It's still really distressing... It's been over 10 years, and it's still one of the most disturbing moments in the annals of video games. Despite the tell-tale "gaming" reminders (a quick glance around reveals a very repetitive use of character models), it's the little things: the cop who slowly draws his gun in disbelief; the guy trying to pull an injured loved one to safety; the hapless trio of tourists who think surrendering will save their lives. But ultimately, what actually causes the chills, is the real-world relatability of the situation.
When talking about violence in video games, it's always the usual scapegoats that get name-checked – your Mortal Kombats and Resident Evils. But they're not really violent. They're violent like, say, The Running Man is violent. Modern Warfare 2's notorious "No Russian" is actually violent. And let's face it, we know exactly why it's so upsetting: it's representative of real-world atrocities, far detached from the comic-book safety of exploding zombies and decapitated ninjas featured in other "shocking" games.
Despite MW 2's toothless "This Game is Fictional" opening salvo, "No Russian" remains a little too close for comfort. That's why people are still talking about it. It's why I mentally recall the scene every time I visit an airport (not dissimilar to how Jaws affected a generation of beach-goers). And it's why today, over a decade later, it's still an indelible sequence to almost everyone who experiences it.