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YMMV: Modern Warfare
  • Abridged Arena Array: MW3 has Dome. Other maps tend to get middling votes in, but Dome easily gets 5+ votes if it's a selectable map for the next round.
  • Anvilicious: Though it's hard to spot between the overusing of Rule of Cool in MW2, the series has an anti-war theme, and the first game is not at all subtle in its imagery. There's a reason they included all those quotes.
  • Broken Base: Modern Warfare 2. Its sequel MW3 didn't help matters either.
    • The PC gaming community had a fit when Infinity Ward announced that there would be no dedicated servers for the second game, and that's nothing compared to the massive, massive split between players who think the campaign is good and players who think it's rubbish.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • The first two games had serious issues with this (mostly in the form of quickscoping and One Man Army abuse), but the third is the worst by far. There are four primary strategies employed by the majority of players: Striker rushing (with a shotgun that averts the usual Short Range Shotgun rules of these games), akimbo FMG 'spray and pray', Type 95/PP90M1 abuse and, once again, quickscoping.
    • With the introduction of Support killstreaks that don't reset upon death in 3, some players opt for the handful of offensive killstreaks in the list, such as the Stealth Bomber, EMP, and Juggernaut Recon. You'll hardly go into a game without either one of the three going off. (Bonus points if a single player uses both the Stealth Bomber and EMP/Juggernaut.)
    • Assassin Pro makes all the above even worse.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Al-Asad and Imran Zakahev from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Al-Asad, with Zakahev's help, overthrew a democratic government in an unknown middle eastern country, taking power in a coup. You actually get to see first hand how his men kill anyone who resists and how they line up innocent people and use them as target practice. Zakahev is even worst. He supplied Al-Asad with weapons for the coup ( including a nuke), and too staged a bloody coup, except on a much larger scale in Russia. He orders the slaughtering of whole villages. However, both of these guys worst act was the same: Al-Asad nuked a major city, his own capital, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people and about 30,000 American soldiers. Zakahev did it to kill as many Americans as he could, and Al-Asad did it so he didn't have to worry about the Americans coming after him, so he can run like the Dirty Coward he is.
    • Vladimir Makarov in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 walks right past the Moral Event Horizon in one of the first missions (and takes the player with him) when he and his crew cold-heartedly slaughter an airport terminal full of civilians. He then follows this by shooting the player in the head so that the crime can be placed on the CIA, thus inciting the international community against the Americans. He manages to become even more monstrous in the third game, where he single handedly starts World War III, massacring millions of people with bio weapons, including Soap. There's also the fact that he personally triggered the nuclear explosion in Modern Warfare 1, making him indirectly responsible for General Sheppard's Start of Darkness, and thus every atrocity Sheppard commits.
  • Completely Missing the Point: Modern Warfare 2 gets very, very, very anti-war and anti-US policy(in No Russian for example), but a lot of people tend to just take it at face value.
  • Contested Sequel: It may have set records in sales, but the quality of Modern Warfare 2 compared to the first one is debated hotly. The primary points against it are the removal of many PC tools and the more major use of the Rule of Cool.
  • Creator Worship: Don't you dare suggest it's possible to enjoy both the fourth and fifth games in the series. One of them wasn't made by Infinity Ward, after all.
    • Zig-zagged with Modern Warfare 2's dedicated server incident. Initially the fans turned on Infinity Ward in a fit of rage when it was announced that there would be no dedicated servers and the removal of many PC tools, but when West and Zampella sued Activision over royalties, the fanboys reshaped IW into The Woobie and turned on Bobby Kotick instead. It's now generally accepted amongst COD fans that Activision did something to IW's work schedule to make Modern Warfare 2 inferior, or something like that.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Those blasted Riot Shield users in Modern Warfare 2. This is about half the reason the Shower Block of the Gulag is so damn difficult to get through, with around 5 or so of them in there. The fact that they get to shoot while receiving frontal protection of the riot shield, which is impossible for players, only makes it worse.
    • Dogs. The first time you get tackled by one, you're dead. The Action Command is just too unforgiving for you to reliably kill them in melee combat. For perspective you only get one chance to press "melee attack" and you have to be pinpoint with your timing where in World at War you could just mash it and win. The third game seems to have finally accepted mashing as a strategy.
    • Those goddamn Juggernauts, elite Giant Mooks who wield near instant kill Light Machine Guns and can soak up ridiculously unrealistic amounts of damage. Nothing hurts them, unless you either shoot them in the face with a sniper rifle or LMG (several times), or use a metric ton of explosives (upwards of five C4 packs right underneath their feet just for the less-armored ones).
    • In Surival Mode, the enemies get stronger and stronger as the rounds go up, meaning in later rounds you'll be facing swarms of Russian commandos decked out in heavy body armor and armed with top of the line weapons. Their aim is near perfect, their weapons can kill you in a few hits, they are armed with the best weapons in the game, and they constantly spam grenades with terrifying accuracy.
    • Little Bird attack helicopters in Survival can be a severe threat, not simply for their firepower but for the fact that as long as they're flying, your maneuverability options are severely limited, as you're stuck in areas with overhead cover (and they can still pick away at you through high windows). Not quite so bad on easier maps, as the helicopters spawn either at the same time as the rest of the wave or make up the entire wave on their own, so you can take them out quickly with concentrated light machine gun fire before the rest of the wave arrives, but on the higher-difficulty maps, the helicopters spawn in the middle of the existing wave (which usually includes Juggernauts, bomb dogs, and suicide bombers) so you'll be in the middle of fighting/fleeing from the close-assault troops when the Little Bird shows up and perforates you if you're not in overhead cover, and if you are in overhead cover, you're stuck there until you can kill all the enemy infantry and concentrate on the Little Bird - easier said than done when three Juggernauts are closing in.
  • Draco in Leather Pants / Knight Templar: There are a scary number of people who state, "General Shepherd did some bad things, but his motives are really easy to sympathize with." Presumably these people are unaware that he's an analogue of Osama bin Laden (as described by Peter Bergen) with a massive chip on his shoulder against the weapons supplier of a foreign countrynote  and a plan to provoke war and create a crucible for jihad straight out of the al-Qaeda instruction manual. That the last level of the game has the player chasing him through a cave in Afghanistan should've been the clincher, plus the game's anti-nationalist subtext (well, text, really) flat-out telling you ultranationalism is bad every time you die.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Gaz was immensely popular with fans, so much so that even though he died, Infinity Ward brought in the character of Ghost, who was played by the same actor and more or less fulfilled the exact same role Gaz had in the last game.
    • Ghost himself seems to be one as well. If there's any fan made work (be it parody or tribute) it will usually star Ghost, or have someone who looks suspiciously like Ghost. The guy even got his own comic! And if the information around Ghosts is accurate, he has his own game!
    • Also, despite appearing in only two levels, Capt. MacMillan is easily one of the most popular characters in the game, though this may be because he was actually a useful NPC and, even when his legs were crippled, was still a badass.
      • Captain MacMillan appears in 3 as "Baseplate" the CO of the SAS at Hereford. Gaz's popularity also resulted in another returning character, Wallcroft, to become yet another copy of him.
  • Evil Is Sexy: There's a disturbing amount of people who think Makarov is "sexy."
  • Fan Dumb: When Infinity Ward announced the changes to the PC version's online matchmaking system, fans cried it was ruined, and many formed groups swearing to boycott the game. This screencap was taken the day after the game's release.
    • Then again, it's now believed that quite a few ended up choosing to "protest" by hacking the PC game, so this may have been a sign of them getting started on it right away.
    • As mentioned below, a lot of people declared that they would boycott the game just because 50 Cent did some voice work for the Multiplayer modes. Which, regardless of opinion on the man, is an overreaction, as his voice is only in two of the sixteen default multiplayer maps, and there's only a 50% chance you even have to listen to it while you're actually playing them.
  • First Installment Wins: A variant - Call of Duty 4 is now sometimes cited by many as "the last good game of the franchise".
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In the sixth mission of MW3's single player campaign "Back On The Grid". Price tells Soap to "try not to die this time", guess what winds up happening to Soap later on.
    • The US forces who fail to capture Al-Asad in the first game? Seal Team Six.

  • Game Breaker: The Grenade Launcher. It's a bolt-action rifle... that fires grenades (with the predictable accuracy of one) that detonate on impact. With predictable results of general rage and gnashing of teeth for the other team.
    • It seemed to be less so in Modern Warfare 2... until the One Man Army exploit happened. Watch as the guy uses his grenade launcher and claymores to earn easy killstreaks, uses those killstreaks to get a Chopper Gunner, then proceeds to lay waste to the enemy team. The final result? Over 100 kills and 3 deaths in about 5 minutes, in a game where getting 30-40 kills with 10 or so deaths is considered to be pretty damn good.
    • MLC. Short for "Marathon, Lightweight, Commando". This combination of perks gives you infinite sprint, a faster sprint, and the ability to knife someone from ridiculous range. The Pro versions of these let you climb ladders and hop over obstacles faster, fire your weapon immediately after sprinting, and take no damage from falling. Sounds pretty broken already, right? Use a sub-machine gun and have a pistol with a Tactical Knife attached, and behold as you become the equivalent of Sonic the Hedgehog. You are now able to easily avoid incoming fire and stab all that cross your path.
    • Grenade launchers in Modern Warfare were a minor annoyance when compared to the "3x frag" perk. Smaller maps were unplayable due to Grenade Spam, moreso in the PC version where you could have up to 50 players at once.
    • Modern Warfare 3 brings in Assassin Pro. The normal version makes you undetectable on any UAV unless somebody has Recon and you were caught in an explosive blast. Pro makes it even worse by making it so you cannot be affected by Counter UAV or EMP. Everyone uses it now that Stopping Power has been removed, so get used to having any radar-related killstreaks become utterly useless. Unlike in Black Ops, the "advanced radar-related killstreak" does not do anything to deal with this, meaning that a player could theoretically camp in a corner for the entire game.
      • The akimbo FMG-9 machine pistols. A benign easily-concealed Glock 18 variant in real life, it turns into an unstoppable sword of pain and fury once you reach the requisite proficiency level and unlock Akimbo. With an obscene fire rate and more ammo than your average action hero's machine gun, it would be overpowered as a primary weapon... but instead it's a secondary. Laugh maniacally as you surprise snipers... and then scream in frustration as they whip out their portable bullet hoses and kill you in a millisecondnote .
      • With the removal of the FAMAS, and the nerfing of the M16, players cried for a new 3-round burst weapon. Enter the Type-95. This thing is pure evil, able to kill anything at range within one burst. If you ever get randomly killed without even getting a bloody screen, there's a high chance your killer is using this weapon. It's also super-accurate and practically never misses unless at close range. What's worse is that you can equip Rapid Fire to it, boosting its already amazing fire rate, and essentially making it a long range shotgun.
  • Genius Bonus: The corkboard in the kitchen in the Modern Warfare 2 mission Loose Ends (Makarov's safehouse) has a chemical structure drawn on it - RDX, a military-grade high explosive.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Chemical troops in Survival. They're no tougher than regular soldiers and poorly armed, but their gas clouds slow you down, and they plant gas claymores that will hit you and slow you at the worst possible moments.
    • Claymore specialists. Like chemical troopers, they're not well-armed or armored, but they leave surprises lying around the map that you will likely not notice when running from Juggernauts and bomb-dogs. They're not powerful enough to kill you outright unless you're already wounded, but setting off one while getting shot at is a death sentence, and their mere presence on the map will leave you very paranoid.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • In the first TF141 mission, you can get MacTavish to push you off a cliff. He loves hearing you scream.
    • Some of the challenges for titles are glitched. I've gotten Perfectionist by firing one shot in my Intervention, Grim Reaper by killing two people with a Predator, and Cluster Bomb by getting a triple kill with the Harrier bomb run and then a double kill with a Precision Strike bomb run when the description says: Kill five enemies with a single airstrike.
    • In Modern Warfare 2, the Perk "Cold Blooded Pro" required you to shoot down 40 helicopters with Cold Blooded active. However, if you shot a helicopter while it was crashing, each bullet that hit the helo on the way down registered as a kill. Players with rapid fire machine guns and a little luck could get CB Pro in a single match.
    • In All Ghillied Up, a bug can occur that will cause MacMillan and the enemies to be unable to shoot each other, even at point blank range, leading to gems like this.
  • Griefer / Internet Counterattack: "Boosting" is when players using outside voice chat on opposing sides would kill each other for the 25 killstreak Nuke with minimal deaths in the same location utilizing Tactical Insertions. Booster Justice is the most well known response to this tactic.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The gunship level in MW 1 is eerily reminding of the 2010 published video of this 2007 event in Iraq.
  • Hate Dumb: Despite gamers threatening to boycott Modern Warfare 2 and saying it was going to ruin gaming forever, a bunch of gamers all bought it anyways - even the PC version.
    • Bad Company 2's fanbase seems to be entirely made of people who didn't buy Modern Warfare 2 just because of the dedicated server issue.
    • It is the norm in every single military-related video in YouTube to have several hundred comments attacking "retarded call of duty fans" for getting military facts wrong.
    • Same goes for any and all Battlefield 3 trailers, which are populated almost exclusively with guys ranting about how "this game will DESTROY MW3!" in the most obnoxious, sophomoric way possible.
    • Modern Warfare 3, while still successful, seems to be getting a lot of flak from a LOT of people. This has gotten to the point where a lot of user reviews on Metacritic have given it scores like "0" (average is 2). This in turn has caused one of MW3's devs to beg people to help with this.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
    • The distinctive "clink" of a grenade landing nearby. Better get used to it...
    • Also, the distinctive "click" sound of setting off a Claymore mine.
    • The barking of the dogs, man! You can hear them but sometimes you just can't see them until they're on top of you!
    • The sound of a AC-130 shot coming down RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE.
    • The Juggernauts have an ominous theme that plays when they approach you. RUN.
    • The "beep beep BEEEEP" of a Semtex landing nearby.
  • He's Just Hiding: There were a TON of Epileptic Trees about how Ghost wasn't dead, even moreso after a quote from Robert Bowling in a 2009 IGN interview stating "Ghost... isn't exactly dead... but you'll see what I mean soon". This also happened with his predecessor Gaz (whom some believe IS Ghost).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the first missions in MW 3 is "Black Tuesday", where you have a shootout inside the "Manhattan Stock Exchange" (MSE). One wonders if had the game started development a while later, that mission would be renamed "Occupy Wall Street".
  • Holy Shit Quotient:
    • Modern Warfare 2's controversial "No Russian" mission where the player is undercover as a terrorist group massacring an airport. Turns out the whole thing was a Batman Gambit to frame America for the attack. By leaving the Player Character's body behind.
    • "Wolverines!" involves the US being invaded. Imagine intense fighting house-to-house in the suburbs of frakkin' Virginia. Especially the player's first glimpse of "Raptor". It's just a guy in a suit, and you wonder who rates all the effort to prot— OH MY GOD. And that's before we see Washington, D.C. The D.C. missions Of Their Own Accord, Second Sun, and Whiskey Hotel ratchet that up considerably, especially post-nuke.
    • It's especially shocking if you live in or visited DC. All of those areas that are now battlefields? You've been to them.
    • Pick a mission in Modern Warfare 3. One mission opens with you smashing through the front gates of an enemy base while a Hind provides overhead cover. Another has a high-speed subway chase. A third involves an amphibious assault on Hamburg. A fourth involves the player getting into a gunfight with hijackers on an airplane, complete with fighting the hijackers in zero gravity like something straight out of Inception, and that's before the plane is forced into an emergency landing and gets ripped apart.
  • Ho Yay: Well, it was bound to happen in a series where there less than five female characters seen and all but one of them get killed off within five minutes of their first appearance.
  • Inferred Holocaust: With the degree of surprise the attack took place, there's no possible way the US Army could have evacuated all of the civilians from Washington DC, to say nothing of the EMP likely hitting before all the evac choppers would've been out of range. Finally, how many civvies are going to die on account of the East Coast being hit by the EMP? Watch how much of the country goes dark when the nuke explodes. Though Modern Warfare 3 retcons it, so that New York was not effected.
    • Also, you can see a few friendly helos going down. And a few minutes later you see what looks like a crashed Boeing 737. Uh oh..
    • Modern Warfare 3 takes the inferrence out with nerve toxin attacks launched against London, Paris, Hamburg, and other major cities in Western Europe.
  • Internet Backdraft: Modern Warfare 2 even has two different flavors: "No Russian", and the lack of dedicated servers on the PC version. For the latter, much like Spore's DRM debacle, irate gamers are giving it bad reviews and downvoting even the videos on Gametrailers. It still didn't stop the game from being one of the highest-selling titles of the year.
    • With server support, it's a catch-22 situation; if PC gamers buy the game without dedicated server support, obviously they don't care it isn't there so Activision didn't need to add it. If everyone had boycotted it, they would simply have shown there was no market for a PC version, so Activision would still have taken it as justifying not adding dedicated server support. Either way, PC gamers lose.
    • There's also the outrage of Russian gaming community about the "No Russian" level. Everyone screamed "Damn Americans! How dare they let player kill our innocent countrymen!"—but they had no qualms whatsoever about the invasion of the United States by the Russian military with all the civilian causalities implied by the destruction. Even Russian politicians have taken issue with the game for suggesting that even a fictional version of their country is run by ultranationalists who would instigate an attack in the first place—however, because the game designers intentionally wanted to make the player feel revulsion toward the events of "No Russian" no matter what nationality they were, the Russian hatred for Americans also counts as Completely Missing the Point.
    • A hacker later found Dummied Out code apparently for multiplayer modes not in the final game, and posted that the modes would be "released" as DLC later. PC gamers, already angry over the server thing, embraced this theory wholeheartedly.
    • The once-smouldering backdraft flared up again with the Map Packs. 1200 MS points or 15 bucks for 3 new maps and 2 ports from 4.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: Face it...if this game was half as popular as it is, do you think it and Call of Duty would be the Butt Monkey franchise that it is, that people automatically hate on basis of being Modern Warfare or Call of Duty and not whether or not it's a good Modern Warfare game? The games still become best sellers despite receiving near universal hatred from gamers. So obviously, the devs are doing something right.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: Some people criticized the second game for not vastly improving on the first, even going so far as to complain about Sequelitis.
    • Gameplay trailers for MW3 are FILLED with people saying either they are going to buy Battlefield instead or "This is the same thing as MW2"
      • And now that MW3 is released, as of this writing, it has a 3.2 User Score on Metacritic, with many of the negative reviews citing this trope as the reason, and almost all of them from the Hate Dumb.
    • And yet despite all this, it still sold better than MW2, which had already broke all previous sales records...seems they did something right, even if you can't find anyone who will willingly admit this.
  • It Was His Sled: No Russian, oh No Russian. Also, both nukes.
  • Magnificent Bastard: General Shepherd. Everyone, and thats means everyone, are nothing but his pawns in his goal toward personal glory and supremacy.
  • Memetic Badass: MacMillan, overlapping with Ensemble Dark Horse. He's pretty Badass in the game, as even Captain Price looks up to him, but the fandom took it and ran with it.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Grenade of Grenade: Grenade Grenade" (when referring to Modern Warfare)
    • In general, it's Grenade of Grenade. some popular subtitles are Modern Grenades, More Grenades, Grenades Grenades, Grenade Warfare, and so on. If you haven't caught on yet, this game has quite the thing with grenades.
    • Since the inclusion of authentic military dialog like saying "Oscar Mike" for "On The Move," and "Hooah" for "Affirmative," and the sheer amount of times you hear those two words when playing as a Ranger, MW2 has come be known as "Call of Oscar Mike: Modern Hooah."
    • Or "Stay Frosty." Even Shadow Company uses it! ("Stay frosty, hunt them down!")
    • Thanks to Arby 'n' the Chief, there's also "Cock of Doody 4: Modern Gayfuckstupid" (coined by Master Chief, who in that series is a parody of your typical Halo fanboy).
    • A scan of the GameFAQs message board would suggest Foley's usage of the term "Oscar Mike" (On the Move), alongside the fact that he entrusts everything to Ramirez, is becoming one.
    • Infinity Ward briefly released a mock-PSA (starring Cole Hamels!) about Grenade Spam, but then pulled it because of their juvenile Fun with Acronyms (The Fight Against Grenade Spam)
    • And on a bit darker side, MW2 being "not balanced for lean" is nearly the new Sony's 2006 E3 in a way.
    • Ramirez, America is under attack! Defend Burger Town!
    • A more specific one is parodying Shepard's speech at the end of the game by changing specific words to nonsensical things (i.e. "Five years ago, I lost 30,000 dollars in a blink of an eye, and Obama just fucking watched").
      • "Thirty thousand years ago, I lost 5 men and my fucking watch."
    • "TANGO SUCKA!"
      • YOUR MOTHER!
      • CALLING YOUR MOTHER!
      • FISHEYE!
      • ME LIKA A PORNO MAGAZINE!
      • BAMBI!
  • Memetic Sex God:
    • Captain MacMillan, mainly because of his extremely sexy Scottish accent.
    • Everyone drops the soap for Soap.
    • As mentioned above, a disturbing number of players think that Makarov is sexy.
    • Captain Price's Porn Stache symbolizes this trope.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The player character in the level "No Russian" of Modern Warfare 2. You can either cross it by shooting civiliansnote  or not cross it by just staying out of the terrorists' way. If you shoot the civilians and laugh it up, you've crossed the Moral Event Horizon yourself. No matter what you do during the level, it ends with the Big Bad figuring out that you were a CIA agent and shooting you down as he gets away in a ambulance. It can be averted by skipping it whenever asked if you want to play this level or not, such as at the beginning of the game, and may be skipped during the level.
    • Nothing compares to General Shepherd shooting Roach (who you are playing as) and Ghost, and then having his men dump kerosene on the two of you, and burning you alive. Regardless of his motivations, after that scene it's nearly impossible to have any empathy whatsoever for him. After tracking him down, he stabs you (as Soap) in the chest with your own knife and nearly kills Price in a fistfight. Thankfully, you rip the knife out of your chest and throw it right at his face, killing the bastard with an Eye Scream.
    • And if Loose Ends didn't drive the point home how willing Shepherd is to sacrifice his men, in the attack on his base, he gives the order to have his base bombed, killing any of his men inside...just to get at two, count 'em, two men after him. In fairness, by then the base had been effectively cleared out anyway by the only two men aware of his treachery; with the possible exception of a particular guard, all of the Shadow Company troopers encountered indoors by Soap and Price were definitely killed; four of them had been preparing a detonation charge when their room was breached, possibly causing the process to start way earlier than planned. When it turns out that Price and Soap got out in time, Shepherd then orders a "fire mission" less than a hundred meters from himself. However, the smoke and dust clears to reveal multiple Shadow Company troopers, slumped against the terrain or crawling about in a daze, at the mercy of the unharmed Price and Soap...
  • More Popular Spin-off: Call Of Duty is a pretty well-known franchise, but Modern Warfare has a massive impact upon pop culture and is one of the most successful series in the history of video games. Indeed, a vast majority of Modern Warfare players have never played the first three Call of Duty games.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • "Shock and Awe", "No Russian", and the Washington, DC missions.
    • After all the Tranquil Fury and general badassery by Price, in both games, General Shepherd hands him his ass in a fist fight. Seeing someone like that receive a No Holds Barred Beat Down is SCARY.
      • Hands him his ass in a fist fight after crawling out of a helicopter's flaming wreckage you just shot down!
      • Watching you (as Roach) and Ghost burn. The only consolation? Ghost dies instantly from his gunshot wound. Unfortunately, Roach didn't
      • In the first of the DC missions, you begin in a tiny, bombed-out bunker with no normal mission start text to tell you where you are. As your squad walks out of the bunker, you see helicopters and soldiers everywhere, with the Capitol across the trenches from you. It's when you see the damaged Washington Monument that the opening text pops up: "Of Their Own Accord: Washington, D.C."
      • The emergency broadcast system advises civilians in the DC area to "Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Remain alert." It's when you think of why such advice would be necessary, and the many Russian soldiers swarming the area, that you realize the true horror in that broadcast.
      • The mission "Wolverines!" qualifies big time. At first you may chuckle at the Red Dawn (1984) reference, but then you're instantly hit by the sight of a Virginia suburb that has become a war zone, with ruined houses, civilian cars and Captain Ersatz versions of familiar restaurants. It hits very close to home, especially if you happen to live in a suburb.
      • The overarching theme of nuclear proliferation and the threat of the world simply ENDING at the whim of a few fanatics who have seized power...
    • "Team Player" from MW 2. Beat the game and come back to this level, then realize that the Afghans see you exactly how you see the Russians later on.
  • Older Than They Think: It's surprising how many fans of the first game think the term "noob tube" is unique to the series; in fact, it's been around since the M203 first started appearing in multiplayer games. The classic noob tubes were actually worse, typically being an instant-access alt-fire with a huge, lethal blast radius that sometimes even ignored walls. Picture the Javelin glitch being how the game is supposed to work. Ironically, this is actually more realistic; forty-millimeter grenades are actually less tame than they appear in Modern Warfare. A lot of things people think are original to CoD 4 and MW2 were in the earlier games too, most notably Captain Price and the teddy bears.
  • Player Punch: Dear God:
    • Modern Warfare 1 The player controls two characters, a British SAS operator and an American Marine. During the Marine's segments, he and his commanding officers are established as sympathetic and heroic characters, even going so far as to risk their lives to stop and rescue a downed - and similarly sympathetic - helicopter pilot in a city where a nuclear warhead has just been discovered. The Dragon ends up detonating the warhead before either character can escape, killing everyone and allowing the player to experience the Marine's slow, agonizing death from radiation poisoning in first person. At the end of the game, after escaping the Russian missile base and evading the Ultranationalist pursuers, the bridge gets blown up, and you get to watch as Griggs gets ventilated while trying to help you to your feet and Zakhaev executes Gaz. The wounded Captain Price slides you his sidearm, which you use to kill Zakhaev. When the cavalry arrives, you then get to watch as a medic tries to resuscitate Captain Price while you're loaded onto the helicopter. MacTavish (the "you" in this POV) does survive for the sequel. And so does Price.
    • Modern Warfare 2 was even worse. If the death of Private Allen wasn't bad enough, the scene where Roach and Ghost are shot by Shepherd and set on fire (In Roach's case, WHILE STILL ALIVE) is like being kicked in the balls.
    Shepherd: "Do you have the DSM?"
    Ghost: "We got it sir!"
    Shepherd: "Good. That's one less loose end." (Gunshot. Gunshot.)
    • Even worse is Ghost's anguished scream right before Shepherd shoots him.
    • Then there's the state of Washington D.C.
    • Modern Warfare 3. "Blood Brothers." Soap's death. It's slow, long, and drawn out, and watching him bleed to death right in front of you with nothing you can do to help him tugs at your heartstrings.
      • Team Metal's death, especially with Price screaming at the pilot to stay so they can all make it. Lessened somewhat, by the fact that they at least got to go out via Heroic Sacrifice instead of being horribly killed (like everyone else).
  • Porting Disaster: To many, the PC version of Modern Warfare 2. While it was still a fun game in its own right the PC version removed lean, the console, dedicated servers, admin powers, mod support, in-game voting (although vote to skip map remains in the lobby) and added in a matchmaking service much like the consoles. The developers claimed this would reduce lag, stop cheaters, and prevent piracy, but the game was cracked soon after its release and for a time, legit players and cracked players could play on the same game. Generally, this could not be done on Modern Warfare 1 without some good cracks. Because of the matching making service, for some, games are laggy, disconnect a lot, and if one has a cheater or a griefer in the game, the most that can be done is muting them, they can't be kicked.
    • To add insult to injury, the pirated version, whose owners paid $0.00 for, has re-enabled the console, allowing pseudo-dedicated servers. Along with dedis, the host of games can function as an admin of sorts, kicking griefers and cheaters from the game, as well as extending the time limit, what map is being played, to even adjusting the gravity. The legit version, $59.99, has less functions than the cracked version.
    • Add the problems with the apparently sloppy implementation of the Valve Anti-Cheat system to the entire fiasco and... well, shit just got real.
  • The Scrappy: General Shepherd is hated by fanboys everywhere for killing Ghost and Roach. There are probably other reasons for his Scrappy-ness, but that's the biggest by far.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Lag compensation in Modern Warfare 3. Although, with time, Infinity Ward managed to remedy it somewhat by gradually patching the way it works to better recreate the feel of Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2. They sort of succeeded, but by then it was too little, too late, and everyone had already moved on.
    • For some, the use of killstreak/scorestreak rewards breaks the balance of multiplayer matches, as they essentially give rewards to the winning team, which results in a feedback loop where the winning team starts steamrolling the losing team with their killstreaks, and because they are steamrolling the losing team, the winning team gets more kills to fuel their killstreaks.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny:
    • When Call of Duty 4 came out, it was cited as a great FPS which managed to at least help to revolutionise the genre, noob tubes aside. Now, the series has been criticised for doing nothing new.
    • The death of Sergeant Jackson via a nuclear blast, which you can do nothing to prevent, was incredibly shocking at the time. Then comes Modern Warfare 2, where a good half of the playable characters die, one of them just half a minute after you take control of him, making the whole thing old-hat.
  • Sequel Displacement: While the first Modern Warfare was well received, getting over $600 million in 8 months, the sequel sold even better, getting over $1 billion in two months.
    • Modern Warfare 3 managed to top MW 2's record of $1 billion in 2 months by grossing $1 billion in 16 days, beating Avatar, the highest grossing movie of all time, by just 1 day.
  • Small Reference Pools: The only explanation possible for why the AK-47 is being used by modern Russian Federation forces.
    • Before Modern Warfare 3, the Dragunov SVD is also in its more well-known, wood-furniture version rather than the upgraded, synthetic SVD-M actually used by modern Russian forces.
  • Subbing versus Dubbing: Japanese players saw themselves in the debate over Modern Warfare 2.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Modern Warfare: The nuclear explosion and the ending.
    • Modern Warfare 2: Roach's and Ghost's deaths and the Washington D.C. levels.
    • Modern Warfare 3: Kamarov and Soap's deaths, the intro to "Dust To Dust" ("For Soap.").
      • Soap's death is particularly heartbreaking because the normally stoic Captain Price completely loses his shit when he watches him die.
      • The Russian security agent gets shot by Makarov just when he thinks he's safe. "Objective failed." scrolls across the screen
    • "Objective: Stop the massacre." And you know that you're trying, dammit, but you can't, despite your best efforts.
    • The fall of the Eiffel Tower.
    • Team Metal's death, especially with Price screaming for the pilot to wait for them, and then trying to raise Sandman on the radio. Yuri's death.
      • Team Metal's death is doubly so if you've watched Find Makarov: Operation Kingfish, as the situation in-game is an exact reversal of the one present at the end of that video: Price left behind, Sandman screaming for the pilot to wait for him.
      • The ending credits theme of Modern Warfare 3. It sounds like a farewell to Soap, Yuri, Sandman, Truck, Grinch, Roach, Ghost, and all the protagonists who have died throughout the entire Modern Warfare trilogy.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Modern Warfare 2. Complaints include the shorter campaign, the Continuity Lockout, and most damning of all, the plot's resemblance to a Michael Bay film. Some even went so far as to complain about Sequelitis. See Your Mileage May Vary, below.
  • That One Level:
    • That Ferris wheel...
    • Mile High Club on Veteran. It doesn't require a guide so much as choreography.
    • There's a special level of hell reserved for the designer of the Rio levels in the second game.
      • Welcome to Urban Warfare, where you can and here will be shot at from everyfuckingwhere at once.
    • The Gulag's shower block. If you'd been breezing through Modern Warfare 2 to that point, those shower blocks will make you cry. Can you say vertical outflanking?
    • You think that's bad? Try defending a portable hard drive from constant Russians. They throw flashbangs, love to waste you the second you leave the house, will one-hit-kill you by striking you if you try to shoot them up front, and eat up all your claymores like there's no tomorrow. And after that's done, good luck getting to the escape chopper with mortars bracketing your path and swarms of RPG-carrying enemies bearing down upon you...
      • "Roach, go put claymores on the front lawn! The one currently being hit with hundreds of rounds per second!"
      • As frighteningly impossible as it may see once you see the data transfer rates early on, if you preposition claymores in the right place and put yourself in a good position with appropriate weapons, defending the DSM can be quite simple, even easy. Getting out isn't.
    • The very last level on the speedboat, once you exit the caves and are out in the open. Despite Price's remarks to stay out of the open, the only thing that seems to work is to go out in the open, and zig zag a lot. Even then, it's a crapshoot. It's safe to say that every Call of Duty game will have a That One Level for someone, especially in Veteran mode.
    • Half of all Spec Ops missions fall under this on Veteran, especially the last two, in which you must kill 10 and 15 Juggernauts, often more than one at a time, with only explosives and a knife (for the second-last one, anyway).
    • "Homeland Security" is pretty brutal as well, even on regular difficulty, most of the difficulty comes from that goddamned Predator Drone bombing you like crazy almost everytime you set foot outside of a building, and if that wasn't hard enough, you also have to deal with choppers and BTR's, the last wave has TWO choppers and a BTR, you have to be masochistic to even ATTEMPT beating that mission on Veteran.
    • "Dust To Dust". Painful in Hardened and Veteran, especially once you lose your Juggernaut armor. Grenade-spamming enemies who can get around your cover using balconies, blind corners, way too many open windows and doors to be shot through... oh, and after the spoiler above, it's timed.
    • "Charlie Don't Surf". The TV station hub. Yes, the OpFor can and will plug you with bullets if you peek out of cover for 1/1000th of a second.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It is very hotly debated as to whether either of the sequels compare to the first installment.
  • Uncanny Valley: Averted chillingly. In one sequence, the player rappels down right above a guard, and is prompted to silently knife him in the chest. Your character reaches around to cover his mouth, which lets you watch his eyes in utter shock as he bleeds out.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: A lot of the death quotes in Modern Warfare 2 warn about the dangers of excessive patriotism.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: Shepherd's name. As in "A shepherd leading sleep to slaughter"? For the 141 and for America in general?
    • The group of villains in the first game (Al-Asad, Imran Zakhaev, Viktor Zakhaev, and Makarov, as revealed in 3 is called the "Four Horsemen".

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