Modern Warfare 3 features some shocking moments, but none of them are gratuitous, according to Sledgehammer Games creative director Bret Robbins.
Asked by VentureBeat how the studio hoped to top the original Modern Warfare's atomic explosion and the second game's airport massacre, he said:
"What you don't do is say, we're just doing this to top ourselves. It needs to be something that's authentic, that actually moves the plot forward.
"We have some moments in the game that I think are pretty shocking, that push the envelope a little bit. But like I said before, it's not a matter of trying to be gratuitous about it, doing shocks for shock value.
"You always want to push yourself and see if you can push the limits of the medium, and storytelling," Robbins added. "We've got such a big audience for this game that we want to deliver something that's memorable."
Last week, Modern Warfare 3 executive producer Mark Rubin criticised some media outlets for stirring up controversy just to get a reaction.