2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
, effectively a reboot of the Modern Warfare storyline that began in 2007, features an explosive early mission set in London’s Piccadilly Circus, a major traffic and pedestrian intersection. It’s essentially 2019’s Modern Warfare’s equivalent of the No Russian mission, a particularly violent stretch in which innocent civilians are caught in a massive terrorist attack. Well, it turns out that the events of Piccadilly Circus weren’t so unexpected, as a newspaper from Modern Warfare 2 actually described the event.
As shown in a Reddit post from user “NuclearFPS,” (as reported by Eurogamer), a newspaper clipping with the headline “Makarov Vows Revenge in Taped Message” and a picture of Picadilly Circus can be seen in mission 15 of Modern Warfare 2, “Loose Ends.” In the mission, you’re launching an attack on the house of villain Vladimir Makarov on the Georgia-Russian border, finding a wealth of intel on Makarov’s activities around the globe.
The text of the newspaper clipping directly mentions a bombing in Piccadilly Circus. The clipping also details a statement from Makarov following the bombing, claiming the attack is revenge for “eliminating [Modern Warfare 1 antagonist] Imran Zakhaev.”
Another newspaper nearby continues the description of events.
“The explosion at Piccadilly Circus was heard for miles in every direction,” the paper reads. “Ryan Lastimosa, a tourist from the US, was watching the Changing of the Guard less than a mile away at Buckingham Palace when he heard a ‘loud boom’. ‘The ground shook so hard that we were practically thrown to the ground.’ 59 injuries from falling debris alone were reported in the vicinity of the palace. Royal Marines stationed around the area responded in conjunction with local police, but no suspects were apprehended. The death toll continues to rise, as emergency workers dig through the rubble with the current count at 407. ‘The quantity of explosives was substantial but conventional in nature,’ said a spokesperson for Interpol. ‘The question is one of logistics – we are working on that at the moment. The transport of such a large quantity would have been prohibitive in that area.’ Some have speculated that Makarov used a modified subway car in London’s Underground packed with explosives, set to detonate on arrival at the heavily trafficked station in the heart of London.”
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While it directly mentions the Piccadilly bombing, the newspaper clip kind of messes with the established Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) timeline, as Zakhaev is shown to be alive and well by the end of the latest game’s campaign when it’s revealed that the events are effectively a prequel. It’s easy to imagine Infinity Ward likely combed through the three previous Modern Warfare games for narrative beats to help tie 2019’s Call of Duty back to its predecessors, albeit with some significant changes.
There’s also the fact that 2019 COD’s Piccadilly attack was carried out by terrorists driving vans filled with explosives, while Modern Warfare 2’s newspapers say Makarov used a train tunnel. Regardless, fans wondering whether or not Activision and Infinity Ward will folllow the exact same campaign narrative as previous Modern Warfare games or spice things up have one more thing to theorize about now.
In other Call of Duty news, to the surprise of no one, the FPS franchise claimed seven out of 10 spots of the highest selling games of the decade, according to the NPD. You can also still buy Modern Warfare’s “Outback Relief” pack to help raise money for Australia wildfire relief efforts.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer for IGN.