Why a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 No Russian Mission Could Be More Controversial Than The Original

Why a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 No Russian Mission Could Be More Controversial Than The Original

There is a chance that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will feature its own No Russian mission, and it could be even more controversial than before.


  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 could potentially feature a controversial “No Russian” mission, similar to the infamous mission in Modern Warfare 2.
  • The new take on “No Russian” could involve hijacking a passenger plane if the post credits scene from the previous game is any indication, leading to comparisons to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • Activision may choose to handle the mission tastefully, potentially showing it in a cutscene rather than allowing players to participate directly, but some part of the attack will likely be depicted on-screen and could spark outrage.

With the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 drawing closer, fans are getting a much clearer picture of what to expect from the title’s campaign. There is a chance that this release will be the final entry to the franchise reboot, and so there is a lot of room for potential fireworks in its narrative.

In particular, many are wondering if Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will deliver its own take on Modern Warfare 2’s infamous “No Russian” mission. The likelihood of this happening has only increased with the confirmed introduction of Vladimir Makarov to MW3, and if it happens, there is a chance that a “No Russian” experience in the game could be much more controversial than the original.

The Infamy of Modern Warfare 2’s No Russian

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The original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has one of the most iconic and memorable campaigns in the IP’s long history, not only thanks to its memorable characters but its bold narrative direction. In particular, the “No Russian” mission of MW2 serves as the single-most controversial mission in Call of Duty history, leading to mass censorship or outright removal in many countries.

The mission sees the player character actively participate in a terroristic mass shooting in a Russian airport, effectively starting World War 3 in the Modern Warfare’s trilogy narrative. At the time, “No Russian” seriously raised the bar in terms of what fans could expect from Call of Duty, indicating the franchise was prepared to explore much darker and visceral themes than its usual portrayal of conventional warfare.

Despite the backlash to “No Russian,” the mission has undoubtedly served to immortalize Modern Warfare 2’s campaign in any discussion of Call of Duty, while elevating Makarov to be one of the most recognizable villains across the entire franchise. With the recent Modern Warfare reboot portraying a lot of classic characters and plot points with its own twist, Modern Warfare 3 could feature its own “No Russian” with even more controversy.

Why a Modern Warfare 3 No Russian Could Be More Controversial

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With “No Russian” being so iconic and being an integral plot-point for Makarov’s journey in Modern Warfare, it is all but confirmed that fans will see a rendition of the moment within the upcoming Modern Warfare 3. This new take on the mission could be quite different from the original, especially if Activision wants to avoid the criticism of recycling the same controversial mission simply for shock factor, but a version of No Russian could certainly exist.

The Modern Warfare reboot is already quite thematically darker than its source material, with the increased realism of Call of Duty titles translating to more grounded and gritty campaign experiences. As such, No Russian would not feel too out of place if it were included. A post-credit scene for Modern Warfare 2 showed a group of men aboard a passenger plane assembling firearms, receiving instructional text messages from a contact labeled “M” and being told not to speak their native tongue.

This likely means that Modern Warfare 3‘s “No Russian” would see players actually hijack a plane as opposed to targeting an airport itself. It is clear as to why this could be much more controversial than the original mission, having clear similarities with real-world events like the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Though video games are more respected as an art form in modern society, it is guaranteed that a hijacking sequence would be a huge topic of discussion, as its similarities to the real life tragedy of 9/11 are obvious.

If MW3‘s “No Russian” sees players take control of a passenger plane and potentially divert it to cause a catastrophic attack, the overall controversy of the level could be much greater than its predecessor, with some sure to view such a concept as glorifying the worst terrorist attack in American history. When considering this, it seems unlikely that players will actually take part in No Russian this time around. It may just be shown in a cutscene and nothing more, with much of the actual terrorism happening off-screen and being handled as tastefully as possible. Regardless, with the gameplay trailer for Modern Warfare 3 showing a cutscene that depicts part of No Russian, it is clear that some part of the attack will play out on-screen. Depending on how similar the moment is to an infamous real-life attack, and how much control players have in the sequence, No Russian 2.0 could be more divisive than the original.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launches November 10 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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