If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Call of Duty No Russian actors "tearful"

"Sometimes we become desensitised."

The voice over actors who played the terrorists in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's controversial No Russian level were "tearful" as they delivered lines, one of the developers has revealed.

"Sometimes they bring something to the performance that is actually even more tragic or more powerful than anything that we would have actually envisioned," Call of Duty director Keith Arem told GamesIndustry.biz.

"By them bringing that to life, it really engages the player emotionally.

"It's a difficult moral question for the player and directing the actors and hearing what the actors are saying in Russian is actually almost worse than seeing the action on screen, because these families [in game] are separated, fathers telling their wives to take the children and everything will be okay, and knowing that it's not... it was a difficult thing to work with a lot of the actors.

"Some of the actors were very tearful saying the lines because it was a pretty emotionally charged scene."

No Russian, the fourth level in Modern Warfare, sees the player take part in a Russian airport massacre.

It caused controversy in the mainstream media upon release, and was even blamed for a terrorist attack on Moscow in January this year.

While developer Infinity Ward knew No Russian would court controversy, Arem admitted that it's easy to forget the impact such scenes have on players.

"Sometimes we become desensitised to the fact that this is going to be so controversial and when it comes out we have to remind ourselves that people are seeing this for the first time and they're also taking in the complete experience for the first time as opposed to seeing it in the various stages of production," he said.

No Russian and other likely controversial Call of Duty scenes usually make the cut because management backs the teams' decisions.

"When you see it actually come together and you hear all the voices and you see what the team bought to that, it's very brutal," said Arem. "It's a difficult experience for anyone to go through.

"At the same time, creatively, when those decision are unanimous between the team we try to make them as engaging as possible. Unfortunately we're pretty much committed once we make that decision because the development cycle is so far in advance of the release of the game."

Will you support Eurogamer?

We want to make Eurogamer better, and that means better for our readers - not for algorithms. You can help! Become a supporter of Eurogamer and you can view the site completely ad-free, as well as gaining exclusive access to articles, podcasts and conversations that will bring you closer to the team, the stories, and the games we all love. Subscriptions start at £3.99 / $4.99 per month.

About the Author

Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole

Deputy Editorial Director

Wesley is deputy editorial director of ReedPop. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


More News

Latest Articles

Supporters Only

Eurogamer.net logo

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer.net Merch