We settle down in the presentation room in front of a large hi-definition TV, displaying a pre-Alpha splash screen of the brand new Call of Duty. So what is the “Modern Warfare” in the game’s title? Collier explains that they’ve created their own conflict, focusing on a main bad guy - a Russian ultra-nationalist called Zakhaev, who wants to bring back the Soviet Union in the style of his idol, the ruthless genocidal Stalin. These are actions that would obviously have Boris Yeltsin turning in his recently-dug grave. Zakhaev is being backed by a significant group of dodgy Russian businessmen, mafia and military, so has a lot of meaty hardware at his disposal, which he promptly uses to start a civil war in his mother country. However, Zakhaev knows that the other world powers will eventually get involved in his little conflict, so he hatches a scheme to occupy the attack dog of the West, the USA.
“Everyone knows the Americans are a sucker for a conflict in the Middle East,” says Collier, “so Zakhaev uses a buddy called Al-Asad to fund a coup in this nondescript Middle Eastern country. It’s a trap, so the Americans get tied down and Zakhaev is ecstatic.”