Movies that inspired Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

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Call of Duty revolutionized the first person shooter game kind of video game when the franchise debuted in 2003. Since then, other games have emulated its gameplay and cinematic action sequences. Relying on other media, Call of Duty itself was inspired by popular action movies like The rock and 1 p.m.: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi in his campaign missions. With the 2022 release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the franchise reinforces its cinematic nature with even more Hollywood inspiration. Minor spoilers ahead.

Here are 4 movies that inspired Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

1. Zero Dark Thirty

The decisive raid influenced the previous one modern warfare title (Sony Pictures)

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare the reboot from 2019 featured its own mission that resembled the movie 2012 which represented Operation Neptune Spear, the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. CoD: MWII kicks off early with its second “Kill or Capture” campaign mission.

kill or capture
“Kill or Capture” sets the tone for the game as the first complete mission (Activision)

In the mission, a joint British special forces SAS-US Marines unit splits into two teams and raids a terrorist compound to capture or kill a high-value target. Keeping spoilers to a minimum, the mission includes night vision, close room clearing, and descent assist. While it’s certainly not a one-for-one raid depicted in zero dark thirtyelements of the film can be seen throughout the mission.

2. Sole Survivor

Navy SEALs
Navy SEALs retreat downhill sole survivor (Universal Images)

The 2013 movie sole survivor, based on the book of the same name by Marcus Luttrell, chronicles the ill-fated 2005 Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan, Operation Red Wings. When a four-man SEAL team is compromised on a reconnaissance mission, they are forced to fight dozens of Taliban fighters on an Afghan mountain. Fighting a retrograde descent, the SEALs are forced to jump off a cliff to escape their pursuing enemy. The film depicts this intense shootout and desperate escape in graphic detail.

Sole Survivor Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
This mission relied heavily on sole survivor (Activision)

In Cod:MWII, the “Cartel Protection” mission requires the player to shoot with a pursuing enemy during a downhill retreat. Hiding behind rocks and trees, covering your fellow AIs in link-up moves, and fighting back with a suppressed rifle, the player can easily draw parallels between the mission and Sole survivor. To top it off, downhill moves lead to a dead end that forces a cliff jump. It should be noted that downhill shootout and cliff jumping were also playable in 2010. Medal of Honor video game restart.

3. Sicario

border scene
Border scene builds great tension before erupting in a quick firefight (Lionsgate)

With CoD: MWIIthe inclusion of a fictional Mexican cartel, the 2015 film Sicario was a natural inspiration for many campaign missions. The “Borderline” mission tasks the player with shooting sicarios in an American border town while “Recon by Fire” features a cartel tunnel segment straight out of the movie.

Border of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
A border crossing mission would have been a welcome addition to the campaign (Activision)

A clandestine mission titled “El Sin Nombre” requires the player to work stealthily in a hacienda in Mexico to target a cartel leader. Although it’s not quite the same as Alejandro’s John Wick-like the infiltration of the cartel leader’s hacienda in Sicario, the mission captures much of the tension of the action drama. Outside of the campaign CoD: MWII pays homage to Sicarioiconic gunfight at the border crossing with the “Santa Seña Border Crossing” multiplayer map.

4. Transformers: Dark Moon

transformers did not fit call of duty: modern warfare ii
A large-scale battle like that of Transformers did not match Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II narrative (Paramount Pictures)

The third opus of Michael Bay Transformers movies, dark of the moon featured a climactic battle in Chicago between the Autobots and Decepticons, along with their respective human allies. Located along the Chicago River, the battle features iconic buildings from the Chicago skyline.

Chicago Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
Chicago is often overlooked for New York or Los Angeles as the centerpiece of an action movie or game (Activision)

Although CoD: MWIIThe campaign doesn’t include transforming cars or full-scale battle on the streets of Windy City, its final mission includes a desperate race to stop the deployment of a catastrophic weapon. “Countdown” is also set entirely in a fictional Chicago skyscraper on the Chicago River near the iconic DuSable Bridge, like the climactic battle of dark of the moon.

Feature Image: Activision

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