All the secrets you missed in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 trailer

So, the Modern Warfare 3 trailer then. The chances are you've already seen it, but if you have then the chances are that you haven't seen all of it. Oh yes, your eyes will have sparkled with the flash-bang-whizz Bruckheimer spectacle of it all, but given that it also takes such a Bruckheimer-style approach to its machine-gun editing, you've probably missed quite a lot. Because there is one hell of a lot of important detail in there.

So to save you wasting half your day pause-clicking through it frame-by-frame, I've spent half my day pause-clicking through it frame-by-frame. We men of Radar UK have pored over it, squinting and scrutinising everything we've seen, and we've laid it all out bare for you. Good guys, bad guys, set-pieces, storyline and symbolism. We've got it all. So read on, why don't you?

But first up, give the trailer a(nother) watch, and then we'll tell you what we saw.

Done? Right then...

  • Things pick up pretty quickly after Modern Warfare 2. Not immediately, but pretty quickly. We're thinking a couple of weeks. The reasoning? New York has taken a fair old kicking, but there are signs of an ongoing resistance. Nothing says "ongoing resistance" like a tattered, smouldering flag. Ah, poignant symbolism. Russia is smashing the crap out of the US, and has been for a while, judging by the amount of wrecked equipment in the streets and in the sea, but the ground battle goes on.
  • A (presumably) Russian sub launches a missile strike at New York at 0:13. Yeah, there's definitely heavy resistance going on within the city. The US isn't suppressed yet.

  • Also, note how the still-in-construction Freedom Tower (the replacement for the World Trade Centre) appears on the New York skyline throughout the trailer, but remains unscathed depsite the carnage going on around it. Patriotism! F*ck yeah! Don't be surprised to see a highly symbolic battle to protect it later on in the game.
  • Things are looking far stealthier in England. This isn't all-out war, whatever that WW3 tag at the end of the trailer would tell you. Instead we reckon that the brunt of the balls-out, frontline action will concern America, while the European campaign will centre around smaller scale, subtler Spec Ops work.

  • Guys in black outfits, face masks, and smaller, night-based skirmishes with the assistance of the police. Smacks of an anti-terror operation in London, particularly when you factor in that guy vaulting over the ticket barrier on the Underground at 1:11. Definitely playing on the public transport bombings of 2005. Potentially unfortunate echoes of the Jean Charles de Menezes incident though, given the choreography of that particular shot. Either way though, all of this points to surviving MW2 bad-guy Makarov having escaped to Europe, and all folk not directly involved in the American front-line hunting him down. There certainly seems to be a lot more chasing going on in the European campaign. Check out that train vs. truck race at 0:21 for starters.
  • Note that the US army seem to be all over the French campaign. There is definitely someone or something they want in Europe. As well as the street fighting, there's what looks like a slightly quieter sweep of a building interior. Infiltration of a terrorist safe-house? It's quite feasible. We're assuming it's a mop-up of Makarov's European contacts, given the casually-dress guys lined up and held captive later on.

  • Are they gas grenades? We think they very well might be. Those green clouds look suspiciously different from anything we've seen before in MW. Tear gas? Mustard gas? And note the amount of men wearing gas masks in the French conflict. Ladies and gentlemen, we suspect gas grenades might be your new multiplayer element. Chemical weapons and gas masks. That's two new equipment perks right there.

  • Another chase, this time between a helicopter and a French police van. Our guess is that you'll be in the chopper, chasing down a hijacked van. Infinity Ward could do with upping their game after Treyarch let you pilot a chopper in Black Ops, and a chase through Paris would definitely trump a leisurely saunter over a genero-river.
  • The van also appears to have a British number plate rather than a French one. Something odd is going on here. Either Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer have made a mistake, or the van is a mock-up fake police van used by the British special forces or the enemy for covert activities. Eagle-eyed Radar reader maroule also reckons the wording on the van is inaccurate for use in Paris city centre, which adds further credence to the idea that the van is not what it seems to be.
  • And there's also a chopper chasing an armoured car. The European campaign is going to be all about the chasing.

  • That voice-over reference to "a single man"? We reckon that's Makarov talking about himself, but there's obvious double-edged meaning with it over-laid with the silouette of the soldier. That guy right there is Price or Soap, we suspect. After taking out Shepard in MW2 and going underground, it would make total sense that they'd end up chasing Makarov down in Europe. And that shot definitely takes place in the London Tube system.
  • Note though, that there's no overt reference to Price or Soap, with faceless mask-men and US soldiers taking centre stage throughout the trailer. This is just classic hero-fying, keeping them all hidden and enigmatic so that it's more of a big deal when they do appear. That said, there'll probably be a new cast of guys introduced through the US campaign.


  • SuperToad - June 4, 2011 7:26 p.m.

    Day one purchase for me.
  • AuthorityFigure - May 26, 2011 12:17 p.m.

    Gritty = realism? No. Realism = Realism. Gritty = try-hard.
  • ChuckB - May 26, 2011 7:29 a.m.

    I'm still confused why there is still fighting in America? That EMP had enough range to take all of the US East Coast, thus making that Russian navy fleet literally dead on the water while American and Canadian forces outside the blast zone clean house. The only reason I can see why that shit is still going on is that the Russian Navy is covering the entire Atlantic Ocean...where the hell are the European navies stopping the other half by their tracks? Also, they've already dropped the ball by not allowing us to play as French and German soldiers; I don't care what excuses they have because after MW2, they really have none. Since they're choosing locations who have strong armies instead of exotic ones, it's IW's perfect opportunity to get us to play with 3 or more nations again(in contrast, I can easily see us playing as French grunts and German spec ops) but no, because apparently only American and England can save us; seriously, I have a bad feeling IW want to just WW2 in WW3 starting by recreating the hopelessness France was in back then which is BS at this point, let them showcase they can kick ass too for once. Germany is also a major letdown because IW could use a German portion as a wink to the nation "redeeming" themselves trying to save the world after attempting to conquer it before. The only thing they've done right, if it's true, that we'll play as a Russian loyalist; this aspect has been WAY, WAY long overdue. That's the other that bugs me: if the Americans are Delta and the British are SAS, then there's no regular soldiers to play as and if that's the case, this is no longer MW3, it's Black Ops: Modern Warfare Edition. Also, what is the timeline of the game? Because there's no way Soap, as the ultimate badass supremo he is, can recover from a knife wound like in just days or even weeks. Only excuse would be that the Price/Soap missions consist you being on the run constantly because there's no way Soap would be fighting fit of going on the offensive against Markov. If IW is doing the single-player and SH doing the MP, there's no excuse for IW to not make the SP as long as COD1 and there's no excuse for SH to not do a beta as they should get that shit cracking now in the summer while they still can because if closer to the fall, that beta may end up being just a glorified demo. ALso, ditch IWNet for PC please and bring lean back because you guys still are the best on that mechanic (and add a walk option if we want to spend time in whatever slow/somber moments you have). If Hans Zimmer comes back, make him get an actual orchestra this time, even if you have to force him by gun point. I don't know if I'll ever play another IW COD again or not despite spending so much time on this post alone. COD meant a whole lot for me since it's inception and I looked at them as one of the few developers who could do no wrong. Seriously, there's something wrong when I'm way more excited with the alternative then the franchise's main identity.
  • BurntToShreds - May 26, 2011 4:36 a.m.

    Is there any talk of 50 dollar map packs or 50 levels of prestige? What about quickscoping? Are they going to make a lobby exclusive to quickscoping? And maybe they could adda tactical nuke and more broken killstreaks?
  • SNIPEXBARRAGE - May 26, 2011 12:09 a.m.

    The U.S. must also be in Germany because as they are rappeling down you may notice that the plane flying over head is an A-10 which is the U.S. air to ground bomber.
  • Smeggs - May 25, 2011 8:09 p.m.

    It's easy to guess that at one point you will be chasing down Soap and Price as American soldiers, most likely losing them at the last moment rather than being killed. I mean, they murdered Shephard, who besides them nobody knew had his own hidden agenda. America is going to be jonesing for some vengeance obviously, before learning the truth at the last moment, and Soap/Price dying to save the other while whichever one lives (Probably Price) will give a dramatic and melancholy monologue at the end.
  • Jarhead1066 - May 25, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    David i honestly think this game could also be somewhat fan made like black ops was showing that the title is Call of Duty MW3 instead of Modern Warfare 3. alot of people would say MW2 or MW. Also thier are some simularities in the cinematics that come from other games like Tom Clancys End War with the whole Paris Scene so it might be fan made and mostly controlled by Activision if it is then here comes another Epic Fail from Activision.
  • 44Patriots44 - May 25, 2011 7:06 p.m.

    Am i the only one who thought that the part they said could be a MP map resembled HighRise from MW2?
  • ATOMlX - May 25, 2011 3:09 p.m.

    @yesIusetheM14 He got shot in the side if you remember correctly and seeing how his entire body was covered in military gear he could survive the flames just badly scared.
  • philipshaw - May 25, 2011 1 p.m.

    Not too interested in this
  • Silentboy - May 25, 2011 12:09 p.m.

    Can't wait for all the douchebag casual gamers to buy this game for the multiplayer only cuz they're xXxLeEtSnIpErPrOxXx.
  • shura - May 25, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    Hi everyone, the french police car is not a police car (police car are white with thin red and blue strip), it's a military car, this kind of car is mostly use near governement office so you can find them easily in paris, and on the picture it's equipped with anti riot protection.
  • The4X - May 25, 2011 6:50 a.m.

    We gonna win. Russians gonna win!!!11
  • josuerosales - May 25, 2011 4:56 a.m.

    actually, just before you see the scuba team in the lincoln tunnel, you can see soap cutting a vent underwater (i think its soap by the way the his face looked like when he looks at "you"
  • ZigzMagoo - May 25, 2011 4:32 a.m.

    Anyone notice that gas is not a new feature? Nova gas anyone? Not to mention that this game will absolutely just get merked by Battlefield 3 There was a Greek infinity symbol in my recaptcha. WHAT THE FUCK?
  • Rinaldvonizeburn - May 25, 2011 3:43 a.m.

    oh look it's a MW2 reskin no srsly do we care about the campaign anymore? aren't we buying these games for the online gaming?
  • TJay25oo - May 25, 2011 2:43 a.m.

    In my opinion, WW3 would mean 'World War 3' Just like 'WW' and 'WW2'
  • tabher - May 25, 2011 2:09 a.m.

    i really wish the bad guys would attack somewhere else for once. New York is too overplayed
  • xChiTownPlayerx - May 25, 2011 12:12 a.m.

    (Not reading through the comments) Did anyone besides me notice the dual scopes in the very beginning when its 1st person and you reload the m4? Holo in front, pivot scope in back.
  • yesIusetheM14 - May 24, 2011 11:54 p.m.

    @ ATOMIX I hate to break it to you, but Ghost is dead. Even in the CoD world, nobody can survive a .44 to the head as well as being burned. At least, I hope so because then they'll have jumped the shark big time.

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