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Captain Price seems to die in a cut ending from Modern Warfare 3, uncovered 13 years later

Price cut

A soldier runs across a battlefield in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
Image credit: Activision

You remember the ending of 2011's first-person bullethoser Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, right? Everyone does! A big man kills another big man with a gun but then - then! - a third big man kills that first big man with a rope. It's dramatic stuff. Well, a data-diving enthusiast of the CoDwars has discovered a cut ending from the original trilogy's closing chapter. It's a more downbeat and mysterious finale, featuring a shadowy figure whose identity is never revealed. Also, Captain Price, the hero of the franchise and aforementioned big man number three, drops his cigar with possibly mortal implications.

The unused ending has been restored by a "yoyo1love", a YouTuber who likes to mess about in the game's files. It's been uploaded by another user, Vlad Loktionov. The cut sequence looks to have been intended as a post-credits scene.

Watch on YouTube

As you can see, Captain Price is briefly visited by a shadowy figure in the background. He then tumbles over and drops his lit cigar which rolls weakly away from him, a loss of comforting tobacco possibly charged with symbolism and also possibly charged with nothing. A photo appears afterwards showing the four major characters of the series, with a big "rest in peace" vibe, which suggests Price has also just died.

Anyway, compare all this to the original ending in which Captain Price painfully but satisfyingly lights his cigar and chills out, watching a corpse swing in front of him (normal Captain Price pastime).

I'm poking fun. But I do find it interesting to see relics of gaming yesteryear surfacing and spawning conspiracy theories among fans, even as late as 13 years from the game's release. Lots of stuff ends up on the chopping room floor in video game development. It's hard to know why things get cut without having been in the studio when the decision was made. We could speculate this was a planned teaser for a follow-up Call of Duty game, but that the mysterious ending was canned for whatever reason. (Infinity Ward's next CoD ended up being Call of Duty: Ghosts, which told its own separate story, independent of previous characters). But only the team involved will likely know what was intended here. For now, I'll leave the Call of Dutiful out there to come to their own conclusions.

Again, this is the Modern Warfare of many years ago, not the first-person shooter remake of 2023. It was an awkward time for the series back then, developed amid the fallout of departing team members who would go on to form Respawn Entertainment. John (RPS in peace) didn't like the shooter much in his Modern Warfare 3 review, calling it a "bombastic and clumsy un-game". But if you want to see how it stacks up next to the others in the series, we did once have all the Call of Duty games ranked.

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