Call of Duty: Modern Warfare foregår godt nok i et fiktivt mellemøstligt land, men det benytter sig også af ægte historiske begivenheder til at fortælle sin historie. Dog er spillet blevet kritiseret af mange for at lave om på den tragiske "Highway of Death"-begivenhed, hvor amerikanske soldater ødelagde omtrent 2000 personkøretøjer på vejen imellem Kuwait City og den irakiske grænse under Golfkrigen, og dræbte et utal af civile i processen. I Call of Duty: Modern Warfare er begivenhederne blevet lavet om, så det er russiske styrker der åbner ild imod civile og amerikanske CIA der redder dagen.
Det er en kort (og sikkert historisk afstumpet) opsummering, men dette er Activision og Infinity Ward blevet kritiseret for, og flere anser det som historisk revisionisme og sågar amerikansk propaganda. Dog forsvarer Narrative Director Taylor Kurosaki historien i et interview med GameSpot, hvor han siger følgende:
"I think you could probably find many instances of the words 'highway of death' being used in a lot of cases. The reason why Urzikstan is a fictional country is because we are taking themes that we see played over and over and over again, over the last 50 years, in countries all over the world and locations all over the world, and we're not making a simulation of one particular country or one conflict. These are themes that play out over and over again, and with a lot of the same players involved. We don't portray any one side as good or bad."
"In our game, there are American characters who betray the trust of other characters in the story. There are Middle-Easterners who resort to tactics you wouldn't think as above-board. There's also characters that are from the same region that you think are more morally just. Same thing for Russian characters. We have Russian antagonists and Russian heroes in this game, and again that was our goal. This is not some kind of propaganda. This is reporting on what is happening in these conflict zones."
"These are proxy wars ... and the biggest victims of these proxy wars are the local people on the ground. For people who are from a more privileged background where they don't live in close proximity to these conflict zones, they don't think about the cost [to] the locals in these areas, and I think that this is a thing that we're really building awareness for."
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