Rumour Patrol: Is Call Of Duty About To Drop A 9/11 Mission?

Rumour Patrol: Is Call Of Duty About To Drop A 9/11 Mission?

Is Call of Duty about to finally cross the proverbial Rubicon and finally touch on the events of September 11, 2001?

Making my newsgathering rounds this morning, as I do each day, I came upon this piece by TheGamer, which points to a post by a Call of Duty news account. In it, OP points to numbers that appear in the recent marketing for Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 that appear to spell out 9 11 2001. Fans have also noticed that the game’s marketing posters only seem to have appeared in New York so far, further cementing the theory.

The Black Ops series is no stranger to incorporating historical events into its storyline. These are games in which the main character, Alex Mason, was brainwashed by the Soviets to kill President John F Kennedy. In the more recent Black Ops: Cold War, Mason takes his orders from Ronald Reagan. In Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, it appears the game is set in the 1990s; its first teaser trailer features both Presidents of the era — George Bush Sr and Bill Clinton — along with its great villain, Iraqi prime minister and frequent human rights violator, Saddam Hussein (also rumoured to appear in the game).

Based on this, and numerous rumours about the game, it seems fairly safe to assume COD is tackling the Gulf War, which occurred between 1990-1991 and the decade of fallout that followed. That of course, takes us right to the doorstep of the event that defined the 21st Century.

Which brings me back to Paragraph 1. Have we reached, or are we about to reach, a world where Call of Duty finally decides to dramatise the most consequential moment of the modern century? The Black Ops series is a big fan of a conspiracy theory, steeping its lore and even its marketing in the kind of sinister backroom deals and false flag operations the YouTube crackpots eat up right up.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a topic with more conspiracy theories around it than 9/11, making it a tempting topic for a series like this. The question becomes a matter of taste, I suppose. 23 years on, is 9/11 far enough in the rearview mirror that it can become a fictional cog in a story like this? Maybe that’s one for the Americans to decide.

I don’t even know what shape a level-themed around 9/11 would take. I have to imagine that the player character would be removed from it somehow, perhaps watching on, helpless, as the attacks unfold. I’d also have to imagine that any American characters would be cast in a heroic light throughout.

The Call of Duty series is obviously no stranger to the odd controversial mission. ‘No Russian’ is probably the most infamous example, the airport level from the original Modern Warfare 2 that almost got it pulled from sale (I was working at EB Games at the time, I try to forget). Other games in the series have gotten in trouble for missions involving the use of controversial chemical agents like White Phosphorous.

I confess I feel some discomfort with the idea of Call of Duty playing with 9/11 in this way, but that could just be because I was 17 when it happened, burning it into my mind for my entire adult life. I don’t think I’m being puritanical about this, but the idea just doesn’t sit right with me.

On the other hand, I imagine younger players who either weren’t born yet or were too young to understand what was happening might feel differently because it impacted them differently. These games were originally set in World War 2, a conflict I was not around for, and I never really batted an eyelid at that when I was younger, you know? I have no answers here, just my own personal vibe.

Go off in the comments, I suppose. Let me know your thoughts on this one.

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