PlayStation 4 users were granted early access to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered campaign and players have already discovered a mind-boggling easter egg that doubles as a new achievement.
The trophy, called 'Time Paradox', involves killing Vladimir Makarov, the antagonist of Modern Warfare 2 and 3. Now, killing him during the story of the first Modern Warfare would have some interesting implications for the future, wouldn't it?
Players of the original version may remember the One Shot, One Kill mission in which you're tasked with sniping Zakhaev. Franchise fans might also recall that Modern Warfare 3 has a callback to this mission in the form of a flashback. In fact, you relive the exact same moment from the perspective of MW3 protagonist Yuri, who watches the assassination go down.
The developers have retconned the mission in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered by adding Makarov and Yuri, who now occupy a jeep in the beginning of the One Shot, One Kill mission. On one hand, this 'fixes' the story continuity in accordance with the sequels. On the other hand, this gives skilled players a choice opportunity to break it even harder.
To get the Time Paradox trophy, you need to snipe Zakhaev, as according to plan, and then quickly snipe Makarov. Boom! You just shot a hole in the space-time continuum.
Here's how it's done:
Sequence breaking, or the art of circumventing the path you are supposed to take in video games, is a popular hobby for pesky players. The developers at Infinity Ward and Raven Software, while fixing their storyline, must have anticipated that players just wouldn't be able to resist the temptation to mess around with their canon (I mean, come on, that rat-bastard Makarov is right there! You could save millions of lives by taking him out!).
Astute readers will notice another opportunity for sequence breaking here. It's also possible to attempt to shoot Yuri, but there's no glory in it. Instead of a trophy, you get a "Friendly fire will not be tolerated" message.
What does it mean for the future?
Probably nothing. I mean, without Makarov, MW2 and 3 couldn't really happen, at least not in the way that players are familiar with. Even when video games allow for this kind of paradox, they usually just reprimand the player and stick to their planned storyline. Anyone try and kill Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 3? Although if more Modern Warfare games are on the cards, an alternate timeline in which Makarov was assassinated at the same time as Zakhaev could be an interesting direction to explore. But who knows what the future holds?
So, would you shoot Makarov?