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The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare campaign trailer is violent, morally conflicted, and loud

Captain Price meets with his new best friend, a Middle Eastern militant named Farah

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Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

An all-new trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was released today, and it finally lifts the veil on the military shooter’s single-player campaign. You can watch it in the embed above, or on YouTube.

The trailer focuses on Captain Price, a fan favorite of the Call of Duty series. The hard-bitten member of the British Special Air Service (SAS) joins forces with the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to contain the global spread of chemical weapons. Their unlikely partner is named Farah Karim, a female soldier and a leader within the fictional Urzikstani Liberation Force. The trailer includes multiple scenes of terrorists doing their worst, including wearing bomb-laden vests and deploying chemical weapons on civilian populations. To counter them, Western soldiers employ sophisticated small arms and a steady cavalcade of black helicopters.

Today’s trailer, which was released during Sony’s State of Play presentation, is shot through with moral ambiguity. It ends with a discussion of the “rules of engagement,” part of the orders given to every soldier in the field about who to target with deadly force during a combat operation. “The rules of engagement have changed,” Price says. “If you can’t identify the target, you are the target.”

Today’s trailer was accompanied by a post on the official PlayStation blog written by Infinity Ward studio narrative director Taylor Kurosaki.

“At its core, the story of Modern Warfare is about how the complexities of modern conflict take a toll on everyone involved,” Kurosaki writes. “In many ways, we are in a world where there are not always simply ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys’; there is no black or white. Rather, reality is typically the grey area in the middle. So how does one achieve their version of the ‘greater good’ while navigating this complex world? How far are you willing to go to discern between ‘right’ and ‘wrong?’ Are you willing to cross certain barriers to defeat an enemy who has no battle lines drawn?”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is coming to PlayStation 4, Windows PC via, and Xbox One with cross-platform play. The game will be released on Oct. 25.