The Modern Warfare series is a behemoth of the video game world, and Modern Warfare 3 is due out this November. While primarily known for its multiplayer modes like Team Deathmatch and Domination, the Modern Warfare series actually has a decent single-player campaign. Sure, it's not Half-Life or BioShock or anything, and it's got some pretty big plot holes, but it has a story filled with some unexpected twists and turns, as well as some pretty controversial scenes that have managed to set internet forums ablaze.
Modern Warfare 2 left us on something of a cliffhanger, so before hopping into the next campaign, you might want to freshen up a bit on the events of the first two games. Be warned: The road ahead is littered with spoilers.
The original Modern Warfare begins with John "Soap" MacTavish noobing his way around a British military training camp. Once he successfully (and most likely awkwardly) completes his training, he is sent off on a mission with Captain Price, Gaz, and others. They search a cargo ship, which, of course, is attacked. There are some gunfights and explosions, and the team escapes with the ship's manifest. It's starting to look like the Russians are working with a rebel faction in "some random Middle Eastern nation."
Meanwhile, Yasir Al-Fulani, the president of this "random Middle Eastern nation," is executed on live TV, which players get to experience through the eyes of Al-Fulani himself. The man who pulls the trigger, Khalad Al-Asad, takes over. And this guy has more than a few screws loose. He's so batty, in fact, that he detonates a nuclear bomb in his own capital city, killing some U.S. soldiers and a whole bunch of civilians.
Al-Asad escapes the city and hides out in a safehouse. The British, including Soap and Price, find the guy and begin to interrogate him when Al-Asad receives an incriminating phone call. Price, being a complete badass, executes Al-Asad and realizes the particular Russian they are after is someone Price has encountered in the past. In the Ukraine. In a place called Pripyat. (History lesson: Pripyat was a city that was abandoned after the infamous Chernobyl nuclear disaster.)
The guy is Imran Zakhaev. The plan is to capture his son, Victor, to get some information, which pretty much backfires. Victor, being both Russian and trigger-happy, shoots himself in the face. Daddy gets pissed and launches some nukes at the U.S. in retaliation, but Soap and Price manage to disable the nukes before they hit the U.S.
After a chase scene and a bridge explosion, Soap and Price are both injured, seemingly fatally. As he's lying on the ground, pretty much half-dead, Soap gets his hands on a pistol, managing to dispose of Imran Zakhaev and two bodyguards in an epic finale. Modern Warfare ends with Price in critical condition, being airlifted out of there by Russian Loyalists. (In Modern Warfare lore, those are the good Russians, not the bad ones.)