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

Good-guys, bad-guys, set-pieces, symbolism and suspicious French police. We've got it all laid bare

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. Russiais 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 of2005.Potentially unfortunate echoes of theJean Charles de Menezesincident though, given the choreography of that particular shot. Either way though, all ofthis 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 somethingthey want in Europe. As well as the street fighting, there's what looks like aslightlyquietersweep 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 maroulealso 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, wesuspect. 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.

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. Russiais 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 of2005.Potentially unfortunate echoes of theJean Charles de Menezesincident though, given the choreography of that particular shot. Either way though, all ofthis 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 somethingthey want in Europe. As well as the street fighting, there's what looks like aslightlyquietersweep 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 maroulealso 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, wesuspect. 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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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