Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare may have roared onto consoles with its exosuits, hover bikes, and Kevin Spacey, but now that the game’s finally out in the wild, all anyone can talk about is the funeral scene.
Warning: Very minor spoiler ahead.
In the game’s opening mission, your character’s best friend dies during a battle in South Korea. And in what was probably meant to be an emotionally charged moment, you attend his funeral, surrounded by grieving friends, relatives, and soldiers.
You, too, have the chance to pay homage to your fallen comrade.
You do this by holding down the X button on your Xbox controller (or Square on a PS4, or F on a keyboard).
It’s lazy. It’s baffling. And it’s certain to become a meme any moment now.
You’ve got the choice to NOT press the button, of course, though that means you’re just stuck wandering around the funeral, staring at mourners. If you want the game to proceed, you gotta pay your respects.
It’s a truly odd moment in an otherwise gung-ho game. And it’s turning heads. Famous ones, even.
“Hold X to pay respects?!?” asks Conan O’Brien in his “Clueless Gamer” playthrough of the game. “What does that mean?! That’s crazy! Is there a button for ‘I’m here because I thought I might meet somebody, but I didn’t care about the guy?’ … This is the creepiest thing I’ve ever done.”
The absurdist moment is also leaving a bitter taste in some people’s mouths. Polygon’s Charlie Hall believes it’s an attempt by the developers to have their cake and eat it, too.
“Games like Call of Duty often try to straddle the line between respect for real soldiers and their losses while also doing everything they can to romanticize the act of war,” he writes. “They want to be The Expendables while also invoking Band of Brothers, and that doesn’t work.”
If only the developers could hold X to rewind time and maybe rethink this one.
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