow crewmembers actually enjoy this, does not help at all.
Watch some real AC-130 gunship footage sometimes. There is almost no difference between the game and the footage.
somehow that's even worse...
Chernobyl. Several parts of the levels were lifted straight from photographs of the actual site. Then there's the bits where you can faintly hear the laughter of children in the distance....
The part where Macmillin gives that speech about what happened to Pripyat and the disaster.
In the sequel, the infamous airport terrorism mission. Not only are you killing unarmed civilians, you slowly start to realize that the airport looks familiar, that it could just as easily be you. Taken to the next level with the Russian invasion. Imagine fighting in the Virginia suburbs, ducking in and out of Brand X versions of your favorite chain restauraunts while BT Rs roll down main street. And Washington gets invaded.
KILO FIVE ONE TO ALL FRIENDLY UNITS IN DC- HAMMER DOWN IS IN EFFECT, I REPEAT, HAMMER DOWN IS IN EFFECT. IF YOU RECEIVE THIS TRANSMISSION YOU ARE A HARDENED, HIGH-VALUE STRUCTURE. DEPLOY GREEN FLARES ON THE ROOF OF THIS STRUCTURE TO INDICATE YOU ARE STILL COMBAT-EFFECTIVE. WE WILL ABORT OUR MISSION ON DIRECT VISUAL CONTACT WITH THIS COUNTERSIGN. ...2 minutes to weapons release. The bit at the end is an Oh, Crap moment as you realize you have less than two minutes to get to the roof of the White House before the fighters swoop in and destroy it, since it is hardened against an EMP and too valuable to fall into enemy hands.
The moment in MW2, where Shepherd betrays Task Force 141 by shooting Roach in the chest, headshotting Ghost, and then tossing them both into a ditch - and Roach is still alive, mind you - , dousing them with gasoline, and setting them on fire, burning Roach alive. And you see all this through Roach's eyes. Gah!
The cherry on top of this is Captain Price's frantic voice on the radio shouting "Do not trust Shepherd!" — as Shepherd is lighting you on fire.
Also in Modern Warfare 2, seeing most of DC and Virginia in flames was incredibly shocking (particularly to me, living in the area AND serving in the military)
Not to mention the mission Of Their Own Accord, whose intro briefing is the Emergency Fucking Broadcast System, telling civilians to evacuate the area. It even throws in a dash of Fridge Horror with the last bit about "BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. REMAIN ALERT." The civilians have to be alert because the Russian soldiers are killing any Americans they find, not just military personnel.
As if the broadcast system wasn't bad enough, the intro starts literally a second after the previous mission. The term Jump Scare dosen't even begin to do it justice.
It's specifically disturbing to us because, since it fills the entire screen and is made to resemble an actual Emergency Broadcast Message, it looks like it's actually a REAL Emergency Broadcast Message, as if they're warning you that the Russians really ARE coming to your homes to shoot you dead (If you're playing the game in America, anyway)
Then the mission begins and a few seconds later, you get to see Washington, DCreduced to a warzone. You thought the Twin Towers being destroyed was bad? How about the very capital of the United States?
They wanted 1000 dead Americans for every victim of the airport attack. They really don't give much of a damn whether they're armed or not. The civvies in that airport weren't.
The ending of Modern Warfare 2. You're button-mashing to pull out a knife buried to the hilt in your chest, first with one hand, then with both. The screen starts to fade to an ever-darkening red and Soap is crying out in agony as he (this bears reiteration) IS PULLING A KNIFE FROM HIS CHEST. All while you're in first-person.
The multiplayer map "Vacant" from Modern Warfare 1 and 2 certainly qualifies; is an abandoned building with surreal graffiti paintings, a office-like room with lots of computers and some BEDS in the corridors, and can't figure what people did there.
The view from space as the Missile Price launched at DC. You see the view form an astronaut near the ISS. over your radio you hear them tell you to look to your right. You get to watch as the missile flies towards the east coast of the united states. With the east coast being on the dark side of the planet, you get to watch as THE ENTIRE EAST COAST OF THE US (with the exception of Florida and half of Georgia) goes completely dark. Not enough? Suddenly, the ISS breaks apart and pieces of it go flying at your character. He undoubtedly dies. Probably on impact if he was lucky.
If it comforts you in any way, the ISS scene was scientifically inaccurate as explosion shockwaves won't hit the space station because there's no medium in space. Therefore, if the game was consistent to reality the astronaut and the ISS would be unharmed. And since Florida's lights are still on after the explosion, Cape Canaveral should still be operation and the astronaut would be brought back to Earth in due time. Of course, it doesn't dampen the shock of seeing the East Coast being blacked out by EMP.
Oh, no, it's worse than that. Taking the Starfish Prime High altitude nuclear test into account, the nuclear detonation may very well have knocked out the electronics aboard the ISS. That means they had no communications with earth, no life support, and no 'life boat' to boot, leaving them to slowly suffocate as the Carbon Dioxide builds up and the Oxygen content of the air dwindles down to zero.
When the Russian aircraft are advancing towards the United States and Overlord is not sure whether or not the radar is displaying them correctly. Then when Overlord asks Sierra Delta if anything is in the sky a terrified voice cries out and sirens are going off in the background.
The single-player trailer for Black Ops. Especially somewhere in the middle, where the background is a hellish red, and the scientists are just dying from no apparent cause other than the air? Or the GKNOVA 6 zombie videos, with the zombies apparently becoming a world-wide problem, business-suit zombies, and swarming zombies everywhere in cities, soldiers getting swarmed and falling back?
Speaking of Black Ops... Dimitri Petrenko's death. Seeing the once-invincible "heart of the Red Army" desperately pounding on a glass wall as his face liquefies into blood is not a sight that is easily forgotten. Considering how frequently Petrenko cheated death in World at War, also drives home the point that Anyone Can Die.
Really anything with Nova-6 counts. Especially having to fight in a cloud of it. If you take too much damage to the HAZMAT suit your character dies rather messily...
Kravchenko's log in "Victor Charlie." You know the guy was bad when you see him slicing captured German throats for the fun of it a mission earlier, but the fact that they were gassing random villages with the compound, performing lab tests on infants, and removing infected tissue from exposed victims (read: slicing them apart while they were still alive and dying) all to see how much longer they could keep the victims alive proves that this man was a sick bastard among sick bastards.
Zombies mode manages to be this just by selecting it on the menu. As you select it, the lights take on an orange tint. The monitors on the right change, now showing panicking civilians, soldiers in hazmat suits fighting, and occasional glimpses of the monstrosities the soldiers are shooting at. Your interrogator moves off to the side for a second; when he comes back, he's a zombie. When he notices you, he starts pounding on the window, trying to get to you. Also, you're no longer able to escape from your chair...
The normal title screen does just as well. As soon as you launch the game, you are strapped in a chair, being interrogated - and of course, because you haven't played yet, you don't know the answers. Assuming, of course, that you're not in-the-know regarding secrets, you start the game in a position which would, in real life (and for most of the game, too), be one of total helplessness - trapped, with no apparent way out, being tortured, with no way to abate the torturer.
Speaking of Black Ops: You are a Soviet agent. You don't know about what's in the spoiler box, of course, which is what makes this even worse. You find that you can't get a set of numbers from repeating in your head over and over again. It gradually begins to erode your grasp of reality. People around you begin to be visibly weirded out by your behavior, even when you aren't experiencing anything unusual. It's almost too late when you realize You're the Tomato in the Mirror. You are going to assassinate the President of the country you have sworn your life to protect. And there is nothing you can do about it.
There are actually some pretty disturbing sounds in Rebirth and a couple other levels were you see hallucinationsof Viktor Reznov. It sounds like a bloody scream from a bigfoot. If you've seen Lost Tapes episode with Bigfoot, you should know what I'm talking about.
The horror movie-esque music in Mason's half of that level doesn't help.
The "Revelations" mission was pretty freaky. After you punch out your interrogator, Hudson, you stumble through the NSA building that they've been keeping you in. You see the numbers in the air, hear them being spoken over Mason's screams that he keeps "HEARING THE FUCKING NUMBERS!", hear flashbacks from earlier in the game, and you can hear Mason yelling "Proceed to target" and "Oswald compromised", then you walk into a room and see footage from your escape from Vorkuta while Reznov speaks to you.
And Prague, and every city in Europe that was a victim of the gas attacks that he orchestrated.
Let's not forget the thousands of soldiers, American, Russian, French, German, British, etc. that died just following orders.
Can we just say that hanging is the lightest punishment the man could receive?
In Modern Warfare 3, when the Russians launch the gas attack, even though you see what happens in the "Davis Family Vacation" bit, the full scope of the attack is not revealed until several missions in, when you first get to Paris. Dead civilians everywhere.
U.S Soldier: All the civilians at the Louvre are dead!
Something similar in Hunter Killer. You have to swim through a collapsed tunnel in New York, flooded, filled with cars, debris, and corpses. Playing through the level gave you the sight of a man floating in said tunnel.
Davis Family Vacation is terrifying. Worst Mood Whiplashever. It's still frightening even if you know what's going to happen, and if you haven't had it spoiled for you, the Genre Savvy gamer will know that when we see a happy family vacation in a game like Modern Warfare, shit is about to go down. It's like the Sat1 sequence from 2, except much, much closer to home.
All of the American levels in Modern Warfare 2 and MW3, just imagine if the Russian Invasion and the reasons for it were just a tad bit earlier, like a few years before the games events, looks like Occupy Wall street would have become run from wall street, and then there were the people in the tunnel, just floating there made me cringe at the thought.
The sandstorm that whips up during Return to Sender is terrible, especially if you have a fear of natural disasters.
Jason Hudson's agonized cries as Menendez kills him by shooting him in the knees, then slitting his throat.
Woods is found during the first mission of the game lying in a shipping container, heavily fatigued and malnourished, surrounded by the decaying, dead bodies of all his fallen squad mates. Supposedly he had been locked in there for weeks. The whole affair is so horrific that for most of the mission, Woods is completely checked out, on the verge of being entirely catatonic. He kind of snaps out of it at the end but still..."The things I've seen, man..."
Scorpions. Much bigger than normal foes (thus, larger than you), and capable of shooting projectiles. They can shoot balls of acid that, on impact, create a small area that asphyxiates you when you walk through it.
Rhinos. You will learn to hate and fear the distinctive appearance of a Rhino, as it's melee attacks are peerless. One Rhino can easily take down a four-man team of well-equipped players, if they are not careful. Lord help you if you find more than one at a time.
The new DLC pack "Onslaught" contains a new extinction pack called "Nightfall". The setting is alot more eerie and they've included atwo new creatures. "The phantom" which turns invisible and even worse is a giant creature called the "Breeder" which is even worse than the rhinos. And the best thing? This is part of a five episode pack so expect even more alien horror!
The environment is covered in Alien Kudzu, and you will have to use a drill to remove large chunks of it. The sign reading "SEND HELP" really drives home the point that shit has hit the fan.
Even worse, at various points you will need to call in a helicopter to remove large, obstructive "Barrier Hives".
The fan-made Extinction album by Benn Down is either this, Tear Jerker, or both. The first song, Unstoppable, is a very upbeat song from the perspective of the humans, saying that they'll be able to win against the alien horde, and stuff. By the end, though...just listen to the last song...
At one point during the campaign, you end up swimming through a school of sharks while trying to evade the Feds. So get too close to one, and you're fish food. More often than not, you won't even see one until it's jaws are around your belly, by which time, you can't escape...
The introductory cutscene to "The Hunted". Showing Rorke in a hole, as black crystals erupt from his body... showing how he was changed from Ghost, to Ghost Killer.
In 2, there's the first mission in Toujane, "Outnumbered and Outgunned". Without any warning whatsoever even from the usually trusty loading screen, you find yourself getting orders shouted at you by a desperate Captain Price to help Hold the Line against a German counterattack with the nearby machine gun. Soon after you start, a scout car comes and blows it to pieces, and the only course of action left is to steal said scout car to cut through the swath of Nazis and meet up with the rest of your own forces. Meanwhile, the radio blurts out several transmissions from panicky British soldiers under heavy attack and taking casualties, right before they're cut off for one reason or another, be it an artillery strike or the operator's building being invaded* "THEY'RE INSIDE! THEY'RE INSIDE THE MOSQUE!". Even after Davis, Price and MacGregor rendezvous with a few allies, your orders are to keep on moving to the evacuation point while they hold the Germans off... and then there's smoke from their position, which means that they were overrun soon after you left them behind. MacGregor insists on going back to help, but Price only says it's a lost cause and urges you forward. Really, you're only safe after the end-of-level Fade to Black. The voice acting for this level (complete with more voice cracks than the rest of the whole game), the exclusively reactive actions you take as opposed to the predominantly proactive ones from previous missions (there is barely a defense segment, and after it all there is is legging it away from the city), and the ease of getting overwhelmed and shot to death if you dawdle create a very tense atmosphere that makes it quite explicitly clear that you do NOT have the initiative at ANY moment of the level. On a grander scale than a soldier-to-soldier conflict, it's a good example of Controllable Helplessness, and a showcase that in war things don't always go the good guys' way. At times The Cavalry isn't there to help the struggling defenders, and even a typical FPS here can't pull off a fantastic and decisive move that throws the attacking enemy down on its ass. At times the only choice you have is turn back and sprint off to safety with your tail between your legs and hope that you live long enough to fight another day.