Modern Warfare: The story so far

Like most of you, we plowed through Call of Duty 4’s single-player campaign in a day and then spent the next couple of years blasting away at multiplayer. It’s not that the campaign was horrible, far from it. The first Modern Warfare employed innovative techniques that pushed the boundaries of interactive storytelling. There are several threads that carry over into Modern Warfare 2, which takes place 5 years later, so we’ll catch you up on who’s who and how they fit into the Modern Warfare universe. Plus, it’s a convenient excuse to yet again sing the praises of Captain Price’s well-coiffed mustachios.

“Soap” MacTavish

You play as Soap for a good portion of Modern Warfare. You start as an SAS recruit and quickly find yourself embroiled in a borderless conflict revolving around a middle-eastern coup and a Russian civil war. In the dramatic climax, you stop a nuclear strike from destroying the east coast of the United States and then kill Imran Zakhaev, leader of the Russian ultranationalists and perpetrator of the attack. For the record, the picture above was pulled from MW2; you never see Soap’s face in CoD4.

Why it matters: In MW2, Soap has ripened into the stalwart Captain MacTavish and occupies a role akin to Captain Price’s in CoD4. He’s your squad leader and mentor when you play as SAS noob “Roach,” and among other characteristics has adopted Price’s penchant for stogies and burly facial hair.

Captain Price

Soap’s mentor and all around badass dude, Captain Price is the leader of an elite SAS unit that combats terrorism around the globe. His status is left unresolved at the end of CoD4 – the last you see of him, he appears to be fatally wounded though he is receiving frantic medical attention. You (as Soap) are medevac’d before you get closure on his condition.

Why it matters: Price is a man of action, so he’s naturally influenced the events of the sequel. We don’t want to say more for fear of spoiling it for you.

Next page: More lurid characters! More savory internets! More warmongering fun for the entire family!

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000
  • Clownsarescary - November 13, 2009 9:49 a.m.

    @Conman93 - You didn't buy MW2 because you might not understand the story? You're both missing the point and missing out bro! It normally takes me a few playthroughs to fully follow the narrative in COD games (some major story points are wasted in a few throw-away lines in COD4), but even so, the shooting is always, always awsome.
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - November 13, 2009 8:10 a.m.

    AL ASAD means the The lion so thats badass!
  • patri0t - November 12, 2009 9:36 p.m.

    ha i knew that would get removed
  • Conman93 - November 11, 2009 4:52 p.m.

    The only thing stopping me getting mw2 was I had never played mw1 and thought the story would be confusing. But this article really helped. Thanks GR!!!!
  • patri0t - November 11, 2009 4:48 p.m.

  • GamesRadarJoeMcNeilly - November 11, 2009 3:47 p.m.

    Focused on stuff that was most relevant to MW2, and Gaz doesn't really drive any key plot points or come up again in the sequel. But yeah, he's pretty badass too.
  • gogo65uk - November 11, 2009 3:05 p.m.

    If memory serves I didnt play KZ2 for quite some time Soap kinds looks like Sev not a bad thing by any means its just an observation.
  • TURbo - November 11, 2009 6:03 a.m.

    You forgot the Helicopter Pilot Man that says "Hammer 2-5 We're at Bingo fuel, evac will be in ten" The Capt. Price and Gaz was a lot better than the Sgt. Griggs and Lt. Vasquez. "Gaz assemble the team, we're going to Azerbaijan" The best line in COD 4 was uttered by MacMillian "That pooch doesn't look to friendly"
  • BLOODmuffins - November 11, 2009 3:19 a.m.

    Great article! But you left out Gaz, who is arguably just as badass as Captain Price
  • Embolado - November 11, 2009 3:06 a.m.

    Too soon ???
  • skyguy343 - November 11, 2009 2:38 a.m.

    I would have appreciated if Gaz was included in this article as he provided one of the best lines in all of video game history and he was cool. Please GR, at least explain his absence.
  • TreeWhale - November 11, 2009 2:07 a.m.

    I am a Whale Look at all the funny faces yeaaa!
  • TestDDs - November 11, 2009 1:26 a.m.

    i really hate that captain price guy so damn annoying
  • TURbo - November 10, 2009 11:48 p.m.

    For the blackout mission, Capt. Price did say to MacTavish, MacMillian would be impressed, when you had to provide sniper support for Kamarov and his men. Does Kamarov get mentioned in MW2? The loyalist for the Russians that was an ally to the SAS. Also he help airlift Soap MacTavish on a helicopter at the end of the game.
  • boxmeizter - November 10, 2009 11:28 p.m.

    thank u GR :) i think the campaign was a bit messy but now i get was awesome though