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Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

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Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by IXHIGHLANDERXI on Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:14 pm

Can't figure out the plotholes and how everything ties together? Spoilers within!

Lots of people have said that Modern Warfare 2's plot has left them baffled.
They can't understand why Price fired a nuclear missile at the US, or why Russia went to war with the US, or why Shepherd did... well, pretty much all the crazy things he did.There have been a lot of questions and not everything is well explained within but it does make sense and all tie in together.

Why is low-ranking Private Allen given such an important CIA task at the Russian airport?As the plot later on establishes, we know Shepherd is working together with Makarov, so Shepherd wants a 'disposable' fall guy to trigger the political chain reaction that results in the war.

How does American Allen pass off as a Russian?
There are no physical differences between Americans and Russians, at least none that are immediately obvious. We can also assume that Allen speaks Russian, which is why he's instructed to speak English at the start of the airport level. In any case, Makarov and Shepherd are working together, so Makarov would allow Allen to 'infiltrate' the group regardless of how authentic Allen's cover is.

Why would Shepherd/Allen allow Makarov to kill hundreds of civilians at the airport?
Shepherd mentions losing his men earlier "while the world watched", so his anger means his morality is already out of step with what you'd expect from an army official. You could also argue that he doesn't care about Russian citizens. Allen is following orders - it could be his obedience and complete complicity that saw him selected for the job to begin with.

Why would Russia start war and invade the US because of a rogue group of Americans killing Russian citizens?
The key here is that the Russians believed it was a group of CIA operatives responsible, meaning their actions would have been sanctioned by the American government. Therefore, it was seen as the American government carrying out the Russian killings and not the actions of a few rogue Americans.

Why was Price kept in a Russian prison for four years when he was rescued alongside Soap?
Not explained. Price was kept in Russia for medical treatment, as he was seriously wounded following the events of Modern Warfare. The political mood quickly changed following the fall of Zakhaev and it's likely Price was kept as a 'political prisoner' of sorts.

Why doesn't Soap know what happened to Price?
Again, not explained, but Soap not knowing what happened to Price means we can only presume that Price is being kept/held somewhere against his will.

Why does Shepherd have total command over TF141?
It's his own personal army and at this point, he almost has command of the entire American military.

Why does Shepherd betray his own private army?
Shepherd is simply covering up the evidence that could link him back to what happened at the airport or at any point after that. It may have been that they were in on the conspiracy anyway but Shepherd doesn't take any chances.

Why does Shepherd do all this anyway, what does he get out of starting this war?
He wants to increase the American military's dominance and his own command within it. He's after a 'blank check' to wage his own war with, which means his power and influence would receive a massive boost.

Why did Price launch a nuke at the US?
He fires a nuke to detonate above the Earth's atmosphere to serve the same purpose as an EMP, the radiation would get blocked by lower levels of the atmosphere. The intention is shown in the following scene - to cripple the electronics in Washington and slow the Russian invasion of the US.


Whats your thoughts on this? and feel free to add/discuss
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by khy on Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:35 pm

Makarov and Shepard are not working together, that is why they are fighting when you have to run to the car and drive into nikolai's plane.

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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by Kyled55 on Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:16 pm

The campaign was awesome. Loved the ending. Still left me hanging tho.

I think there will be a Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (might not be called that tho. Might be something different but idk!)


Last edited by Kyled55 on Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I changed a mistake)
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by bigboy1355 on Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:48 pm

khy wrote:Makarov and Shepard are not working together, that is why they are fighting when you have to run to the car and drive into nikolai's plane.
This isn't true when they're fighting at the end Shepard is still tricking his men, they have no idea he has been working with Makarov this entire time.
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by evongelo on Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:28 pm

Allen is also killing the Russians willingly because Shepherd told him that the lives he takes will be insignificant to the lives he will save

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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by Kuna on Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:30 pm

khy wrote:Makarov and Shepard are not working together, that is why they are fighting when you have to run to the car and drive into nikolai's plane.

I'm just going to elaborate on what another person already said. Makarov's men and Shepard's men are fighting against each other, yes. But if you notice, when you play the mission, "The Enemy of My Enemy", you're (Soap) fighting BOTH Makarov's and Shepard's men. By now, Soap and Price figured out Shepard and Makarov were working together to achieve what they both wanted, which was a war. So basically it's Makarov vs Shepard vs Price and Soap, with a little help from Nikolai. Price knows Shepard is working with Makarov hence the conversation he has with Makarov in this mission: Price says, "Have you heard the term the enemy of my enemy is my friend" to Makarov and Makarov replies, "I think you'll find that works both ways." Anyway that's all I got lol. If I'm wrong though, just let me know. Embarassed

Thanks for posting this! I didn't understand why Price launched the nuke. Well I did afterwards, but I didn't understand why he didn't get yelled at lol. I expected some sort of confrontation, but there wasn't any so I was definitely confused there for a bit.

Edit: Also, that part with the helos crashing down was insane!!
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by DitkaKenobi on Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:01 am

Even when you put the story line together and try to make sense out of it, it's still very weak at best. This game is an example of very bad story telling. I wanted to love the story, it's just too broken. As evidenced by the fact that this thread even exists. Each of the levels are fun, the story holding them together is just not well thought out. COD4 had the superior story BY FAR.
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by FROSTY on Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:07 am

DitkaKenobi wrote:Even when you put the story line together and try to make sense out of it, it's still very weak at best. This game is an example of very bad story telling. I wanted to love the story, it's just too broken. As evidenced by the fact that this thread even exists. Each of the levels are fun, the story holding them together is just not well thought out. COD4 had the superior story BY FAR.

The story in CoD4 was like a classic Clancy novel or somethin, and it was boring. The story in MW2 is a lot better, and a lot more wtf. I had soo many wtf moments in that game, though a lot of the game reminded me of action movies - Cliffhanger is a good example, and any movie about terrorists in an Airport. Still realistic wise for a storyline CoD 4 was a lot better.

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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by firevice on Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:13 am

Also, when Soap hands Price the M1911 .45 when they rescue him, its the same pistol used to kill Zakhaev

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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by khy on Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:37 pm

Kuna wrote:
khy wrote:Makarov and Shepard are not working together, that is why they are fighting when you have to run to the car and drive into nikolai's plane.

I'm just going to elaborate on what another person already said. Makarov's men and Shepard's men are fighting against each other, yes. But if you notice, when you play the mission, "The Enemy of My Enemy", you're (Soap) fighting BOTH Makarov's and Shepard's men. By now, Soap and Price figured out Shepard and Makarov were working together to achieve what they both wanted, which was a war. So basically it's Makarov vs Shepard vs Price and Soap, with a little help from Nikolai. Price knows Shepard is working with Makarov hence the conversation he has with Makarov in this mission: Price says, "Have you heard the term the enemy of my enemy is my friend" to Makarov and Makarov replies, "I think you'll find that works both ways." Anyway that's all I got lol. If I'm wrong though, just let me know. Embarassed

Thanks for posting this! I didn't understand why Price launched the nuke. Well I did afterwards, but I didn't understand why he didn't get yelled at lol. I expected some sort of confrontation, but there wasn't any so I was definitely confused there for a bit.

Edit: Also, that part with the helos crashing down was insane!!

Not true, it's because makarov and shepard were both against TF141. It shows there are more than 2 sides to war.

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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by Kuna on Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:26 pm

khy wrote:
Kuna wrote:
khy wrote:Makarov and Shepard are not working together, that is why they are fighting when you have to run to the car and drive into nikolai's plane.

I'm just going to elaborate on what another person already said. Makarov's men and Shepard's men are fighting against each other, yes. But if you notice, when you play the mission, "The Enemy of My Enemy", you're (Soap) fighting BOTH Makarov's and Shepard's men. By now, Soap and Price figured out Shepard and Makarov were working together to achieve what they both wanted, which was a war. So basically it's Makarov vs Shepard vs Price and Soap, with a little help from Nikolai. Price knows Shepard is working with Makarov hence the conversation he has with Makarov in this mission: Price says, "Have you heard the term the enemy of my enemy is my friend" to Makarov and Makarov replies, "I think you'll find that works both ways." Anyway that's all I got lol. If I'm wrong though, just let me know. Embarassed

Thanks for posting this! I didn't understand why Price launched the nuke. Well I did afterwards, but I didn't understand why he didn't get yelled at lol. I expected some sort of confrontation, but there wasn't any so I was definitely confused there for a bit.

Edit: Also, that part with the helos crashing down was insane!!

Not true, it's because makarov and shepard were both against TF141. It shows there are more than 2 sides to war.

What's not true exactly? I said a lot in my paragraph (lol) so I don't know what you think is not true? Just making sure I understand the complete MW2 story.
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by TheLastShot123 on Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:25 pm

if you are going to post something about this WATCH THE CUTSCENES between the missions it explains ALOT

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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by DitkaKenobi on Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:27 am

TheLastShot123 wrote:if you are going to post something about this WATCH THE CUTSCENES between the missions it explains ALOT

I'm pretty sure everyone who plays the game the first time watches all the cutscenes. To say that the cutscenes in this game explain A LOT is to never have played a game with cutscenes that actually explain a lot.
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by shane35007 on Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:07 am

Frosty wrote CoD4:MW was like a Clancy novel (ouch, as he's one of my favorite authors) and I've written that MW2 seems to be a lot like a season of 24.

MW had a even flow, sure the overall storyline wasn't seat of your pants (of course you were killed by a nuke), but the gameplay matched the story perfectly.

MW2 is somewhat erratic. We see events from one POV, that then are explained after that in another POV, for example, in D.C. as Ramirez, we crash in the helo after the strafing runs on the WWII Memorial, at the end of that level we see a blinding flash. Jump to Roach and Price and we are now explaining what that flash was, being the Atmosphere Detonated Nuke. So we jump back to Ramirez and the aftermath of the flash.

MW2 is also vague at times, ala 24, as to what / why is something happening.

I think when looking back at MW2 story, it makes sense, it was just a somewhat jumbled way to do so.

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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by Keith3618 on Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:29 am

ou guys are making it harder than wha it is
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by lawtondannyboy on Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:17 am

There was no nuke! It was an EMP to save the rangers from the militia.
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by DitkaKenobi on Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:25 am

lawtondannyboy wrote:There was no nuke! It was an EMP to save the rangers from the militia.

That WAS a nuke exploded in the upper atmosphere to provide an EMP burst. Electromagnetic Pulse is a side effect of a nuclear explosion.
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by KAIZER SOSA on Thu Nov 19, 2009 5:35 am

Nice thread but to be quite frank... Sheperd and Makarov are not working together at all. I've noticed ALOT of people confused about the plot to the game but to me imo its quite straightfoward.
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by Kuna on Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:17 am

KAIZER SOSA wrote:Nice thread but to be quite frank... Sheperd and Makarov are not working together at all. I've noticed ALOT of people confused about the plot to the game but to me imo its quite straightfoward.

Well OXM wrote the faq that the OP posted: http://www.oxm.co.uk/article.php?id=15099 They say Shepard and Makarov are working together. You would think an "official xbox magazine" would know the story.
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by KAIZER SOSA on Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:20 pm

Kuna wrote:
KAIZER SOSA wrote:Nice thread but to be quite frank... Sheperd and Makarov are not working together at all. I've noticed ALOT of people confused about the plot to the game but to me imo its quite straightfoward.

Well OXM wrote the faq that the OP posted: http://www.oxm.co.uk/article.php?id=15099 They say Shepard and Makarov are working together. You would think an "official xbox magazine" would know the story.

To be honest with you I don't take what they say (or speculate might be a better word) to be true at all, I've played through this game a thousand times and there is absolutely nothing that remotely hints that Sheperd and Makarov are "working together".

Sorry OXM is wrong, if I had my own magazine and claimed that Ghost was Gaz, unfortunately people would end up believing me too.

Speherd was his own "monster" manipulated a couple of things to get his way after Price went rogue exploding the nuke over the upper atmosphere to create a EMP over Washington thus slowing and simply hampering the invasion escalation of Russian troops.

Sheperd being a veteran of the first war (COD4) and still displeased with the why "the world watched" wants to be seen as the hero and cover his tracks (along with the CIA) of sending PFC. Allen in as an undercover Op since the conclusion was a disaster and basically created the war. Sheperd and the CIA needed this evidence of a failed mission that started it all in thier hands to be ready to deny it to the world that an American was undercover in Russia at the Airport.

They wouldn't want to be compromised just like in real life regardless of a failed mission or not. That is why those of Task Force 141 who were a part of this series of missions must be silenced because they are the only ones who know besides the terrorists. People will believe they're Special Forces, they won't believe terrorists that is why Ghost and Roach had to die, along with Price and Soap and the rest of the nameless TF141 members who were involved (even though its evident Price and Soap don't die).

Makarov being the sly villain he is used this as an oppurtunity to get what he finally has been waited for, he's been making attempts of a global crisis with all the terrorists attacks that were shown through the montage of newspapers in the game mission's prolouge and finally got a big break when he discovered PFC. Allen was an undercover Op for Sheperd and the CIA.


People just got to listen to the dialouge in the game it's clearly in front of everyone's face...

In the beginning of the level "The Enemy of my Enemy" Price tells Soap: "Soap, Sheperd's trying to wipe us out and Makarov at the same time! Head to rally point Bravo to the west! Trust no one!"

This is said to Makarov by Price in the same level: "Makarov, this is Price. Sheperd's a war hero now and he's got your playbook and his blank check..."

This right here also implies that Sheperd is clearly working from his own motivation, not in cohesion with Makarov at all. Makarov being in the spolight now more then he garnered for with the latest terrorist attack and all out war with Sheperd's men then gives his intel (Intel Makarov has in an effort to kill Sheperd but sees the oppurtunity to have Price do it for him) to Price, telling him he has a military staging area in the desert.

Why would he try taking out Makarov if they are working together, to be honest any speculative claim to that question would be far fetched and create the obvious confusion everyone is experiencing at the moment even worst. The level's name is even a nod to obvious conclusions "The Enemy of my Enemy" -simply stating Sheperd and Makarov ARE infact enemies not working together.
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by shane35007 on Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:48 pm

What if Shepard assisted Makarov in starting the war, not as an ally, but to use an enemy to start this war, thus garnering him retribution to the American govt.

If I remember correctly at the end of CoD4, wasn't a lot of what went down covered up?

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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by KAIZER SOSA on Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:05 pm

shane35007 wrote:What if Shepard assisted Makarov in starting the war, not as an ally, but to use an enemy to start this war, thus garnering him retribution to the American govt.

If I remember correctly at the end of CoD4, wasn't a lot of what went down covered up?

Thank you, I guess in shorter words thats what I'm trying to point out, Sheperd is manipulative in his decisions depending on what happened in the game. People simply confuse this as him and Makarov working together...
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by shane35007 on Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:23 pm

KAIZER SOSA wrote:
shane35007 wrote:What if Shepard assisted Makarov in starting the war, not as an ally, but to use an enemy to start this war, thus garnering him retribution to the American govt.

If I remember correctly at the end of CoD4, wasn't a lot of what went down covered up?

Thank you, I guess in shorter words thats what I'm trying to point out, Sheperd is manipulative in his decisions depending on what happened in the game. People simply confuse this as him and Makarov working together...

Like they say, Great Minds.....

Your Twitter background is slick, I didn't realize the background can be changed. Any suggestions for sites to get backgrounds?

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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by Kuna on Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:29 pm

KAIZER SOSA wrote:
Kuna wrote:
KAIZER SOSA wrote:Nice thread but to be quite frank... Sheperd and Makarov are not working together at all. I've noticed ALOT of people confused about the plot to the game but to me imo its quite straightfoward.

Well OXM wrote the faq that the OP posted: http://www.oxm.co.uk/article.php?id=15099 They say Shepard and Makarov are working together. You would think an "official xbox magazine" would know the story.

To be honest with you I don't take what they say (or speculate might be a better word) to be true at all, I've played through this game a thousand times and there is absolutely nothing that remotely hints that Sheperd and Makarov are "working together".

Sorry OXM is wrong, if I had my own magazine and claimed that Ghost was Gaz, unfortunately people would end up believing me too.

Speherd was his own "monster" manipulated a couple of things to get his way after Price went rogue exploding the nuke over the upper atmosphere to create a EMP over Washington thus slowing and simply hampering the invasion escalation of Russian troops.

Sheperd being a veteran of the first war (COD4) and still displeased with the why "the world watched" wants to be seen as the hero and cover his tracks (along with the CIA) of sending PFC. Allen in as an undercover Op since the conclusion was a disaster and basically created the war. Sheperd and the CIA needed this evidence of a failed mission that started it all in thier hands to be ready to deny it to the world that an American was undercover in Russia at the Airport.

They wouldn't want to be compromised just like in real life regardless of a failed mission or not. That is why those of Task Force 141 who were a part of this series of missions must be silenced because they are the only ones who know besides the terrorists. People will believe they're Special Forces, they won't believe terrorists that is why Ghost and Roach had to die, along with Price and Soap and the rest of the nameless TF141 members who were involved (even though its evident Price and Soap don't die).

Makarov being the sly villain he is used this as an oppurtunity to get what he finally has been waited for, he's been making attempts of a global crisis with all the terrorists attacks that were shown through the montage of newspapers in the game mission's prolouge and finally got a big break when he discovered PFC. Allen was an undercover Op for Sheperd and the CIA.


People just got to listen to the dialouge in the game it's clearly in front of everyone's face...

In the beginning of the level "The Enemy of my Enemy" Price tells Soap: "Soap, Sheperd's trying to wipe us out and Makarov at the same time! Head to rally point Bravo to the west! Trust no one!"

This is said to Makarov by Price in the same level: "Makarov, this is Price. Sheperd's a war hero now and he's got your playbook and his blank check..."

This right here also implies that Sheperd is clearly working from his own motivation, not in cohesion with Makarov at all. Makarov being in the spolight now more then he garnered for with the latest terrorist attack and all out war with Sheperd's men then gives his intel (Intel Makarov has in an effort to kill Sheperd but sees the oppurtunity to have Price do it for him) to Price, telling him he has a military staging area in the desert.

Why would he try taking out Makarov if they are working together, to be honest any speculative claim to that question would be far fetched and create the obvious confusion everyone is experiencing at the moment even worst. The level's name is even a nod to obvious conclusions "The Enemy of my Enemy" -simply stating Sheperd and Makarov ARE infact enemies not working together.

Well that's what I was trying to get out of ya, is an explanation Very Happy I'm not trying to buck heads or anything, just trying to make sure I understand the story. Is there a chance that Shepard betrayed Makarov? By attacking his people in The Enemy of My Enemy? At the start, they work together to create a war, but Shepard wanting to be the hero in all of this betrays Makarov and takes all the glory for himself? Or would that be considered far fetched?
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

Post by KAIZER SOSA on Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:44 pm

Kuna wrote:Well that's what I was trying to get out of ya, is an explanation Very Happy I'm not trying to buck heads or anything, just trying to make sure I understand the story. Is there a chance that Shepard betrayed Makarov? By attacking his people in The Enemy of My Enemy? At the start, they work together to create a war, but Shepard wanting to be the hero in all of this betrays Makarov and takes all the glory for himself? Or would that be considered far fetched?

Sorry if my post induces some sort of douchey-ness, not trying to come across like that. d\'oh

I just simply go off by what the game and its dialouge conclude and not even once is the fact even hinted that Sheperd and Makarov are working together. I won't believe anyone until otherwise proven by an official IW employee that that is the case.

From what I see (and is obvious to me) is that Sheperd is as rotten as Makarov when it comes to getting what he wants. He wants the glory, he wants to punish the Russians and OpFor as bad as the Americans were punished in COD4 with the Nuke in the Middle East. He wants control of the war... He clearly has his own motivations, as Makarov has his yet they are not working together. They have completely different goals.
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Re: Modern Warfare 2 Plot Explained

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