In Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, the skin for Simon “Ghost” Riley appears to be a near-replica of Death Stranding’s mysterious antagonist Higgs. Whether deliberate or not, the similarity is unmistakable and wouldn’t be the first time Call of Duty has drawn from and paid tribute to other successful series.

At the end of its Season 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been met with a generally positive response to the addition of Ranked Play and the Himmelmatt Expo map. However, the Tempus Torrent marksman rifle has been accused of being too strong, and other issues with balance remain. Season 3 is expected to arrive in the middle of April.

The recently released Bone Chiller Tracer Pack for Modern Warfare 2 contains a skin for Ghost which bears a striking similarity to Higgs from Death Stranding. The half-mask, black hood, and attire are all quite similar, though Ghost is wearing sunglasses. While there have been past accusations of art asset theft with Call of Duty, many fans believe this is more of a tribute than anything else. It’s also worth noting that the default skin for Ghost already has a skull mask, so the tracer pack skin is just a recolor. Additionally, the gilded skull is reminiscent of the one featured in Army of Two, which was released over a decade prior to both titles.

When it comes to Activision being accused of deliberately taking the look of Higgs for its own game, there is certainly cause to be suspicious. Recently, Dr. Disrespect alleged that Call of Duty had used the likeness of one of the Variant skins from his upcoming game, DEADROP. This news came after Activision deleted a Samoyed skin from Call of Duty and apologized for stealing the design from an unaffiliated artist. This is not the first time that Call of Duty developers have taken inspiration from existing assets to the point of plagiarism.

It is not unusual for video games to feature unlicensed homages; for instance, Hitman draws inspiration from Kill Bill and Skyrim has an alternate ending to Empire Strikes Back. However, the recently released skin for Modern Warfare 2 has raised some eyebrows. Since the skin is available for purchase and Kojima Productions has not taken any legal action, it is up to the public to determine whether this is a respectful tribute or a blatant copy.

About the Author

Raymond is the primary author for Anonymistic. He's a computer scientist with extensive experience in development and cyber-security. He's also a big Marvel fan and a competitive gamer.

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