Modern Warfare 3 really is closer than ever and now the full MW3 age rating can be found online. While this details the usual bloody violence we expect from a Call of Duty game, it also reveals some rather interesting – and concerning – details about the MW3 campaign. We can’t use this to comment on whether this is going to be one of the best FPS games out there when it drops, but we can use this to comment on how controversial it’s going to be. If you want to know if there will be ‘No Russian’ in Modern Warfare 3, you’ll be pleased (or appalled) to know that there’s going to be double the controversy in this upcoming release. The Modern Warfare 3 age rating reveals that (at least) two separate scenes like MW2 2009’s ‘No Russian’ are on the way.
Ahead of the Modern Warfare 3 release date, the official ESRB age rating for MW3 can be found online. As mentioned above, it explains that players will see “large explosions, screams of pain, and blood-splatter effects” while playing – all commonplace in modern Call of Duty titles. You’ll also find “decapitation and/or dismemberment” when you’re playing MW3 Zombies – to no surprise – and “a finishing move in which marijuana smoke from a bong can be forced into an opponent’s face” – undoubtedly thanks to the Snoop Dogg operator carrying forward.
However, the ESRB rating also confirms that “a handful of sequences depict more intense acts of violence”; it goes on to detail two scenes similar to ‘No Russian’ and another that is almost-definitely a war crime.
As you can see below, Modern Warfare 3 will contain scenes that show “terrorists taking over an airplane” and then “airplane passengers getting shot on a plane” in addition to “terrorists (dressed as police officers and paramedics) shooting/killing fleeing civilians inside a stadium concourse”.
For those of you wondering whether Verdansk will return in Modern Warfare 3, we believe that the last point is in reference to the scenes showing the Acropolis National Arena, the Stadium POI in Verdansk.
You can catch references to this in the following Modern Warfare 3 trailer:
As for the airplane, scenes like those described above were heavily teased in the Modern Warfare 2 campaign post-credits scene. If you want to refresh yourself, you can watch it below; you’ll see that this actually includes a direct reference to ‘No Russian’ – which, to many, confirmed that we would see at least one sequence like ‘No Russian’ in Modern Warfare 3.
If you’re looking for even more controversy, the ESRB rating also reveals that Modern Warfare 3 will contain scenes showing “prisoners shot inside a cell”. We don’t know who the prisoners will be and who will be shooting them, but we do know that this is a war crime – if you can count this conflict between Price and Makarov as a war, anyway.
Are we going to see some backlash from all this when Modern Warfare 3 drops? It’s hard to say, but Call of Duty should include an option to skip these sequences – just like it does for 2009’s Modern Warfare 2. We have seen controversial scenes in Call of Duty campaigns for a long time, but there are very few cases which openly ask the player to shoot unarmed civilians. In Modern Warfare 2019’s Clean House campaign mission, you are presented with a number of instances where you can shoot unarmed civilians. However, you instantly fail the mission if you make a mistake and shoot an unarmed civilian over a plain-clothes Al-Qatala combatant. It’s made clear that this isn’t the objective, unlike No Russian – and quite-possibly the two MW3 campaign missions discussed above.
If you’re more interested in the other avenues of gameplay on offer, you can find out more about the possible MW3 Zombies beta that’s on the way and everything we know about Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer right now. It’s also worth checking out how to unlock MW3’s Zombie Ghost for both MW2 and Warzone – because, who doesn’t love an undead operator skin – and everything you may have missed in the recent MW3 Zombies cinematic reveal. Playing Black Ops Cold War Zombies is the best way to prepare lore-wise, but this should help you spot some of the more hidden details.