And another thing: Is Zakhaev Airport in Los Angeles?

Taking aim at The Standard rooftop bar in downtown L.A.

Don't shoot! Don't shoot! We're having drinks up here!

If you play Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 quite a bit – and I do – you’ll come across a couple of Easter Eggs. The picture at the top of this post is one of them; on the High Rise map in multiplayer you can see this rooftop bar if you look over one side of the building.

It is, in fact, based on a real bar in the US – the rooftop bar of The Standard hotel downtown Los Angeles. (Fun fact: the bar has also featured in a couple of movies. It’s in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (the scene in which Robert Downey Jnr’s character punches Val Kilmer’s character) and it’s the setting for the end shoot-out in Crank (which, if you haven’t seen it, is a heart-breaking work of staggering genius).┬áIt’s a very lovely drinking establishment; there’s a decent selection behind the bar, the bartenders can make pretty good cocktails, the views of the city are spectacular and its busy every single night. It’s a safe bet that the lads from Infinity Ward may have had a couple of evenings there, which may explain its inclusion in Modern Warfare 2.

I was thinking about this when I passed through LAX at the end of last year. LAX, if you’ve never been through it can be hell on earth. The building is stuffy, the air-con feels non-existent and progress through the building usually moves at the same speed as a crippled tortoise with one foot. Queues weave throughout the airport, halting at a flight of stairs where a customs official checks everyone’s documents. Then you trek up the stairs where a massive queue in front of the security checkpoints is waiting for you. There has been one instance where I have arrived at LAX to find the building almost empty, but that is the exception rather than the rule. The norm is to stand around in the building, slowly melting while your adrenal gland pulses with malice.

I often wonder if the boys from Infinity Ward have ever had to go through that experience. I only say this because the last time I went through LAX I suddenly had a creeping sensation that I’d seen the lay out of the building somewhere before. I might be crazy, so see what you think:

The escalators at LAX

The escalators at LAX look awfully familiar

These are the escalators and stairs leading up to security at LAX.

The escalators at Zakaev Airport

The escalators at Zakhaev Airport look familiar too!

These are the escalators at Zakhaev Airport, which is the environment No Russian takes place in. Anyone remember No Russian? The level in which you do prod all for the first couple of minutes other than shoot down unarmed civilians in an airport? Another Easter Egg perhaps?

Or maybe I’m just being an idiot. Probably that…

 

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