Author: Jeff McAllister
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a juggernaut of a franchise that love it or hate it, we all know about it. The latest installment in the series is the final game to round out trilogy that started way back in 2007 and brought the Call of Duty series into the present day war theaters. The modern iteration of the franchise follows the role of several key characters throughout, but the main players that have been a constant through the entire series has been the three “heroes” Price, Soap MacTavish, and Nikolai on their hunt for the Ultranationalist Zakhaev and his cohort Makarov. So how did a game series that has some of the greatest set pieces and action sequences in modern gaming play out in the end?
Probably not how you thought it was going to.
As the final mission begins, both Price and Yuri are strapped into Juggernaut armor suits for the assault on the hotel that Makarov is holed up. After an effortless slaughter of Makarov’s soldiers and an elevator ride to the top floor, you lose the armor and then have to start calling your shots a little more tactfully. Eventually, after even more murders, you reach Makarov in the restaurant as he is making a break for the roof. A helicopter comes to view just outside the widow and launches a rocket inside which obliterates the restaurant but magically, both you and Yuri still have all your body parts. Granted Yuri is now impaled on a foot and a half of exposed rebar, but limbs and life are still intact.
After a short quick time event (what is it with the ending of these games and having these?) you are back on your feet and after a word or two with the Yuri-on-a-stick, you are weaponless and up the rubble to chase after Makarov. Once you reach the roof, you see that Makarov is AGAIN just taking off in a helicopter. Not to let him escape one more time, Price makes a mad dash towards the chopper and grabs the bottom rung and pulls himself up. After punching and tossing out the pilot and then stabbing the co-pilot in the throat, the helicopter goes out of control and crashes on the roof.
In a similar scene to the ending of the two previous games, there is a gun on the ground and you need to sloooooooowly crawl towards it. Before you can grab it however, Makarov appears and stands over you, ready to give you the money shot. Just as you are about to take it in the face, Yuri shows up (having found a way to crab walk off the rebar that was poking through his chest is all I can deduce) and potshots Makarov, turning his attention away from Price. Makarov then fills Yuri will a couple bullets – with a final bullet in the forehead- which then gives Price the needed time to hop to his feet and tackle Makarov to the ground. After a couple more QTE punches to the chops, Price wraps a rope around Makarov’s neck and then slam chokes him through the glass.
As the duo fall through the air, Price holds tight until the bottom, which serves as Makarov’s gallows and Price takes a fall to the ground. Serenely, Price gets comfortable, sitting there silently watching Makarov, the man who killed his friend and rescuer from the Russian Gulag, swing back and forth. Presumably congratulating himself on a job well done, Price grabs his lighter and lights up a cigar as the credits begin to roll.
And that’s it.
The Call of Duty: MW franchise has had a crazy snowmobile chase/jump scene, a nuclear bomb explosion, the Eiffel Tower collapse, a battle on the lawn of the White House, a 747 split in half while you were still inside it, the slaughter of hundreds of innocent people in an airport, and numerous other events that were absolutely overwhelming, and it all comes to an end with a lame punching scene and a fall through a glass ceiling. HONK SHNEW. Seriously, Makarov- and in extension Zakhaev – have been a major pain in the ass for three full games; they started WWIII, they made Russia invade the United States of America, they were responsible for the nuclear explosion in the middle east, the mass killings at the Russian airport, and that’s how the entire trilogy comes to its climactic end?
Did Infinity Ward just run out of creative juice toward the end or something? Anything could have been better than that. Here’s an example: Price and Yuri reach the hotel where Makarov is holed up. Knowing that Makarov is on the top floor, they skydive to the roof of the building from orbit. Yes, fucking orbit. They are dropping so fast because they have on ridiculous body armor and a hundred guns each, and are so hot from entering the earth’s atmosphere; they blow right through the roof of the hotel and obliterate everything and everyone inside, top to bottom. Price and Yuri stroll out the front door of the lobby- because hey, apparently they are indestructible- and immediately the hotel explodes in a cloud of awesomeness behind them. And then Yuri collapses and dies from SpaceAIDS or something.
Still better than the real ending.