New MW3 Rust easter egg pays homage to series’ most dramatic moment

Call of Duty developer Sledgehammer Games has hidden a clever reference to Modern Warfare 2 (2009) in the Modern Warfare 3 map Rust.

MW3 Rust easter egg Shepherd skull: General Shepherd from Modern Warfare 3, moments before death

We know a lot of longtime Call of Duty players will be very familiar with Modern Warfare 3 maps like Wasteland and Favela, but there’s still some secrets for players to find – thanks to MW3 developer Sledgehammer Games. The newest secret to be found, the rather easy-to-miss MW3 Rust easter egg, is actually a reference to one of the most iconic moments in the series – although, you might not realize that at a glance.

To say Modern Warfare 3 relies on nostalgia would be something of an understatement, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. All the Modern Warfare 3 maps available at launch are remasters of older maps we’ve seen before and quite a few of the best MW3 guns are strikingly similar to weapons we’ve seen in previous Call of Duty games, too. However, despite all that, this is still one of the best FPS games out there right now and there’s a lot of fun to be had – especially on iconic maps like Rust.

If, while you’re playing Rust, you’re able to avoid the onslaught of incoming fire and rapidly-respawning enemies, you’ll actually find a reference to the dramatic showdown between Captain Price and General Shepherd from 2009’s Modern Warfare 2 – the game that actually first featured Rust as a multiplayer map. We know, we can’t quite believe it’s been that long either.

As highlighted by ‘TheMW2Ghost‘ and spotted by developer Luca Boechat, among several other eagle-eyed fans online, if you search the sand near the Office Buildings area of the map besides the central structure, you’ll find a slack-jawed skull half-buried in the sand with a throwing knife sticking out of it.

MW3 Rust easter egg Shepherd skull location: an image showing where the easter egg can be found

At a glance, if you don’t completely miss this minor detail altogether, you might not think much of a skull with a throwing knife sticking out of it – and that’s fair. Rust is a warzone and a lot of operators die (sometimes by knife) in and around this deserted desert oil yard.

However, this is actually a very specific reference to a scene from the second half of the Modern Warfare 2 (2009) campaign where Captain Price throws a throwing knife at General Shepherd – which, as you may have guessed, hits him right in the eye.

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The area where this whole exchange occurs and Rust itself might not be identical, but there are definite similarities between the two environments. So, if there was ever the perfect place for an easter egg reference to General Shepherd’s death in Modern Warfare 2 (2009), it would be on Rust.

Funnily enough, General Shepherd is one of several Modern Warfare 3 characters to meet their maker in the latest Call of Duty game, meaning that (spoiler alert) Captain Price has killed off the commander twice now.

If, though, you’re just here looking for more information on the current MW3 meta ahead of the release of Modern Warfare 3’s Rustment 24/7 playlist, you’ll be pleased to know that both the best MW3 MCW loadout and the best MW3 Holger 556 loadout are proving to be lethal in these smaller environments. If you’re trying to find this easter egg in a live match, though, it might take you a while – you’re going to die quite a lot.