“If you’re going to break into the gulag…”: You Will Respect Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 a Lot More after Knowing What They Did to Make One Mission Extremely Realistic

Call of Duty had professional military assistance while writing the game.

Call of Duty


  • Sledgehammer games had military advisors to walk them through the development process of in game campaigns.
  • Operation 627 in the game owes it's success to the insight given by military professionals.
  • Dave Swenson talks about his process of writing the game.
Show More
Featured Video

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 came out in 2023 and opened up to a great response. The game was able to bank on the nostalgia ride of the earlier titles, with improved graphics and mechanics this time around.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is a remake of the game by the same name
Loading screen of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Sledgehammer Games had a team of military advisors to talk them through, how in-game scenarios would be carried out in real life. This is not the first time Sledgehammer games have turned to military professionals. It was first seen in 2014, during the development of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Operation 627 was a success due to military advisors

During the mission, Task Force 141 is tasked to infiltrate a highly fortified and guarded Russian gauge, in the dead of the night, to rescue the mysterious prisoner 627.


Sledgehammer had military advisors to assist them in the writing process, especially during fleshing out one of the famous gulag missions, where Task Force 141 needed to infiltrate a highly fortified building and rescue a soldier. Sharing his thoughts during an interview with The Guardian,  Swenson, the creative director of the game commented –

When we were talking about that level, we sat down with these advisers and we said, ‘OK, if you’re going to break into the Gulag, how do you do that?’

Sledgehammer had military advisors to assist them though the development process of the game
A still from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

To which they replied –

Well, we’d probably have a team that would go in via submarine and they would climb the outside. But it wouldn’t be just one team. We’d always have a backup. We’d probably send them via parachutes.

And this is how it transpired. Swenson was pleased about the suggestions from the military advisors as they enriched the gameplay and closely made it on par with Call of Duty’s style of warfare.


Dave Swenson speaks about his process of creating Call of Duty: MW3

Infinity wrote the previous game and it appeared to be on Sledgehammers’ onus to pick up from where Infinity left off in Modern Warfare 2, but this was not the case. Sledgehammer began writing the game alongside Infinity during the previous game’s writing process, so everything has been fleshed out since the beginning.

Operation 627
A still from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Dave Swenson said –

We partnered with Infinity Ward and spent a lot of time coordinating. We set everything up in Modern Warfare II to be able to pay things off in Modern Warfare III. It was all very purposeful.

After fleshing out the set of objectives, it became the taste of the writers and design team to construct a campaign narrative that would hit those plot points.


While writing the cinematics for the game, they used software famous for script writing in the movie industry as it made it more accessible while sharing information with actors. Although to share with artists, animators, and coders, the team shifted to spreadsheets, which is a common tool in the gaming industry.

Shedding further light on the process Shelby Carleton, the narrative designer for the game said –

That’s what I love the most. It’s coming up with these ideas and being excited about them when they’re just yours. But then sharing them, having other people contribute, make them into something magical. It is the best part of my job.

Call of Duty has been able to create a universe of its own and has been able to create engaging games and storylines that enrich the overall experience of a military game. This time around they went one step ahead by including military advisors in their writing process which gave the game an edge, bringing it closer to reality, and increasing the immersivity of the game.


Written by Anupam Lamba

Articles Published: 105

Anupam Lamba is an avid gamer and film lover. After completing his bachelors in Mass Communication he started working as a writer in the Indian film industry before his love for gaming made him venture into the lanes of Fandomwire and he started working as a gaming writer here.