The controversial and shocking mission from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
If you are old, like us, then you may remember that the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 from 2009 had one of the most controversial campaign missions to ever grace our controllers. It involved a group of Russian terrorists who moved through Moscow airport slaughtering innocent people. It also gave the player the option to join in.
"Remember - no Russian."
What is 'No Russian'?
No Russian was a mission on the original Modern Warfare. You play a double agent Joseph Allen a.k.a Alexei Borodin, who is tasked with infilitrating and disrupting a terrorist organisation but you end up biting off more than you can chew with this particularly nasty group of skally wags.
The mission starts in an evelator, you are surrounded by fully armed and armoured Russians who are preparing to attack Moscow airport. The tension builds and just before the doors slide open, Makarov, the games baddie, turns to you and says "remember, no Russian." before stepping out and opening fire at innocent bystanders waiting to pass security in the airport.
The mission is considered one of the most brutal, not just in Call of Duty but in video game history. You pass through section after section of the airport and watch (or get involved) as Makarov and his men pelt bullet after bullet from their Light Machine Guns into unsuspecting holiday makers. AI can be seen slouched on the ground, dying or trying to crawl away through their own blood - but Makarovs squad makes quick work of these people too.
"That was no message. This is a message."
The mission steps up when Russian police and special forces show up to counter you, there is little resistence as your squad has a clear plan in place to escape. You make it to an ambulance and as you jump in the back, Alexei, the players character, is shot by Makarov in the chest who points and claims "This is a message" indicating that he knew we were a double agent the entire time.
We are sure that this mission, if you played the original Modern Warfare 2 like we did, is scorn into your memory. Infact we're almost doubley sure that you pulled down on that trigger more than once.
Did you have to be involved?
The mission was incredibly controversial, tense and dark for players - but you didn't have to complete the mission to finish the story and collect all of the games achievements/trophies.
When you loaded up the game it explained that there were some scenes that the player may find distrurbing and that this could be skipped without being punished. You could also complete the mission without killing an innocent person, you were just along for the macbre ride.
Will "No Russian" return in Modern Warfare II for 2022?
Simply put, no. It will not be making a return. This was confirmed in an interview around the announcment of the game on June 8th. There is likely a few, unstated reasons for this that are pretty obvious - firstly, the world is currently in a proxy war with Russia. Tensions around the globe are sky high as they continue their invasion of Ukraine. Scenes of Russians killing innocent people is likely to have an extremely negative response and won't be on Activision's priority list. Secondly, in the wake of recent events involving school shootings in America, it would be considered insensitive for such a mission to exist that involves the killing of innocent people.
"To me, we’re very deliberate about what we’re putting in. If we feel like it serves the story, or it serves what we’re trying to do, we’ll put something in, something that might be more edgy." - Jack O'Hara, Infinity Ward Director
It was actually confirmed by Infinty Ward in an interview with GamesBeat that the mission and nothing similar would be in Modern Warfare 2022. He stated that if they thought it had some merit to the story they would add something along the lines of 'No Russian' into the campaign but explained that they wouldn't add something like that for the sake of it or the shock factor.
"But if we don’t, then there’s no need to be gratuitous with that kind of thing. There’s always a part of it where we want people to think about the story. We don’t want them to just be on a ride, essentially. Right now there’s nothing that I would say matches No Russian, though, in terms of what we’re trying to do."
We can understand that from a narrative perspective and ongoing events around the world why Infinity Ward would want to avoid creating and adding a mission such as 'no Russian' to Modern Warfare 2. If you really want to play a mission like that it is still there in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered version that is available to download and play on PC, Xbox and PlayStation.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) releases October 28th 2022.