Modern Warfare 2 campaign: Storyline, characters, missions

Liam Mackay
Operator in Modern Warfare 2 nightwar mission

Call of Duty’s Modern Warfare series has always been known for its incredible campaigns and we now know a ton about what 2022’s Modern Warfare 2 has in store. Here’s a look at MW2’s characters, missions, and storyline.

Modern Warfare 2 has a ton of hype surrounding it, and the Call of Duty community has been eagerly waiting for the full release after trying out the game’s content in the limited-time multiplayer beta.

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Infinity Ward are allowing players to check out the campaign through Early Access, and we’ve got you covered with everything that you need to know about it, including the characters, missions, and overall plot.

Of course, there will be minor spoilers for Modern Warfare 2’s campaign here, you’ve been warned!

Ghost in call of duty modern warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2 campaign storyline

When we last checked in with Price at the end of Modern Warfare 2019, he was assembling Task Force 141 to combat the threat posed by Zakhaev junior. Modern Warfare 2 picks up three years later with 141 fully formed and operating worldwide.

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While plot details are thin at the moment, Modern Warfare 2’s storyline kicks off after a US strike kills a foreign general. This nation promises revenge, and Task Force 141 teams up with Mexican Special Forces to stop the threat.

Modern Warfare 2 Operators in Nightwar campaign mission

Task Force 141 aren’t the close-knit unit we’d expect, with Ghost often working as a “one-man army” who “won’t see eye to eye with the group.” After the discovery that the terrorist group Al-Qatala are working with Mexican Drug Cartel ‘Las Alamas,’ Ghost realizes he can’t do everything alone and reaches out to Colonel Alejandro Vargas of the Mexican Special Forces for help.

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The campaign will see Task Force 141 team up with Mexican Special Forces and Shadow Company to travel around the world over the course of the campaign. They will visit the Middle East, Europe, Mexico, and the United States in order to prevent a global crisis.

The missions will task the team with piloting Gunships, battling within a convoy, identifying high-value targets, and stealthily underwater. According to the developers, you’ll need to become a “true Tier One Operator” in order to survive.

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Modern Warfare 2019’s campaign was designed to be “provocative” and put players in uncomfortable positions, but Modern Warfare 2 sees Task Force 141 doing “heroic and badass things,” but they’re “humans, not superheroes.”

Modern Warfare 2 campaign characters

Captain John Price

Price in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

SAS Captain John Price is the leader of Task Force 141 and has a complicated relationship with authority, often preferring to get the job done in his own, sometimes unconventional, way.

Price has his own sense of morality, understanding that war isn’t always black and white, explaining in MW 2019: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”  

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Kyle ‘Gaz’ Garrick

Sergeant Kyle ‘Gaz’ Garrick joined Captain Price’s Bravo Team after Al-Qatala’s attack on Picadilly Circus in Modern Warfare 2019.

Sticking with Price throughout the mission to recover the stolen chemical weapons, Gaz was his first choice to join Task Force 141.

John ‘Soap’ MacTavish

Soap in Modern Warfare 2

Soap was the main playable protagonist of the original Modern Warfare trilogy and returns in the second installment of the reboot.

Described by Price as a sniper and demolitions expert, Soap will likely be taking on Task Force 141’s more stealth-based missions in Modern Warfare 2’s campaign.

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Simon ‘Ghost’ Riley

Not much is known about Simon ‘Ghost’ Riley, other than he works as a lone wolf who doesn’t always see eye to eye with the rest of Task Force 141. The campaign will see Ghost realize he can’t always be a one-man army and brings Vargas into the fold.

Colonel Alejandro Vargas

Vargas in Modern Warfare 2

Mexican Special Forces Colonel Alejandro Vargas is a brand-new character for Modern Warfare 2, brought into the fold by Ghost.

We don’t know much about his character yet, but his knowledge should be vital in Task Force 141’s fight with Las Alamas.

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Modern Warfare 2 will also introduce another new character – Graves. Described as an ally to Task Force 141, Graves is a private military contractor with the Shadow Company.

Shadow Company helped General Shepherd betray Task Force 141 in 2009’s Modern Warfare 2 but with the new timeline and continuity, we’ll need to wait and see if they can be trusted.

Kate Laswell

laswell in cod modern warfare

In Modern Warfare 2019, Kate Laswell was the Supervisor of the CIA’s Special Activities Division and had a close working relationship with Price, giving him clearance to form Task Force 141.

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Three years later in Modern Warfare 2, Laswell is a CIA Station Chief and will be in the field with Task Force 141.

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Shepherd Ghost and Price

At the start of the campaign’s gameplay trailer, we caught a glimpse of Lieutenant General Shepherd from Modern Warfare 2 (2009) making an appearance while being voiced by Glenn Morshower.

Long-time fans will remember how the treacherous general betrayed Task Force 141 in the original Modern Warfare 2, and he later got his comeuppance at the end of the game. This seems like it will be a different version of the character.

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Modern Warfare 2 campaign missions

Dark Water

Infinity Ward took the opportunity to show off Modern Warfare 2 gameplay at Summer Game Fest on June 9 with a campaign mission called Dark Water.

The mission takes place on the US Atlantic Coastline, following members of Task Force 141 as they board an enemy rig to disarm a missile.

The mission looks intense, with rainy weather and strong winds pushing huge cargo containers all over the place. There are aspects of both stealth and chaos in the mission, with explosive barrels being shot in a shootout.

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Modern Warfare 2 operators look at downed helicopter in nightwar mission

Nightwar is an action-packed mission in Modern Warfare 2’s campaign, where the player takes charge of Soap.

This mission takes place at night time when an allied helicopter crashes into the area as Task Force 141 moves in. After using night vision to clear out a building full of terrorists, 141 moves to secure the downed helicopter.

As the helicopter is swarmed by a ton of hostiles, the mission ends with a rocket hitting the chopper.

Wet Work

modern warfare 2 operators in boat

Although long-time CoD players will recognize ‘Wet Work’ for the multiplayer map, it’s a campaign level in Modern Warfare 2 that shows off the new swimming and water mechanics.

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Wet Work is a stealth-based mission set in Amsterdam where the player takes control of Gaz as he and Price are looking to find out who is smuggling on behalf of the terrorists.

Much of Wet Work takes place underwater, with Price advising Gaz to stick to using knives to keep things stealthy. Using the water as cover, Gaz moves around the area silently dispatching targets one by one, pulling them down into the water for a silent kill.

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This level features several different mechanics such as the ledge hang and underwater shooting and wraps up when Price and Gaz discover that the terrorists are using the Mexican Cartel, ‘Las Alamas,’ to smuggle goods.


Modern Warfare 2 Chicago Campaign

Modern Warfare 2’s Tower mission takes place in a major city and requires players to rappel down the side of a building while having full control over how they repel – head first or feet first.

While the developers didn’t reveal which major city this mission takes place in, a few eagle-eyed players stated that it’s set in Chicago after spotting the Two Prudential Plaza building. This mission allows players to tackle it in their own way, with a variety of different play styles shown off.

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Vehicle-based mission

ghost with night vision goggles in modern warfare 2

Although we don’t know its official name, the fourth mission shown was vehicle-based, where the player was fighting in and out of vehicles in a convoy in Mexico.

This mission shows off all the new vehicle mechanics, where players can shoot out of the windows, climb on the roof of vehicles, and even commandeer other cars while they’re driving. The devs said that any vehicle can be driven by the player, so this is shaping to be one of the most cinematic missions in the game.

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All Ghillied Up

All Ghillied up

All Ghillied Up was an extremely popular Call of Duty mission involving Captain Price wearing a ghillie suit.

Some of the Modern Warfare 2 promotional material shows Captain Price all ghillied up, and the character’s actor, Barry Sloane, confirmed that the mission will be returning. According to the devs, the player will team up with Price to do long-distance sniping in Spain.

Modern Warfare 2 Campaign rewards

You can earn rewards by completing Modern Warfare 2 Campaign missions. Going through individual missions will grant you specific rewards and completing the entire Campaign will provide the Union Guard Weapon Blueprint.

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Modern Warfare 2 Campaign rewards

Here are all the Modern Warfare 2 Campaign rewards in chronological order:

  • Calling Card: “Soap’s Determination”
  • Emblem: “What’s Done Is Done”
  • Double XP Token: 30 Minute
  • Double Weapon XP Token: 30 Minute
  • Calling Card: “Chainlinked”
  • Base Operator: Chuy
  • Double XP Token: 30 Minute
  • Double Weapon XP Token: 30 Minute
  • Calling Card: “Gaz”
  • Base Operator: Nova
  • Double XP Token: 1 Hour
  • Double Weapon XP Token: 1 Hour
  • Calling Card: “Shadow Company Ops”
  • Base Operator: Reyes
  • Double XP Token: 1 Hour
  • Double Weapon XP Token: 1 Hour
  • Base Operator: Hutch
  • Union Guard Weapon Blueprint
    • Aim OP-V4 Reflex Optic, SZ 1MW PEQ Laser, FSS Covert V Silencer Muzzle, Lockgrip Precision-40 Underbarrel Vertical Grip

That covers everything that has been revealed about the Modern Warfare 2 campaign so far. You can hop into the Early Access campaign by digitally pre-ordering the game ahead of its October 28 release.

For more on Modern Warfare 2, check out this missing Grand Prix map that will reportedly return at launch as well as our guide explaining everything that you need to know about the Raids experience.

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Image Credit: Activision

About The Author

Liam is CharlieIntel's Editor who focuses on Call of Duty but also plays lots of fantasy RPGs or anything else in his massive gaming backlog. After graduating in Journalism from Edinburgh Napier University, Liam freelanced in games journalism before joining CharlieIntel in November 2020. You can contact Liam at [email protected].