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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The subject of this article exists in or is relevant to the real world. This article was previously featured
For the track, see Call of Duty: MW3.
For the 2023 game, see Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III.

"The life you knew before is gone, Today, we fight to bring it back."
John Price, in the Launch Trailer

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the eighth main Call of Duty game, and the fifth developed by Infinity Ward. It's the sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and is the third and final installment in the original Modern Warfare series.

Activision confirmed the title was in pre-production on April 9, 2010[1] and was released on November 8, 2011.[2] Sledgehammer Games, originally planning to work on the canceled action-adventure Call of Duty, worked with Infinity Ward to complete all aspects of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Raven Software assisted with the user interface and downloadable content, as they had with previous Call of Duty games. Treyarch also assisted with the multiplayer, designing the weapon artworks, and developing the survival mode. Treyarch also developed the Wii version of Modern Warfare 3. Neversoft assisted Infinity Ward with the campaign and worked on the Special Ops Chaos mode. The downloadable content was released once per month over a period of nine months. It was free to users of Call of Duty ELITE if they had the Premium version of the service.[3] Sledgehammer was aiming for a bug-free Call of Duty title and ratings above 95%.[4]

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 uses an upgraded IW 4.0 engine, dubbed the "MW3 engine" instead of "IW 5.0" out of courtesy for Sledgehammer Games.[5]

When a massive amount of leaked information was revealed by gaming news site Kotaku on May 13, 2011, Robert Bowling responded in a tweet stating: "A lot of hype & a lot of leaked info on #MW3, some still accurate, some not. To avoid spoiling the experience, I'd wait for the real reveal."[6] Later that day, four teaser trailers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 were released on Call of Duty's official YouTube channel. Each one revealed a different location: New York, London, Paris, and Berlin.

The full reveal trailer was released on May 23, 2011. The trailer was leaked almost two hours before the scheduled air time, prompting Activision to officially release the reveal trailer earlier than planned. The reveal featured sequences from combat in all four of the previously confirmed locations.

The single player trailer, Redemption, was released on October 7, 2011, revealing bits of the story of the campaign, including the return of Captain Price as he continues his hunt for Makarov.

The Launch Trailer was released on the 21st, labeling "the next chapter in the worldwide phenomenon" as "the most anticipated game in history."

On June 19, 2018, the Xbox 360 version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was made backwards compatible on the Xbox One.,

Official Site

The official site[dead link] was launched on May 18. The site currently contains an interactive map with the four locations seen in the teaser trailers along with a News column, a collection of screenshots, and videos.


"It doesn't take the most powerful nations on Earth to create the next global conflict. Just the will of a single man."
Vladimir Makarov


Hours after killing General Shepherd (and hours after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: Defiance), Captain John Price and Nikolai evacuate a gravely wounded John "Soap" MacTavish to a safehouse run by Nikolai’s allies in Himachal Pradesh, India. While Soap receives medical attention, a large group of men under Vladimir Makarov's command storm the safe-house in an attempt to kill the three. An ex-Spetsnaz operative named Yuri aids Price in giving Soap medical attention and securing a safe route to the extraction point out of the country.

The Russian invasion of the United States continues, culminating in the Battle of Lower Manhattan. A Delta Force team with the call sign “Metal” under the command of Sandman is deployed in New York City to repel the Russian assault along the East River. Team Metal succeeds in destroying a jamming device mounted on the rooftop of the New York Stock Exchange building and escapes on a Black Hawk helicopter. They later assist the U.S. Navy SEALs in boarding a Russian Oscar II to use its ordnance against the Russian Navy. As a result of Team Metal's actions, the Russians withdraw from the East Coast, and presumably the entire United States.

Almost two months later, Russian President Vorshevsky announces plans to make peace with the United States at a summit in Hamburg, Germany. During the flight, several men who are loyal to Makarov sabotage the plane. Agents from the Federal Protective Service are able to escort Alena Vorshevsky, Vorshevsky's daughter, out of danger, but Vorshevsky himself is kidnapped.

With Soap largely recovered from his injuries, Yuri gives Price intelligence about an arms deal between Makarov and a militia known as the PRF in Sierra Leone. Price, Soap, Nikolai, and Yuri infiltrate a PRF-occupied village where the cargo is supposedly stored, only to find an empty warehouse. The three push their way to a church in the center of town, but are too late to prevent the cargo from being whisked away. Coming across a shipping manifest, Price learns that there are three packages being distributed across Europe, bound for Paris, Berlin, and London. Price covertly informs his former mentor, Captain MacMillan (currently Baseplate of the SAS), of his findings and asks for intelligence as a favor for Pripyat. The intelligence leads Task Force 141 to Waraabe, a warlord in Somalia.

Meanwhile, a French satellite discovers a possible security threat in London, which prompts them to contact the MI6. A British SAS team led by Sergeant Wallcroft is then deployed to prevent the use of one of the chemical weapons in London. They secure the dockyards and pursue the terrorists through the underground metro system. The SAS team destroys a truck suspected to carry the chemical weapons, only to discover it is a decoy. The actual truck carrying the bomb detonates elsewhere in London. Dozens of other chemical attacks are revealed to have been successfully conducted in major cities throughout western Europe. In Hamburg, Team Metal is deployed to, being aided by M1 Abrams tanks in the area, after the Russian military launches a land invasion of Germany immediately following the chemical attacks.

Task Force 141 and Nikolai’s men assault Waarabe's stronghold in Somalia in search for him. He told them that he made a physical transaction with a bomb-maker named Volk in Paris. Price then kills Waraabe. Operating on the intelligence acquired by Price, Team Metal carries out a joint operation with the French GIGN to capture Volk. Team Metal is successful in the operation, albeit at the cost of the collapsing of the Eiffel Tower. Volk gives up information about a meeting held by Makarov in Prague.

Thanks to the intel given by Team Metal, and with the aid of Kamarov, Price, Soap, and Yuri infiltrate the city with the intention of assassinating Makarov. Price takes a position in the Hotel Lustig, while Soap and Yuri provide cover from a nearby church. However, the assassination attempt goes awry when it turns out that Kamarov has been taken hostage by Makarov. He was also aware of Yuri’s alliance with Price and Soap. Both the hotel and the church are revealed to have been rigged with explosives. They detonate, sending Yuri and Soap falling to the ground, as Price barely escapes a bomb-laden Kamarov, who was killed by the explosions.

Yuri wakes up to see Soap very badly wounded from the fall, as Price tries to get him up. The three take refuge in a nearby resistance safehouse, as the Resistance come to their aid. In the safehouse, Soap succumbs to his wounds and dies just after telling Price about Makarov’s relationship with Yuri. Enraged by the revelation, Price punches Yuri down a flight of stairs and holds him at gunpoint, demanding how he knew of Makarov. Through flashbacks, Yuri describes his role with the Russian Ultranationalists. He and Makarov are both present at Price’s attempted assassination of Zakhaev, the nuclear detonation in the Middle East, and the airport massacre in Moscow. Before the massacre, Yuri tried warning the authorities about what Makarov was about to do to the airport, but Makarov knew of this and shot him in the car park and left him for dead as punishment. When the attack began, Yuri managed to wield a pistol that belonged to a dead officer. He attempted to stop the massacre, but failed due to his injuries. A medic comes to his aid and saves his life as the flashbacks end. Price decides not to shoot Yuri as he "bought himself some time... for now".

The two follow up a lead on Makarov's suspected fortress, thanks to intel provided by Baseplate (MacMillan). Price and Yuri infiltrate the fortress and learn of President Vorshevsky’s captivity, as well as recent intelligence that the President’s daughter is in Berlin. Price and Yuri destroy the base and relay the intelligence to Team Metal, who act on Price’s findings. They head to Berlin an in attempt to reach the safehouse and save Vorshevsky's daughter, but are too late and the helicopter with the girl inside gets away.

Team Metal tells Price of their failure to rescue the daughter, and that they took her to a diamond mine in Siberia, where her father, the President, is also located. Both Task Force 141 and Team Metal set out a joint rescue operation to save them. The team are successful in rescuing the Vorshevsky's, however, not everyone was able to escape; Sandman and other members of Team Metal sacrificed their lives for their allies and did not get onto the extraction helicopter, keeping the enemies busy. They are then (presumably) killed by the collapsing mine. Sergeant Derek "Frost" Westbrook was at a different part of the mine during the operation, as revealed in the Special Ops mission, "Black Ice". Unlike the other Team Metal members, he managed to escaped safely.

Following the rescue of the Vorshevsky's and the end of the conflict between America and Russia, Task Force 141 has been reinstated. Price and Yuri focus on Makarov and try to find his location of hiding. They manage to find him at the Hotel Oasis in Dubai three months later in 2017 thanks to intel by Nikolai. They are first seen putting Juggernaut armor on in a van as Makarov's men shoot it but to no avail. They eventually start infiltrating the hotel with the armor and their machine guns and are virtually unstoppable until a helicopter shoots them while in an elevator. Their armor catches fire, forcing them to shed it. They now have only four minutes to find Makarov, so the two then head to the restaurant where he was reported to be. They see him running up to the roof of the building, but are being fired at by rockets from another helicopter. The rockets cause the atrium to begin to collapse. The floor collapses, and Price narrowly escapes falling to his death. After clambering up, he sees that Yuri has been impaled by a piece of debris from the explosion, and he tells Price to go on without him and stop Makarov, as he tries to pull the metal rod out of his abdomen. As Price runs to the roof, he sees Makarov try and escape via the helicopter, but Price manages to jump onto it. He punches one of the pilots and pulls him out. The co-pilot tries to shoot him with a pistol, but Price dodges it, shooting the helicopter instead. Price stabs the co-pilot in the throat. Price then manages to divert the helicopter back to the roof of the hotel where it crashes.

Price wakes up to see the glass about to shatter. He sees Makarov getting out of the crashed helicopter and the two of them race for a pistol they see on the floor. As Price is about to grab it, Makarov steps on his hand, wielding it first. As he is about to shoot Price, he is caught off-guard by Yuri as he comes in and shoots him right before he is able to finish Price. Makarov then shoots him back, ultimately killing him. As Makarov gazes upon his former ally’s dead body, Price uses this distraction to punch Makarov several times and wrap a loose cable around his neck. He then wraps the cable around a beam. The glass they are fighting on finally breaks and the two fall through but Makarov is hanged by the cable around his neck. Price survives the fall and lights one last cigar in victory as he watches Makarov’s hanging corpse. Police sirens are then heard outside the hotel as the credits start rolling.


Act 1

  • Prologue – With General Shepherd dealt with, Price and Nikolai bring the critically wounded Soap to a safehouse in northern India.
  • Black Tuesday – As the battle for New York City rages, Delta Force is tasked with destroying a Russian jamming tower in Manhattan.
  • Hunter Killer – Delta Force and Navy SEALs board a Russian submarine to turn its weapons against the Russian fleet in New York Harbor.
  • Persona Non Grata – Yuri must help Price and Nikolai carry Soap to safety as the safehouse is attacked by Makarov's forces.
  • Turbulence – Months after the Battle of New York, the Russian president's plane is hijacked en route to the peace conference in Hamburg.
  • Back on the Grid – Task Force 141 investigates cargo shipments in Sierra Leone for clues about Makarov's plan.
  • Mind the Gap – The SAS moves against a terrorist cell in Westminster that has just received suspicious shipments from overseas.
  • Davis Family Vacation – A family of American tourists in London set out to see Big Ben. (The mission will skip if the player turn off offensive content)

Act 2

  • Goalpost – Delta Force is deployed in Hamburg to evacuate the U.S. vice president as Russian forces attack the city.
  • Return to Sender – Task Force 141 and Russian Loyalists travel to Somalia to capture and interrogate an arms dealer linked to Makarov's chemical weapons.
  • Bag and Drag – As the Russians advance into Paris, Delta Force and GIGN pursue Volk, Makarov's bomb maker.
  • Iron Lady – Under heavy fire, Delta Force escorts Volk to an alternate extraction point.
  • Eye of the Storm – As Makarov and his Inner Circle converge on occupied Prague for a meeting, Task Force 141 infiltrates the city.
  • Blood Brothers – Task Force 141 executes its plan to assassinate Makarov, but tragedy strikes.

Act 3

  • Stronghold – Task Force 141 infiltrates Karlstejn Castle outside Prague to obtain fresh intel on Makarov's location.
  • Scorched Earth – In Berlin, Delta Force moves in to rescue the Russian president's daughter before she falls into Makarov's hands.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole – Task Force 141 and Delta Force rush to a Siberian diamond mine to free the Russian president from Makarov's forces before he is forced to divulge the codes to Russia's nuclear arsenal.
  • Dust to Dust – Two months later, Task Force 141 assaults the Hotel Oasis in Dubai to put an end to Makarov.



Main article: Achievements/Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3



  • Himachal Pradesh

United States of America

"Command Point"

  • Russian Presidential Aircraft

Sierra Leone

  • Sherbro

United Kingdom



  • Boosaaso


Czech Republic


  • An unknown diamond mine, Eastern Siberia

Arabian Peninsula

  • Dubai, UAE




Multiplayer Mode Screenshot 1

The player wielding an ACR 6.8 in an early build of Multiplayer

The Multiplayer was revealed to the general public during the Call of Duty XP Event on September 2 and 3, 2011. Attendees were able to experience multiplayer gameplay two months before the game's release.

The core multiplayer gameplay has been likened to a spiritual combination of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 but with several major additions:

  • Each Prestige now has 80 levels.
  • New, changed and removed perks, as well as the re-inclusion of Overkill.
  • Weapon Proficiencies allow for further class and weapon customization.
  • Each weapon now has its own individual rank (known as Weapon Level) and in order to level up the weapon a player needs to use it to unlock its attachments, proficiencies and challenges.
  • The old killstreak system has replaced with the Strike Chain, with three different Strike Packages for pointstreaks to choose from: Assault, Support, and Specialist.
  • Two new game types called Kill Confirmed and Team Defender.
  • Players have the ability to scroll pointstreak rewards.
  • Players have the ability to set a separate pointstreak progression for each custom class.
  • There is now a visible pointstreak counter included in the HUD.
  • Players' pointstreaks restart after their last pointstreak reward is reached, without needing to die to restart their streak.
  • Private matches now have a variety of pre-set custom game modes.
  • There are 16 multiplayer maps on the disc, and each one of them is also playable in Survival Mode. However, the maps differ in difficulty in Survival Mode.
  • Online Split-Screen returns from Call of Duty: Black Ops.
  • Theater Mode returns from Call of Duty: Black Ops.
  • There are more options for disabled players and those who are handicapped.
  • The player needs to level up separately once again in offline split-screen, unlike in Call of Duty: Black Ops, where everything is unlocked.
  • Added on later to the game were game modes called "Community Playlists", including Infected, Drop Zone, FFA Gunplay, and Money in the Denk.

Prestige Shop

Every time a player enters Prestige mode they may choose one of the following rewards from the Prestige Shop:

  • Extra custom class
  • Double XP
  • Double weapon XP
  • Regular Package
  • Unlock Gear
  • Hardened Package
  • Veteran Package
  • Reset all stats

Multiplayer Maps

Special Ops

A completely new feature is the addition of a ranking system similar to Multiplayer's. The player earns experience points in Survival and Mission Modes, unlocking new missions for mission mode and new weapons, equipment, perks for Survival Mode.

Mission Mode

Main article: Mission Mode

Mission Mode is a mode similar to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's Special Ops co-op mode. It features various missions such as timed missions or objectives, as opposed to Survival Mode's wave-based gameplay.

Survival Mode

Main article: Survival Mode

Survival Mode is a new mode featured in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's Special Ops mode in which players must fend off waves of A.I. controlled enemies on various multiplayer maps.


Survival Mode.

The waves are randomized, yet increasingly difficult, so that in the later stages of the game, players can expect to face multiple Juggernauts, Dogs, Suicide Bombers strapped with C4, and enemy air support. There is no means of winning in this game mode, as the waves will continue until the player dies. Like other Special Ops missions, co-op is available for this mode, both online or split-screen.[7]


Perks, Strike Packages, and Deathstreaks


Downloadable content

Hardened Edition


The Hardened Edition is the only collectors edition of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.[8] It is valued at $99.99 plus tax. The Hardened Edition includes:

  • The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 game disc, featuring unique disc art
  • 1-year Call of Duty Elite premium membership, including:
    - 20 pieces of Modern Warfare 3 downloadable content delivered over a nine month period
    - Incredible variety, including new multiplayer maps, Special Ops missions and game modes
    - Ownership of all downloadable content, even if one's membership expires
    - Prized Events, Operations, Leagues and custom in-game playlist and modes
  • Special Founder status on Call of Duty: ELITE, including:
    - Unique Founder weapon camouflage and profile skin
    - Exclusive Founder in-game Player Card and Emblem
    - Access to the private "Founder" Group
    - Special Founder Clan XP boost
    - Special Founder Operations, Events and Leagues
    - Exclusive Founder prizes and experiences
  • Premium, collectible steel book case
  • Exclusive Animated Timeline PlayStation Network Theme
  • Exclusive Special Ops Juggernaut Xbox LIVE outfit
  • Limited edition, collectible field journal chronicling the entire saga with 100+ pages of authentic military sketches, diagrams and written entries (Soap's Journal)

Call of Duty Classified Intel Pack

As part of GAME UK's pre-order special, all pre-order customers receive a "Classified Intel Pack" when they pick up their copy of the game.


  • 4 hours double XP voucher
  • Exclusive avatar for Xbox 360 voucher
  • Exclusive theme for PlayStation 3 voucher
  • Art cards with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty ELITE artwork
  • Miniature in-depth strategy guide for the mission "Black Tuesday


Main article: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Official Soundtrack


Box Art


Concept Art





  • This game has been referenced in the sitcoms 2 Broke Girls and Two and a Half Men.
    • It was also mentioned in a commercial involving the characters from The Big Bang Theory and Conan O'Brien.
    • The game was featured in G.I. Joe: Retaliation in which Duke and Roadblock (played by Channing Tatum and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson respectively) are playing on Survival mode in the map Village.
  • In the cutscene at the beginning of the last level "Dust to Dust", there are pictures of some of the targets earlier in the game. If players look at the right time, the cutscene shows a close up photo of Lev Kravchenko, stated to be taken on October 29th, 1945.
    • There is also picture of Joseph Allen, but it uses a different character model from No Russian and it only shows the bottom half of the picture.
  • As of August 2, 2023, the MW3 online service for the Nintendo Wii is no longer supported due to the servers shutting down.