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Modern Warfare and Warzone’s new 16-bit death effect sparks realism debate • Eurogamer.net

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone are gritty, realistic shooters, right? Well, the game’s latest cosmetic DLC is about as far away from that as you could get.

This week, a new 16-bit-themed DLC pack was released for Infinity Ward’s first-person shooter. It adds new weapon skins such as the Commodore assault rifle and the Genesis submachine gun (I see what they did there), as well as a new 16-bit death effect. And it’s this death effect that’s refuelled a debate that’s been bubbling for a while now about Modern Warfare and Warzone’s tone.

This death effect sees enemies killed with one of the weapon skins included in the DLC pack explode in a shower of 16-bit pixels. It’s like something out of Tron or Scott Pilgrim. There’s even an accompanying “deres” audio effect. Here’s how it looks:

New 16-bit pack let’s you satisfyingly delete the roof top campers from r/modernwarfare

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This death effect has got Modern Warfare fans talking, I think it’s fair to say. And there seem to be two differing opinions: one, this kind of wacky in-game effect is fair game, after all, Call of Duty has never been realistic – despite what the marketers say about it. And two, there’s no place for wacky in-game effects in a game that was billed as a realistic military shooter from the beginning – and actually followed through on that promise.

Let’s back up: when Infinity Ward pitched Modern Warfare, it described the game as gritty and realistic, and this certainly could be felt in the developer’s attention to detail and philosophy when it came to map design. Most of the maps depict real-looking locations, war-torn and blasted apart. The weapons in the game are incredibly realistic, with impressive reload animations and audio. Even the movement of the soldiers feels weighty. The overall feel is one of realism and authenticity. At least, that’s what Modern Warfare is shooting for.

But Modern Warfare has in the months since it came out added DLC weapon and character skins, as well as tracer effects and takedowns that are entirely unrealistic. Silly, even. The game has a finishing move in which you summon a bat called Edward who eats your…

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