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Small Details Only Hardcore Modern Warfare 2 Fans Noticed

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" has released, ushering in a new take on the blockbuster first-person shooter. The game delivers a bombastic single-player campaign, frenetic multiplayer, and will bring a refresh of the series' popular battle royale in the form of "Warzone 2.0." Fans who pre-ordered the game gained early access to its single-player campaign, with the game's multiplayer offering starting in earnest with the game's full launch on October 28, 2022. 


As fans have gotten their hands on the game and have started experiencing the campaign and becoming familiar with its multiplayer maps, many secrets and easter eggs have already been found. Some of these discoveries have been more approachable, but "Modern Warfare 2" also features a lot of references that only the most dedicated of fans will notice. Here are the best that have been found so far.

Infinity Ward's Teddy Bear

Hardcore "Call of Duty" fans will be very familiar with the series' long-running tradition of teddy bear easter eggs. The trend started with the release of "Call of Duty: Finest Hour" in 2004 and has gone on to rear its head repeatedly throughout the series. From there, it became an iconic part of the mystery box in "Call of Duty Zombies," appeared as a Godzilla-sized easter egg in 2019's "Modern Warfare," and was a cosmetic in "Vanguard." 


With the easter egg's legacy in mind it is no surprise that it did not take long for fans to start reporting that they found the teddy bear in the early access period of "Modern Warfare 2's" campaign. The teddy bear was first found by Reddit user lundun91. It is found during the Alone mission sitting on top of a shelf in a child's bedroom. To help emphasize that the teddy bear is intended to be a reference and not just a coincidental children's toy in the environment it has a star on its left side, just over its heart. An identical star was present on the first bear that appeared in "Finest Hour." 

A tip of the hat to Heisenberg

As players started jumping into the full multiplayer experience of "Modern Warfare 2," they immediately began finding easter eggs sprinkled throughout its maps and modes. One of the first references the community found was an RV on the Santa Sena Border Crossing map. The map features dozens of vehicles stopped on a stretch of road along the border between the United States and Mexico. This RV looks almost exactly like the one from the extremely popular AMC television series "Breaking Bad," right down to the cosmetic blemishes on the door. 


In the beloved TV series, the RV is shot five times and the bullet holes are covered with duct tape, just like the spots on the door in the game. This all happens while the RV is in Mexico, and its placement on the map shows it returning back to the states from Mexico. The reference is also apt because of the focus of the game's campaign. Players are largely combatting Mexican drug cartels in "Modern Warfare 2," which is also a prominent focus in "Breaking Bad." 

Verdansk is gone, but not forgotten

Alongside the release of Infinity Ward's 2019 release "Modern Warfare," the studio also kicked off the battle royale titan "Warzone." When it was first released, "Warzone" was set on a map called Verdansk, a fictional eastern European city with which fans became intimately familiar, especially as it evolved over time. With the release of "Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War," players got to travel back in time to visit Verdansk in 1984. The release of Season One of "Call of Duty: Vanguard," however, completely replaced Verdansk with the pacific island Caldera map. 


While Verdansk is no longer playable in "Warzone," Infinity War has shown that the devs have not forgotten their first foray into battle royale. During the campaign mission "Tradecraft," players are able to wander the streets of Amsterdam. There, players can find a bike shop that sells jerseys for a soccer team from Verdansk. This team is assumedly the very same that played in Verdansk's iconic stadium, which experienced fans will no doubt remember.

Developer names on the raceway

This hidden detail was actually found by eagle-eyed fans months before "Modern Warfare 2" was released. In August 2022, Infinity Ward released a trailer for a multiplayer map called the Marina Bay Grand Prix, which saw players fighting during a Formula 1 race based on the real marina Bay track in Singapore. While the map's name was changed to Crown Raceway for the release, fun nods can still be found toward some of the game's developers.


The names are found above the garages for different drivers who apparently take their namesakes from developers. As noted by The Loadout, these include the game's senior producer Steve Najera, environment artists Matt Evans and Carlos Cervantes, and environment art director Paul Interrante. "Call of Duty" fans who enjoy F1 racing will also notice numerous flags and logos referencing real world brands and sponsors all throughout the fictional raceway.

The return of Riley

Alongside the teddy bear easter egg, the campaign mission "Alone" hides another toy that long-time "Call of Duty" fans will likely appreciate. This one is a small toy dog with equipment that makes it a clear reference to Riley, one of the greatest good boys in the series' long history. Riley is a good bit harder to find than the teddy bear because of its smaller size, as well as its location: It's tucked away on a shelf that is cluttered with books, papers, and boxes, easily obscuring the little pup. 


Riley appeared in 2013's "Call of Duty: Ghosts," which was also developed by Infinity Ward. "Ghosts" was one of the more poorly reviewed entries in the series, but it notably introduced a feature that allowed players to give commands to a trained dog companion named Riley. The canine quickly became a hit among "Call of Duty" fans, and while he has never returned in the flesh, Infinity Ward still gave him his own easter egg for his many fans to find in "Modern Warfare 2."

Ghost remembers

Ghost is a returning character from the original "Modern Warfare 2." His ski mask with a skull on the front of it has become an iconic symbol amongst "Call of Duty" fans, and the new game serves him well. His inclusion in the new "Modern Warfare 2" redesigns Ghost's look and adds new layers to the character and his backstory. While "Modern Warfare 2" is not a strict remake, it does share some story elements with the original, including numerous references to the its events.


One of the most obfuscated of these comes at the end of the "Prison Break" mission. As players get into a van and make their getaway, Ghost says, "Shepherd burned us." This may seem like a normal line of dialogue, especially since it comes just after players learn that the team was betrayed by General Shepherd, but it can also be seen as a dark  reference to the original "Modern Warfare 2" campaign. In that story/timeline, Shepherd betrayed Ghost and killed him — before lighting him on fire and literally burning him. 

Still no Russian

One of the most controversial missions in "Call of Duty" history is "No Russian" from the original "Modern Warfare 2." The mission centered around players controlling an undercover character during a false flag terrorist attack on an airport, which saw them shooting innocent people. This sparked a massive controversy and concerns surrounding whether or not video games should show such violent material or allow players to participate in them. 


While a modernized version of "No Russian" was not included in the latest "Modern Warfare 2," the campaign's post-credit scene includes a nod to the level, possibly setting up future updates or a sequel. This scene shows a small group of terrorists preparing to hijack an airplane. One of the terrorists assembles a pistol primarily made of plastic before sending a text to others saying they are ready. They then receive a text response: "No Russian."

This is a clear reference to the original mission, as it's the line spoken in the original game, just moments before the attack on the airport.

Ramirez's Return

The campaign of the original "Modern Warfare 2" featured a mission that saw the player controlling a soldier named Ramirez. Not only did it introduce fans to the iconic Burger Town restaurant chain, but it also spawned a meme among the fanbase because of how often his name is shouted and how much he is told to do during the mission. 


Outside of that mission, Ramirez has not appeared again in a "Call of Duty" title. However, his popularity with experienced "Call of Duty" fans seems to have led to Infinity Ward including a reference to him in the new "Modern Warfare 2." At least, the presence of a similarly-named soldier doesn't really seem to be a coincidence.

The reference can be found in the mission "Ghost Team." During the mission, the player's squad includes a generic soldier with a randomized name — one of which is "Pvt. Ramirez." Though he only stays with the player for that mission, it's nice to see the classic character getting a shoutout.

Ghillied up again

Another iconic "Call of Duty" campaign mission is "All Ghillied Up," which played out in the original "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare." The mission was filled with tension as players worked to sneak through enemy patrols and attempt to assassinate terrorist leader Imran Zakhaev. In the new "Modern Warfare 2," the mission "Recon by Fire" is filled with apparent references to "All Ghillied Up."


The mission follows two snipers working together to infiltrate enemy territory by utilizing ghillie suits that help them blend in with the area's tall grass. Throughout the mission, there are numerous lines of dialogue that are highly reminiscent of "All Ghillied Up," especially those spoken by Captain Price. "Recon by Fire" also borrows a few familiar set pieces from the original "Modern Warfare," like slowly crawling through an enemy patrol to avoid getting noticed. However, the mission does change quite drastically once the player gets past the patrol and starts assaulting an enemy outpost for information.

Emblem for life

While "Call of Duty" is well-known for its single-player campaigns, the series also supports a robust online multiplayer community. One of the very first easter eggs that was found by said community was a reference to the series' multiplayer modes. This easter egg can be found in a tattoo parlor that has framed sheets of flash art lining its walls. Since most players will just go through the tattoo parlor as quickly as possible, it can be very hard to spot. 


Fans who take the time to check out those tattoos will notice that one of the frames holds numerous tattoo versions of multiplayer emblems from previous titles. This is a really subtle easter egg for players that have spent a lot of time in multiplayer and have earned the emblems on display. Translating them from their usual style to more of a classic tattoo aesthetic is also a fun touch for fans.

Keep a close watch

In the eleventh campaign mission, "El Sin Nombre," players are tasked with infiltrating the house of a cartel member. There are a lot of great details sprinkled throughout the mission, but fans of the franchise will want to keep an eye out for a line of watches on a shelf. There are six watches lined up in total, and each one of them represents a cosmetic from either "Modern Warfare" or "Warzone." However, these watches were only available by progressing through one of the game's battle passes or purchasing certain bundles from the in-game store.


One particularly interesting watch is the one that comes with the Snoop Dogg operator bundle in "Warzone." This watch especially stands out from the others, since it was released as a bundle from "Call of Duty: Vanguard," rather than the previous "Modern Warfare." Is this a hint that "Modern Warfare 2" will be bringing back some old cosmetics, or just a fun nod for the most stylish of fans?