With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 marking the end of Activision’s reimagining of the Modern Warfare trilogy, you might be surprised to discover that a veritable truckload of lore and story has been invested into the most anticipated first-person shooter of the year. To catch you up on the lay of the land when it comes to the story of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, we’ve conjured up this neat recap to get you right up to date with the events chronicled in the two previous games.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare – What Happened?
Tipped off to a shipment of ill-gotten chemical weapons headed to Urzikstan, CIA agent Alex attempts to intercept the transport in Verdansk, Kastovia, only to be intercepted himself by an unknown group of hostiles that murder his escorts and escape with the weapons. With a rapidly escalating situation on their hands, CIA Station Chief Kate Laswell reaches out to the British government, who in turn leverage the services of SAS Captain John Price to help recover the chemical weapons before the situation deteriorates further.
Just one day later, Uzbekistan terrorist group, Al-Qatala, launches a suicide bomber attack into the heart of Piccailly Circus in London. Looking to resolve the incursion, a group of local police officers, together with SAS Sergeant Kyle “Gaz” Garrick, manage to eliminate the attackers with the aid of Captain Price. Quickly realising that the two events may be connected, Alex finds himself dispatched to Urzikstan to liaise with ULF (Urzikstan Liberation Force) head honcho Farah Karim in order to find a way forward.
After their meeting, Farah decides to help Alex track down the wayward chemical weapons on the condition that he supports her group in overthrowing General Roman Barkov and the occupying Russian forces he controls in the region. After Gaz and Price lead an SAS raid into an Al-Qatala owned house in London, they uncover the whereabouts of Omar “The Wolf” Sulaman, the leader of the group.
With this intel in mind, Alex, together with Sergeant Marcus Griggs and his Demon Dogs squad, unleash a raid on a hospital in Urzikstan, capturing Sulaman as a result. In response, Sulaman’s next in command, Jamal “The Butcher” Rahar, conducts a successful rescue mission to free Saluman from the US Embassy in Urzikstan where he was being held. Hearing that Sulaman has escaped, Farah attempts to intercept the escaping Al-Qatala leader but fails on account of a surprise attack by Barkov’s troops, inflicting casualties on both Al-Qatala and ULF forces.
At this point it is revealed that Hadir, Farah’s most trusted ally and brother, is responsible for heisting the chemical weapons transport to begin with, believing that in doing so he can rout the occupying Russian forces. What follows is Hadir detonating the chemical weapons in the vicinity, utterly destroying the Al-Qalata and Russian forces, while Alex and Farah just manage to escape before they succumb to the attack.
It is soon discovered that Hadir has thrown his lot in with Al-Qatala, prompting Price’s team to unite in action with Farah to track him down. Though they manage to eliminate Sulaman in his hidden stronghold, Hadir is nowhere to be found. Without the chemical weapons being located, Farah’s group is designated as a terrorist threat, which in turn results in Alex defecting from the CIA and joining the ULF.
Acting on intelligence which suggests that Hadir is set to launch an attack in Russia, Garrick and Price rendezvous in Saint Petersburg in order to reach out to Nikolai, an old acquaintance of Price who may be able to shed some light on the situation. After storming an Al-Qatala meeting, the group find and capture Rahar, eventually forcing him to reveal Hadir’s plan to strike at Barkov in his private estate.
When they reach the estate, Gaz and Price secure Barkov’s family and finally manage to nab Hadir, uncovering the location of Barkov’s gas factory in Borjomi in the process. As they are about to exfil, Laswell arrives and communicates to Price and his unit that Russia wants Hadir to be handed over to them. Aware of how this could ease tensions, Price agrees to do so through gritted teeth so long as they keep all of the intel that they have on the Borjomi gas factory.
With the final piece of the puzzle in place, Garrick, Price, Farah and Alex all assemble in Urzikstan to plan their attack on the factory, with the intention of attempting to frame the Al-Qatala forces as a cover for the strike. Aided by Laswell, the group strike the factory, but Alex is seemingly killed when he attempts to detonate a batch of explosives manually after the automatic timer fails. During the explosion, Farah catches Barkov trying to escape via helicopter and kills him before he is able to exfiltrate.
After Price, Farah and Garrick escape the destroyed factory, it is revealed that Barkov has been disowned by the Russian government. Sensing what is coming next, Laswell and Price come together to form a new attack group known as Task Force 141 with the purpose of eliminating Victor Zakhaev, a Russian terrorist looking to obtain weapons of mass destruction.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – A Story Synopsis
Fast forward to July 2022 and Task Force 141 finds itself under the command of General Shepherd, who promptly orders the unit to perform an assassination of General Ghorbani, an Iranian General looking to facilitate an arms deal in Al Mazrah, the capital city of the United Republic of Adal.
After the assassination is successful, Quds Force Major Hassan Zyani swears revenge on the United States and in doing so starts to fund terrorist activities to realise his goal. By doing so he catches the attention of Laswell and Shepherd who dispatch a joint attack group of Task Force 141 and the Marine Raiders to capture Hassan from inside Al Mazrah. With the operation being led by Sergeant John “Soap” MacTavish and Lieutenant Simon “Ghost” Riley, the mission fails but the pair manage to find out that Hassan possesses an American ballistic missile.
Venturing to Amsterdam to nab a courier belonging to Hassan, Gaz and Price discover that Hassan is actually embedded with the Las Almas Cartel in Mexico, making matters somewhat complicated into the bargain. Joining up with Mexican special forces Colonel Alejandro Vargas, together with his second-in-command Sergeant Major Rodolfo Parra, Soap, Ghost and Shadow Company – a PMC owned by CEO Phillip Graves, but led by General Shepherd – all attempt to capture Hassan.
Even though the operation achieves its objective, Hassan is released on account of potential political repercussions from Iran on a lack of evidence to detain him. After recovering Hassan’s phone, data hacked from it takes Gaz, Price and Laswell to Cape Vilan, where it is discovered that Las Almas owns Russian GPS devices that can be used to direct ballistic missiles.
Making matters worse, Laswell finds herself captured by resurgent terror group Al-Qatala, though her captivity is short-lived as Farah and Nikolai, together with Gaz and Price manage to extract her from an Al-Qatala stronghold. Concurrent to these events, Soap and Alejandro manage to capture “El Sin Nombre”, the leader of Las Almas who is revealed to be Valeria Garza, a former comrade of Alejandro. Valeria reveals that a ballistic missile is stationed on an oil rig located in the Gulf of Mexico, naturally resulting in an operation undertaken by Alejandro, Shadow Company and Task Force 141 to retrieve it.
Though the mission is successful, Graves and Shadow Company double-cross their allies on the orders of General Shepherd, seizing Alejandro’s base and arresting him to boot. At this point Soap and Ghost have no option but to escape into and through Las Almas, all the while Shadow Company murders its way through the town in pursuit of Hassan. Eventually, Price, Gaz, Laswell, Soap and Ghost rescue Alejandro and re-unite him with his old unit, Los Vaqueros, as this new alliance ponders the next course of action.
In a debrief, Laswell states that Graves and Shepherd were the ones behind an illegal mission to transport missiles across the Middle East. As the truth comes out, it is discovered that a Russian PMC by the name of the Konni Group ambushed the convoy and stole a trio of ballistic missiles, resulting in Shepherd having to cover up the failure of the mission.
After a joint strike on the base of Shadow Company by Los Vaqueros and Task Force 141 apparently kills Graves, the group learns that Hassan is actually in Chicago and is preparing to launch a strike on the Pentagon from the city. After killing Hassan and prematurely destroying his launched missile before it can reach its intended target, the group learns that not only has the traitorous Shepherd gone into hiding, but also that a new threat has arisen.
Laswell reveals to Task Force 141 that the leader of the Russian ultranationalist cell that stole the trio of missiles from Shepherd’s failed mission is Vladimir Makarov. Later, that same Russian ultranationalist cell is seen planning to hijack a plane when a text message arrives from Makarov, informing them not to use their mother tongue during the hijacking.