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Call of Duty MW3 ending explained

With such an abrupt conclusion, you may be wondering what happens in the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 ending, and what this means for the next CoD.

Call of Duty MW3 ending: Price from MW3 key art in front of a red silhouette of Makarov

What happens in the Call of Duty MW3 ending? The conclusion of the latest Call of Duty game’s campaign has certainly surprised us, and many players are feeling the same. While many people purchase CoD for the multiplayer alone, you may be disappointed (and a bit confused) by the Modern Warfare 3 ending.

That being said, the Call of Duty MW3 campaign is a major component of the full experience, even if you’re expecting to focus on MW3 multiplayer or MW3 Zombies. So, if you’re hoping to keep up-to-date with the story in the best FPS game series, here’s what happens at the end of Modern Warfare 3 – and what it means for the future of the Modern Warfare storyline.

Call of Duty MW3 ending explained

The Call of Duty MW3 ending sees Makarov attempt a terrorist attack on the Eurotunnel as Task Force 141 arrives to stop him. When defusing the bombs, Makarov shoots and kills Soap, and attempts to kill Price before Ghost saves him. You, as Price, give chase to Makarov and attempt to kill him, but the villain manages to evade capture.

That’s not the only thing that happens at the end of MW3. Firstly, we see Task Force 141’s remaining members – Ghost, Price, and Gaz – scattering Soap’s ashes. Then, a post-credits scene sees Price kill Shepherd, after he attempted to kill Task Force 141 in the last game and then lied in court to protect himself.

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While this ending leads to a sad conclusion for the beloved Soap, it isn’t exactly a great finale. We said in our Call of Duty MW3 review that it feels like a fitting end for a first act, however, it’s actually the end of the game itself. Soap’s death is abrupt and quick, which fits with the idea of victims of war usually having a quick death instead of being overdramatic, but it doesn’t fit what we’ve previously seen in CoD campaigns.

For example, in the original Modern Warfare 3 from 2011, after Soap is shot, you believe he may survive if you’re quick enough, dragging him through the streets amidst gunfire, but despite all of your efforts, his death is set in stone. On his deathbed, he reveals pivotal information that Makarov knows one of the members of Task Force 141. It’s emotional, and gripping, and leads to a rush of adrenaline as you hope to avenge Soap. And in the original game, you get to.

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Unfortunately, in 2023’s MW3, you don’t get that satisfaction. Makarov quickly kills Soap and leaves the scene, leaving us feeling a bit uneasy about the subseries’ future. Will we finally get the long-awaited Modern Warfare 4 this time around? It seems highly likely, but the ending of MW3 feels like an expansion of MW2’s story, instead of a fully-fledged campaign experience.

However, the post-credits scene definitely offers a great narrative for the possible sequel. Price actively assassinating a high-power General isn’t going to be without consequences, and offers a parallel between himself and Makarov. While he doesn’t go to the extent of Makarov’s villainous actions, it shows that the line between these two characters isn’t so black and white after all. If Infinity Ward (or whichever Activision studio takes the lead on the next Modern Warfare game) can follow up with an interesting campaign in the sequel, we imagine this line between Price and Makarov will blur even further.

As for the story for MW4 itself, what can we expect? Well, we believe that Modern Warfare 4 will take place a few years after the events of MW3, with the subseries continuing in our present time when it releases. Makarov will be in hiding for most of it, as he plans his next steps to start another world war, while Task Force 141 has been kept busy with other missions.

After a few missions of playing as the members of Task Force 141 – perhaps as a disbanded unit after both losing Soap and due to Price’s assassination of Shepherd – the team will reunite when Makarov returns to complete his plans. Price will, over time, become more brutal throughout the campaign, as the rest of the squad realizes Price is going too far on his path for vengeance. We do believe that Makarov will die in the next game, and maybe another member of Task Force 141 will go down with him. Of course, this is all speculation at this stage, and Modern Warfare 4 hasn’t been officially confirmed by Activision yet, but with how MW3 ended, it seems all but certain we’ll get another entry in this subseries, and that its story will remain focused on Task Force 141 taking on Makarov.

That’s all you need to know about the Call of Duty MW3 ending. While you wait to see what happens in a likely sequel, why not check out the Call of Duty MW3 camos you can unlock in multiplayer as you level up the MW3 guns, or pick up one of the best PS5 controllers and best Xbox controllers to get you that competitive advantage.