Modern Warfare: The story so far


Nikolai is a long-time friend of Captain Price and a valuable informant embedded in the Russian ultranationalist movement. He provides intel about a cargo ship carrying a nuclear device to Price at the beginning of the game. As a result, Nikolai is captured and tortured, but Price and Soap rescue him with the help of a Russian loyalist group. After Al-Asad detonates a nuclear weapon in his own capital city, Nikolai provides further intel on the location of Al-Asad’s Azerbaijani safehouse.

Why it matters: Nikolai reprises his role as a support character in MW2, though little mention is made of his connection to Soap.

Yasir Al-Fulani

The deposed president of the unnamed middle eastern nation in question, who is executed on live TV by Al-Asad at the beginning of the game. You never see Al-Fulani, but do “play” as him for the brief period before his execution.

Khaled Al-Asad

Leader of the coup against Al-Fulani. As the US Marines close in, he detonates a nuclear device in his own capital city and slips away. He’s later apprehended at his safehouse in Azerbaijan and is summarily executed by Captain Price.

Imran Zakhaev

Zakhaev is the leader of a violent ultranationalist group in Russia. Zakhaev’s bent on wreaking vengeance on the West for destroying his country’s dignity and prosperity. To this end, he backs Al-Asad’s coup and provides him with a nuclear weapon. After the death of his son, he literally goes ballistic and launches two nuclear missiles at the United States. Ultimately, Price and Soap deactivate the missiles mid-flight and kill Zakhaev in the game’s closing scene.

Zakhaev and Price have some additional history together; one of Price’s first missions in the SAS was to assassinate Zakhaev (as told in a series of flashback missions in Act II of the game). Price’s sniper shot was slightly off, and took Zakhaev’s arm but not his life.

Why it matters:  Zakhaev’s death sets the stage for Makarov to seize control of the ultranationalists in MW2; Makarov does not appear in CoD4.

Victor Zakhaev

Price and Soap track down Zakhaev’s son Victor as a lead, but he kills himself rather than be captured and tortured for information. This enrages Zakhaev, who retaliates by kicking his “nuke America” plan into high gear.

Sgt. Paul Jackson

You play as Sgt. Jackson through several missions, only to be killed in dramatic fashion when Al-Asad detonates his nuke. The visceral first-person presentation of Sgt. Jackson’s final moments wowed critics and fans alike.

Why it matters: Certain members of the US military use the body count from Al-Asad’s nuclear blast to rationalize their villainous deeds in MW2.


Nov 10, 2009

Modern Warfare 2 Review
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  • 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

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