- For the Timeline, see Modern Warfare Timeline
Modern Warfare is a sub-series of the Call of Duty franchise from Activision. Modern Warfare was created by Infinity Ward, and currently consists of four games, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was released on November 5, 2007, being the first installment of the Call of Duty series set outside of World War II. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released on November 10, 2009. Treyarch developed a Nintendo Wii port for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, known as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Reflex and released it on November 10, 2009. Raven Software developed the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, a remaster of the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The game is playable in PS4 for early release of for PS4, as the Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Legacy, in the PlayStation Network and Store. The reboot Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was revealed on May 30, 2019 and was released on October 25, 2019.
After its release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 grossed $310,000,000 in its first 24 hours in the US, UK and Australia, becoming the highest first-day grossing product ever. It went on to make $550,000,000 in the first five days of its release, making it the highest-grossing video game launch in all of entertainment history. This was later surpassed by Call of Duty: Black Ops in 2010.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was released on November 8, 2011 and sold over 9 million copies on release day. It's the only installment in the trilogy that doesn't have a bonus mission. Sledgehammer Games helped Infinity Ward with the single player, while Raven Software worked on the multiplayer.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
In 2011, a Russian Ultranationalist by the name of Imran Zakhaev is determined to return his homeland to the Soviet times. Zakhaev knows the United States of America would never allow this to happen, thus he funds a coup in the Middle East, organized by his ally Khaled Al-Asad, to draw public attention to the Middle East instead of Russia.
In the Prologue missions, players take the role of Sergeant John "Soap" MacTavish in his initiation into the SAS. The players will meet the members of the SAS squad and go through a basic tutorial of the game play, which includes a basic shooting range and a time trial in a mock cargo ship set up. The player will then proceed on a mission to intercept the real cargo ship in the Bering Strait alongside Captain Price and Gaz. In the cargo hold, the SAS team finds a nuclear warhead draped in a flag with Arabic writing. The ship is subsequently attacked by MiGs, with the SAS team barely escaping from the sinking ship. Players then switch roles with President Al-Fulani of an unknown Middle Eastern country as he is executed by Al-Asad.
In Act 1, MacTavish, Captain Price and Gaz rescue a Russian informant code-named "Nikolai". They are supported by Russian Loyalists led by Sgt. Kamarov. While escaping with Nikolai, their helicopter is shot down, and they flee from Ultranationalist search teams. Later on, the player takes control of the gunner of an AC-130H Spectre gunship that provides fire support for Captain Price and the surviving SAS members. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Sergeant Paul Jackson, Lieutenant Vasquez and Staff Sergeant Griggs fight their way to the capital city of the country Al-Fulani was executed in. They first attack a television studio where they believe Al-Asad is broadcasting, but it turns out to be a recording. They then rescue a stranded Abrams tank called War Pig. Their efforts culminate in a massive assault upon the capital. However, a nuclear weapon is detonated, killing Jackson, Vasquez and 30,000 Marines. Griggs was not present during the detonation.
In Act 2, MacTavish is tasked with finding and capturing Al-Asad in his safehouse in Azerbaijan. However, when it is found out that Zakhaev is supplying Al-Asad, Al-Asad is executed by Price. There is then a flashback mission where Captain MacMillan, a sniper team leader, and then Lieutenant Price are sent in to the first assassination mission issued by the British government since World War II. Their target is Zakhaev, then a rich Ultranationalist and arms dealer. They crawl through the countryside in ghillie suits, silently sniping enemy patrols or letting them go, until they reach an abandoned hotel where they get a clear view of Zakhaev exchanging nuclear rods for weapons. He is shot by Price, but only his arm is lost. Price and MacMillan, who gets his legs injured when a helicopter crashes, then contact an evacuation chopper and escape. Back in the present, the squad evacuates from the town on the Sea Knight "Big Bird", which has Griggs on it. Then, Soap and his SAS team, Griggs' Marine squad and Sgt. Kamarov's Russian Loyalists attempt to capture Victor Zakhaev, Imran Zakhaev's son for information. However, just when the strike force corners Victor, he commits suicide by shooting himself in the head to avoid capture.
In Act 3, MacTavish and his SAS squad, joined by an American sniper team and an American Marine squad, attempt to retake a launch facility recently captured by the Ultranationalists. Price knew Zakhaev was outraged by the death of his son and would threaten to launch ICBMs at the US. They first rescue Griggs after he misses the landing zone and then they knock out the power to the ICBM facility so the Marines can breach the perimeter. Then they meet with the American sniper team, but two ICBMs are launched at the US Eastern Seaboard, which could cause an estimated 40 million casualties. They enter the facility and after retaking it and aborting the launch, MacTavish, Gaz, Price, Griggs, and some other squad members escape in Russian cars. The Ultranationalists pursue them and an enemy helicopter damages a bridge vital to their escape. The men crash, stranding the squad without support. After a tanker explodes, all of the squad members are incapacitated, except Griggs, and Zakhaev comes to the bridge to observe. Griggs is shot in the head while trying to drag MacTavish to safety and Gaz is executed by Zakhaev. When Zakhaev is on the verge of killing Soap, a Loyalist Mi-28 destroys the Hind and distracts Zakhaev long enough for Price to toss MacTavish his M1911 .45, which MacTavish uses to kill Zakhaev and his guards. Russian Loyalists come to aid the men, evacuating MacTavish and attempting to revive Price, who appears to be unconscious (can be seen in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2) when the medic attempting to resuscitate him becomes frustrated. A television news report is played mentioning the events of the game, but the newscaster dismisses the events as "struggles" and "nuclear missile testing", stating that the real events of the past six days were unknown to the public.
In the Epilogue, a bonus mission can be played titled, "Mile High Club". This bonus mission is seemingly unrelated to the plot. In it, the player takes the role of an unnamed Task Force 141 member, and must make his way through a terrorist-infested double decker airliner, while safely securing a hostage VIP.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is set five years after the conclusion of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Despite the efforts of the Marines and the SAS, the Ultranationalists seize control of Russia and enshrine Imran Zakhaev, the deceased leader of the Ultranationalists, a hero and martyr. Meanwhile, Vladimir Makarov, one of Zakhaev's former lieutenants, begins a reign of terror against Europe by staging numerous terrorist attacks.
The game begins in Afghanistan, where US Army Ranger PFC. Joseph Allen of 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment participates in an operation to retake an Afghan city from local militia. Impressed, General Shepherd recruits Allen as a CIA operative and places him in Makarov's organization as an undercover operative. Meanwhile, SAS Captain John "Soap" MacTavish and SAS Sergeant Gary "Roach" Sanderson, operating under Shepherd's special ops team Task Force 141, infiltrate a Russian airbase to recover an American ACS module. Allen then participates with Makarov in a terrorist attack on a Russian airport. However, Makarov is somehow aware that Allen is an undercover CIA agent, and kills Allen before fleeing the airport. The terrorist attack was made to look as if done by Americans as Makarov and his squad speak English and use NATO weapons (i.e. M4A1 and M240). Allen's body is left behind for the Russians to find, which will be identified as American.
Angered by what they believe is an American-supported terrorist attack, Russia initiates a surprise invasion of the United States East Coast. The 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Sergeant Foley, Corporal Dunn, and Allen's replacement Private James Ramirez are called upon to defend Virginia and Washington D.C. from the Russian attack. Meanwhile, Task Force 141 now shifts their attention to Makarov. They go to Rio de Janeiro to investigate an alleged contact of Makarov, Alejandro Rojas. After capturing and interrogating Rojas, the Task Force discovers that one of Makarov's most hated enemies, known as Prisoner 627, is being held in a Russian gulag. However, the Russian invasion of the US has cut off aerial support for Task Force 141, leaving them stranded in Brazil. Nikolai is enlisted by Soap to extract Task Force 141 from Rio de Janeiro. Nikolai, piloting a Pave Low, manages to rescue Task Force 141 from the Favela gangs.
Soap believes that breaking Prisoner 627 from the Russian prison will draw Makarov out. General Shepherd orders Task Force 141 to link up with the 6th Fleet to lead a counterattack against the Russians near the Bering Strait. With assistance from the Navy SEALs, Marines, and American Navy, Task Force 141 break through oil rigs being used as SAM (Surface to Air Missiles) platforms and storm The Gulag to free Prisoner 627, who is revealed to be Captain Price. After a close escape involving a Pave Low and SPIE Rig, Price agrees to join Task Force 141 and help them track down Makarov. Price believes that something extreme must be done to end the war in the US. The Task Force 141 infiltrates a Russian submarine base. Price then temporarily goes rogue and hijacks a Russian nuclear submarine, launching an ICBM at Washington D.C. However, Price programs the warhead to explode in the upper atmosphere, which destroys the International Space Station but spares Washington and creates an electromagnetic pulse.
The electromagnetic pulse cripples both the United States and Russian forces in the city. Helicopters and other aircraft crash to earth, and Sergeant Foley and his squad discover that the Air Force has orders to carpet bomb Washington, D.C., as the United States military believes that the city has been lost to Russian control. The only way to abort the operation is to set off green flares on the roof of the White House, which is still occupied by Russian forces, to signal that the friendly American forces have control of the city. Foley and his squad fight their way to the roof the White House and manage to set off their flares just as the bombers arrive, while green flares on the roofs of other D.C. landmarks signifies that the city remains firmly in American hands. Foley and the rest of the Rangers vow to take the fight to the Russians, burning down their capital just as they did to Washington DC. However, Makarov is still on the loose. General Shepherd informs Task Force 141 that Makarov has two possible safe havens and orders them to split up and to secure both locations simultaneously. Soap and Price go to the aircraft scrapyards in Afghanistan, whilst Roach and Ghost raid Makarov's safehouse in the Caucasus Mountains. It is revealed to be a trap, but Task Force 141 fights their way through the safehouse and obtain vital intelligence to put an end to him for good. However, General Shepherd betrays them and kills both SAS Task Force 141 soldiers Ghost and Roach. He intends to take advantage of the crisis to become an American war hero and secure the support of the American population. Price and Soap manage to escape Shepherd's ambush, fighting both a new enemy, known as Shadow Company, and the last of the Ultranationalist forces at the same time, in the middle of a two-way battlefield. They convince Makarov to reveal Shepherd's location to them. In Afghanistan, Soap and Price decide to take revenge on him in one final, bloody suicide mission. They attack his base there, but he escapes on a boat. They chase him on a boat down an Afghan river and through some caves, guarded by OpFor, who are also engaging Shadow Company. Price shoots down the helicopter Shepherd tried to escape in, but he and Soap fall down a waterfall. The heavily wounded Soap stumbles through the crash site and chases Shepherd, attempting to stab him. The attempt fails and Shepherd stabs Soap. Shepherd eventually prepares to execute Soap, but Price tackles Shepherd at the last second. As Soap lays dying, Shepherd and Price fight. By ripping the knife out of his own chest, Soap manages to kill Shepherd by throwing it, hitting Shepherd's left eye.
Nikolai then arrives to extract them. Price warns Nikolai that they will be international fugitives for what they have done, but Nikolai insists he knows a safe place to take them.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- "Your world as you knew it is gone. How far would you go to bring it back? Shepherd created a war ...but only we knew the truth."
- — Captain Price
On August 17, 2016, hours after killing General Shepherd, John Price and Nikolai evacuate a dying John "Soap" MacTavish from Site Hotel Bravo, Afghanistan. They reach a safehouse run by Nikolai's Loyalist allies in Himachal Pradesh, India. While Soap receives medical attention, Vladimir Makarov's forces storm the safehouse in an attempt to kill the three. Yuri, Nikolai's best soldier with a grudge against Makarov, aids Price in giving Soap an adrenaline shot to keep his heart going, and with securing a safe route to an extraction point out of the country. Together, the four are all that remains of the now-disavowed Task Force 141. Price's team then goes into hiding for two months, while Makarov does the same.
On the same day, World War III continues. The actions of Delta Force Metal Team, which includes Sgt. Derek "Frost" Westbrook, Grinch, Truck and their C.O. Sandman (with whom Soap, Price, and Ghost previously worked together with on Operation Kingfish three years ago), facilitates the Russian army's withdrawal from the invasion of Lower Manhattan, New York. They start by destroying a jamming tower on top of the New York Stock Exchange, then with hijacking a Russian Oscar II submarine in the East River, in order to use its ordinance against its own fleet.
On October 3, 2016, Russian President Boris Vorshevsky announces plans to make peace with the United States at a summit in Hamburg, Germany. However, the plan is derailed when Makarov's men hijack Vorshevsky's plane and force it into a crash landing at the airport. F.S.O. Agent Andrei Harkov attempts to secure Vorshevsky's safety, but is killed when Makarov appears inside what the F.S.O. mistake as the evac chopper. Makarov kidnaps the President, and plans to capture and torture his daughter, Alena, to force the President to give Makarov the launch codes for the Russian nuclear arsenal.
Soap eventually recovers enough to fight, and with help from Yuri, and from Price's former mentor and C.O., MacMillan, they follow Makarov's trail to an arms deal in Sierra Leone, but are unable to intercept the cargo. This cargo of unknown nature is distributed to Paris, Berlin, and London. Meanwhile, a British SAS unit, including Sgt. Marcus Burns and Sgt. Wallcroft, is sent in to deal with the cargo but discover one of the transports to be a decoy. Meanwhile, a piece of the real cargo, revealed to be a biochemical weapon from Fregata Industries, is detonated on a London street nearby, killing a young American family as it releases its toxic payload near Big Ben.
The chemical attacks pave the way for the Russian Army to invade Europe, and Team Metal is deployed to Hamburg to rescue the U.S. Vice President from a hostage situation. Acting on intelligence supplied by Price, who had extracted it from a warlord in Somalia named Waraabe, they are later deployed to Paris in order to capture Russian bomb maker Volk.
After securing Volk, they fight their way through the city to an extraction point with the help of an AC-130 gunship; however, the Eiffel Tower collapses into the river after a bombing run eliminates all Russian forces at the escape point. After extracting information from Volk, Team Metal learns of Makarov's current location; the Hotel Lustig in Prague, where Makarov is about to call a meeting with his top advisors. Sandman informs Price of this information, and Price's team infiltrates the locked-down city.
Once in Prague, Task Force 141 meets up with Loyalist Kamarov, now the leader of the local resistance, to try to assassinate Makarov. Yuri and Soap take sniping positions from a church tower across from the hotel, while Price sneaks into the building itself. However, the plan goes awry when Kamarov himself is taken hostage and rigged with explosives. Price escapes the hotel just as Kamarov is blown up. Makarov reveals that he knows Yuri personally, by acknowledging him as his "friend". Makarov had already predicted Yuri and Soap's overwatch spot and had it rigged with explosives, which he then detonates. Soap then pushes Yuri off the ledge to avoid the explosion but as soon as Soap jumps out, he was caught in the explosion and is mortally wounded due to the height he fell from the tower and a large chuck of debris falling on him, the force of the ordeal causing his knife wound from Shepherd stabbing him to reopen. Yuri, shell-shocked, watches on until Price comes to remove the debris from Soap, he then helps Yuri to his feet and shoots his way through Makarov's men while Yuri carried Soap, Yuri then shoots his way through Makarovs men while Price held onto Soap and they manage to escape to a resistance safehouse. In his last moments, Soap tells Price about Makarov's knowledge of Yuri before dying from blood loss. Price is devastated, he places his M1911 pistol on Soap's body and takes his journal and dog tag, BTRs then fire at the safehouse, Price and Yuri head to the end of the house as Yuri opens the door leading to the basement, only to fall down the whole staircase after an enraged Price punches him and holds him at gunpoint, demanding him to explain his connection with Makarov.
Yuri explains that he was a former Ultranationalist who befriended Makarov, and was responsible for escorting Imran Zakhaev with Makarov after he was shot by Lieutenant Price in 1996 during his arms deal. Yuri was also with Makarov when the latter detonated the nuclear bomb in the Middle East, killing 30,000 of Shepherd's Marines. After witnessing the nuclear explosion, and Makarov's reaction, Yuri attempted to stop the massacre at Zakhaev International Airport five years later by alerting the FSB there. However, Yuri was found out, and was restrained and shot in the stomach by Makarov himself before the attack started. Yuri's guilt of being unable to prevent the mass murder convinces Price that they are fighting for the same thing, and Price decides to keep his alliance with Yuri.
After infiltrating Makarov's castle near Prague and learning of Vorshevsky’s captivity, Price and Yuri alert Team Metal of an Ultranationalist plan to abduct Alena from a safehouse in Berlin. Team Metal is unable to prevent the kidnapping, but they are able to trace Makarov's Ultranationalists to a Siberian diamond mine. Team Metal (without the inclusion of Frost) and Task Force 141 launch a joint-rescue operation to save the Vorshevskys before Makarov gains the nuclear launch codes. Their actions ensure the safety of President Vorshevsky and Alena, and end the conflict between the United States and Russia. During extraction, Sandman, Grinch, and Truck stay behind to buy the evacuation chopper some time, and are killed in action when the mine collapses on them.
On January 21, 2017, 3 months after the end of World War III, Price and Yuri track Makarov to the Hotel Oasis in the Arabian Peninsula. They assault the hotel, with Price and Yuri wearing Juggernaut armor, which is later destroyed by a falling helicopter that Price shoots in an elevator. Once the two have got to the top of the hotel, they shoot their way through many of Makarov's men, Makarov sees Price then flees to his helicopter on the hotel roof, another helicopter shoots the hotel and the roof starts collapsing, Price manages not to fall, he climbs back on the room and sees Yuri's abdomen pierced by a debris, he hesitates whether to help him or pursue Makarov, Yuri tells him to leave him and to not "let him get away" Price then runs to the top of the roof and sees Makarov jumping onto his helicopter, Price runs and manages to jump on, kills the two pilots and accidentally crashes the helicopter back onto the roof. Price looks up and sees a dazed Makarov climbing out from the helicopter, both manage to catch sight of a Desert Eagle on the ground, Makarov beats Price to the gun and prepares to execute him, but is distracted by Yuri, who shoots him in the shoulder, Yuri was still injured from the debris propelling his stomach, stumbles which gives Makarov time to shoot him twice in the chest and finally the head, killing him. Enraged with the loss of another friend, Price takes advantage of the moment to tackle Makarov, punch him three times and wrap a steel cable around his throat strangling him then lifts him up into a noose before breaking through the glass roof, resulting in Makarov's death by hanging. Price lands on the atrium floor just below and survives. Price sits up in front of Makarov's hanging corpse and quietly smokes a cigar, while police sirens can be heard in the background.