Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare's Story - Returning Characters And What They Mean For The Series' Future
Warning: We're digging into spoilers for the story of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019, as well as the original series. We recommend you complete the single-playing campaign before reading on!
Infinity Ward's reboot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare remixes elements of the 2007 classic, bringing a variety of the original game's characters into a more contemporary setting. The new Modern Warfare reboots the original game, starting a new story in a new timeline, but maintaining a number of similar elements.
It's been clear for a while from trailers that Captain Price, one of the original Modern Warfare's main characters, is back to lead the charge in the campaign. But Price isn't the only familiar face you'll see from the past. The new Modern Warfare is full of callbacks to the series that fans will recognize, which suggest that Infinity Ward has more in store for Task Force 141 in future games. Here's a rundown of all the characters returning in Modern Warfare, and what they hint about the future of the series.
The leader of Task Force 141 in the first Modern Warfare, Price is a huge part of the story in the reboot. You'll spend a lot of time working directly with Price as you try to stop terrorist organization Al-Qatala in London and Urzikstan. As in the original game, Price is a no-nonsense commander who is willing to do just about anything in order to complete his mission. Repeatedly throughout Modern Warfare 2019, it's Price who players deal with when they are forced to ask themselves questions about what they're willing to do to safeguard the world and save lives--even at the cost of sacrificing some people to save others.
Kyle "Gaz" Garrick
One of the characters you play as during Modern Warfare, Kyle Garrick starts out his career as a London police officer working in an anti-terrorist unit. He encounters Price in an early mission that sees terrorists attack the city, after which he's recruited to work with Price to find Al-Qatala and the chemical weapons the group stole in Urzikstan. Garrick's own morals are tested throughout the campaign; he believes that the rules held him and his force back from stopping the terrorist attack in London, but trying to stop Al-Qatala puts him in situations he never expected. Gaz was a member of the British SAS in the first Modern Warfare, and was eventually killed by the villainous Zhakaev. At the end of Modern Warfare 2019, Price outlines his plans to form Task Force 141, and Garrick, with his nickname revealed to be Gaz, is on the list.
Price's Russian contact and friend has a big role to play in the later missions of Modern Warfare 2019. In the original game, Nikolai supplies Task Force 141 with intelligence about Russian Ultranationalists, and Price and his squad eventually have to extract him when his cover is blown. We see an earlier stage of Price and Nikolai's relationship in the reboot, with the pair working together to gather intelligence about Al-Qatala and the stolen Russian chemical weapon at the center of the story. Since Nikolai plays a big role in later Modern Warfare games in the original trilogy, it seems very likely we'll see him again.
John "Soap" MacTavish
The post-credits scene for Modern Warfare sees Price sharing files with CIA agent Kate Laswell detailing the men he intends to recruit for Task Force 141. They include a number of familiar names, and probably the biggest bombshell is Soap, one of the main player characters in the original Modern Warfare series. Soap started the original Modern Warfare as a new recruit for the Task Force and went on to become a major part of the trilogy's story as the player character. We don't hear much about Soap in Modern Warfare 2019, but it's obvious he'll matter more in future games.
Simon "Ghost" Riley
A fan-favorite character in the original trilogy, Ghost is also among the recruits Price is eyeing for his new squad. As mentioned in the post-credits scene, there are no photos of Ghost in the file--a callback to the fact we never see him without his face mask during the original games. Ghost was killed toward the end of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which might be a hint at where the story is going in the future.
A key military leader in Modern Warfare 2, Shepherd only gets a brief mention in the new Modern Warfare when Laswell mentions he's in contact with her about Al-Qatala operations you have to take on in the game's Spec Ops missions. Though he's only a minor part of Modern Warfare, Shepherd is a character who looms large in the original trilogy. He was the main villain of Modern Warfare 2, when it's revealed that he's working with Russian Ultranationalists to start a war between the US and Russia. Shepherd personally executes Ghost in that game, and is eventually taken down by Price and Soap in a major chase and then a hand-to-hand battle to the death. Killing Shepherd turns the remaining Task Force 141 members into fugitives in Modern Warfare 3. We don't know where Infinity Ward intends to take the Modern Warfare story in the future, but Shepherd's presence suggests there might be a similar storyline developing.
Another character who shows up briefly in the cooperative Spec Ops portion of the game, Kamarov is another Russian contact who works with Price in the original Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 3. The pair work together to save Nikolai in the first game, and Kamarov eventually joins the Czech resistance to Russia in Modern Warfare 3. In Modern Warfare 2019, he's still a part of the Russian military and working with the CIA to deal with Al-Asad in Spec Ops, joining with his old friend Price in the operation.
Modern Warfare teases the return of one of the main villains from the original game: Kaled Al-Asad. Mentioned only briefly at the end of Modern Warfare 2019's story, Al-Asad was a major player in the original game--when you play as the president of a Middle Eastern country at the beginning of Call of Duty 4, Al-Asad is the guy who executes you. In the original game, Al-Asad worked with main antagonist Imran Zhakaev, eventually setting off a nuclear weapon in his own country. Though Al-Asad is defeated, the damage he and Zhakaev do in the first game reverberates throughout the entire trilogy. The Spec Ops co-op missions seem to be focused on dealing with Al-Asad in Modern Warfare 2019. The return of this major player hints that Infinity Ward's future Modern Warfare stories might revisit a lot of the same territory as the original--and it seems likely that Zhakaev may again be behind it all.