New Call of Duty Game Features Ronald Reagan Ordering You to Commit ‘War Crimes’?

September 12th, 2020 12:15 PM

Ronald Reagan is a character in the latest Call of Duty video game, subtitled Black Ops Cold War. According to the website The Verge, the whole thing is “weird.” Writer Nick Statt on August 27 broke down the trailer, “It’s an even weirder [moment] when you consider what the trailer has Reagan doing: ordering you, the player, and your fellow clandestine operatives to essentially break the law and commit potential war crimes in order to save the ‘free world.’”

Here's a brief snippet from the game’s trailer:



In the trailer, a character who looks like Secretary of State under Reagan Al Haig, complains of the black ops plan, saying, “Sir, their requests are highly irregular, most likely illegal.” “Plausible deniability if the backbone of our work,” the Haig-esque character adds.

Now, it appears that, illegal though this mission may be, the game does not portray Reagan as some sort of cynical monster for sending the characters on it. In the trailer, Reagan shoots down Haig’s worries, saying, “Gentleman, you’ve been given a great task: protecting our very way of life from a great evil. There is no higher duty, there is no higher honor, and while few people will know of your struggles, rest assured the entire free world will benefit. I know you won’t fail us.”

Still, can one imagine Call of Duty featuring Barack Obama ordering potential war crimes to be committed so casually? Or Joe Biden, should he be elected?

As the MRC's Alexander Hall noted on August 26, this isn't the first time the new Call of Duty game has faced controversy. In order to suck up to communist China, game designer Activision removed footage of the Tiananmen Square massacre. 

The full trailer can be viewed here.The game will be released on November 27.