Captain John ‘Soap’ MacTavish will soon arrive as an Operator in Call of Duty: Warzone, but who is the mohawked Scotsman? Here’s the full story of Modern Warfare hero Soap MacTavish.
We first met the Operator in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare all the way back in 2007. He quickly became a fan-favorite character for his unwavering loyalty to Task Force 141, thick Scottish accent, and several badass moments.
He began as one of the silent protagonists of the original Modern Warfare game and quickly gained respect from his SAS comrades. Then in Modern Warfare 2, while playing as Gary “Roach” Sanderson, we got to watch Soap in action.
With Modern Warfare (2019) rebooting the franchise, Soap will arrive in Warzone as a playable Operator.
Here’s the full story behind the new Operator Soap MacTavish.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
“What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh? How’d a muppet like you pass selection?”
We first meet Sergeant Soap MacTavish as he joins Captain Price’s Bravo Squad after passing SAS selection. Price is initially unimpressed with our protagonist, making fun of his name. One of the other members calls him the F.N.G (F***ing New Guy).
After running the CQB course and a quick training session from Lt. Gaz, Soap joins Bravo Squad for his first mission with the SAS. After receiving information from their informant Nikolai (who became a playable operator in Warzone Season 6), the squad board a cargo ship and discover a nuclear missile headed for Russia. The ship is bombed, and after Soap fails to make the jump onto the escape helicopter, he is saved by Captain Price.
Over the course of the campaign, Soap repeatedly proves himself a valuable asset to the SAS. The team discovers that Imran Zakhaev, an enemy from Price’s past, supplied the nuclear bomb that was used by Al-Assad to kill American forces.
Bravo Squad then tracks down Zakhaev’s son, who commits suicide before Soap can take his gun from him. In response, Zakhaev then threatens to nuke America, so Soap and the team head to the mountains to prevent the launch.
After deactivating the missiles and chasing Zakhaev, Soap is heavily injured by an exploding fuel tank and Sgt. Griggs dies defending him. Soap then helplessly watches Lt. Gaz and some other SAS members executed by Zakhaev.
All of Bravo Squad are near-death, but Price slides Soap his 1911 pistol, which he uses to kill Zakhaev and the other soldiers. Russian allies arrive and escort Soap and Price, the only survivors, away from the aftermath.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
“Price… this belongs to you, Sir.”
After Price’s capture in the five year period between the events of MW1 and MW2, Soap is promoted to Captain and leads Task Force 141.
While playing as new protagonist Gary “Roach” Sanderson, we meet Captain Soap MacTavish smoking a cigar before fearlessly scaling an icy mountain. The Russians have got hold of a downed US Satellite, so TF141 is there to recover the ACS module. After being discovered, the pair make a daring escape on stolen snowmobiles, ramping over a massive gorge.
We next meet Soap in Rio de Janeiro, tracking down arms dealer Alejandro Rojas who supplied the central antagonist, Makarov, his weapons for the attack on a Russian airport. After Roach’s squadmates are killed, Roach, Soap, and Ghost must chase the dealer through the Favela. In an incredibly memorable moment, we see Soap dive through a window, tackling Rojas onto a car in the street below.
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They discover that who Makarov hates most is an unknown Prisoner 627. Task Force 141 assault a gulag to capture and use the prisoner as bait. Soap discovers that the prisoner is his former mentor and Captain, John Price. Soap then returns Price’s 1911 pistol to him, saying “this belongs to you, Sir.”
While searching for Makarov, Task Force 141 is betrayed by American Commander Shepherd. His troops, the Shadow Company, attack Soap and Price but it’s too late for them to warn the rest of TF141. In a shocking twist, Shepherd then murders Roach and fan-favorite character Ghost.
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Soap and Price chase Shepherd across Afghanistan and finally catch him. While the pair fight Shepherd, Soap is stabbed. The American officer is killing Price, so Soap pulls the knife from his own chest, and throws it at Shephard, hitting him in the eye and killing him.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
“Price… you need to know. Makarov… knows… Yuri…“
Soap narrowly survives his wound from Shepherd, and Task Force 141 has been declared international fugitives. While Soap is still recovering, Makarov’s men attack Nikolai’s safehouse in India. New playable protagonist Yuri, Price, and Nikolai help him escape.
After Soap recovers, the team search all over for Makarov. Information from Price’s old friend, MacMillan, allows them to discover his whereabouts.
Soap, Price, and Yuri attempt to assassinate Makarov in Berlin. Unfortunately, he catches wind of the assassination attempt and blows up the building Soap and Yuri are in. Soap pushes Yuri out of the building and is caught in the blast. Much to fans’ heartbreak, he later dies from these wounds.
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Just before the explosives went off, Makarov revealed that he and Yuri are old friends. As Soap is dying, he tells Price that “Makarov knows Yuri.” It’s later revealed that they were friends, but Makarov had betrayed him.
After the war ends, Price uses Soap’s death to fuel his desire to kill Makarov. Before killing him, Price declares “this is for Soap.”
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) & Warzone (2020)
The Modern Warfare series was rebooted in 2019 with Modern Warfare. At the end of the campaign, Price is putting together his team. He reveals that he’s taking on “John MacTavish, SAS.” It’s likely we’ll see him in Modern Warfare 2, which will be coming in the next couple of years.
Then in the final cutscene for Warzone, which was discovered in December 2020, Captain Price contacts Soap. It has now been leaked that Soap will be coming to Warzone as a playable Operator.
Why is John MacTavish called Soap? “That’s classified.”
Call of Duty dev finally confirms that games have had SBMM all along
A former Call of Duty developer has confirmed that the series has used skill-based matching since 2007’s Modern Warfare.
Skill-based matchmaking has been a hugely controversial issue among Call of Duty fans for years, and former developer Josh Menke has finally confirmed that CoD titles have had SBMM as far back as 2007’s Modern Warfare.
In the early days of online multiplayer gaming, players would have to select a server to join by themselves. As time went on, developers started to automate that process, eventually introducing skill-based matchmaking in an attempt to keep matches competitive.
While this seems logical, it’s been a highly contentious issue among gamers who claim it has ruined games and made them less fun.
Games like Black Ops Cold War and Warzone have been criticized for using skill-based matchmaking too much, with players comparing them to older Call of Duty titles. However, former Activision Senior Systems Designer Josh Menke has revealed that SBMM has been in CoD games since 2007.
The idea behind skill-based matchmaking is to place you in lobbies with players of a similar skill level. While many believe that older Call of Duty titles didn’t do this, Menke states it’s been used as far back as the original Modern Warfare.
“[Call of Duty 4] did have some skill-based match-making, all of them always have,” he told GDC. “It’s just the math and science have gotten better over the years. If you grew up on it back then, your expectations are very different than if you have it now.”
“The same thing happens in Fortnite, even today. When the game first started, I believe they had very little skill-based matchmaking, then over the years they’ve experimented with different levels of SBMM and using bots.”
“You’ll have players who play Call of Duty that will be like, ‘I don’t like skill-based matchmaking,’ but then they go play Valorant and it’s fine.”
One of the biggest complaints about skill-based matchmaking is that while it should be used in ranked modes, public or casual matches have become too difficult because of the system.
Menke does feel that developers are making one major error with current matchmaking systems, saying that when a game can’t find a good match for a player, it just “settles” for a bad one. Instead, he suggests using “real-time stats” on the player base to create the best games possible.
Whether you like SBMM or not, the system isn’t going anywhere. At least the long-running debate over CoD’s historical matchmaking system can finally be put to rest.
For more Call of Duty, check out everything you need to know about Warzone’s new Pacific Caldera map.
Image Credits: Activision
Top 5 hardest Call of Duty campaigns of all time
Call of Duty has produced some of the most memorable campaigns in FPS history, but we’re counting down the top 5 hardest ever.
As well as delivering epic narratives and creating iconic characters, plenty of CoD campaigns have also offered a nice challenge down the years. So we’ve picked out the top 5 hardest CoD campaigns ever, and ranked them.
Whilst it’s Call of Duty’s multiplayer that understandably gets all the plaudits, the franchise has produced some incredibly good single-player experiences too – with Vanguard being the latest one. After all, before online gaming really got going in the mid-late 2000s, campaigns were the main selling point of FPS games.
Many games have since overlooked this aspect in favor of keeping players hooked to live service models. However, barring Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, every major CoD title has had a campaign, and we’ve sifted through them all to rank the top five hardest of all time.
Hardest CoD campaigns ever ranked
We can confirm that we’ve played and beaten all these campaigns on the Veteran difficulty setting – apart from BLOPS III which we did on its debuting Realistic difficulty.
As most players will know, Veteran can turn a simple corridor into a test of patience that can take a long time. This separates the weak from the strong and is a perfect way to differentiate campaigns.
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Recent years have phased out repsawning enemies and grenade spam, and as a result, have been a lot easier. But a trip down memory lane will dig up some of the most frustrating levels and sections in the series.
5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Definitely not as tough as the later entries on our list, but Infinity Ward’s second installment of the Modern Warfare saga had the odd mean level that will bring out the veins in your head.
The game actually starts out fairly generously for the first few levels, and then dumps a harsh one-two punch of Takedown on you, a nerve-inducing push through the Favela, and the extremely open nature of Wolverines.
You’re allowed your breath back for a bit, and then you’re plunged into the infested depths of the Gulag that has some positively vile checkpoints to clear. Through Whiskey Hotel and Loose Ends you have a ton of enemies to contend with and these are the levels that test your Veteran instincts, especially the survive and escape formula of Loose Ends.
Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t have a defining level or section that stands out, it’s just packed with lots of solid fights that will test your mettle.
4. Call of Duty 2
The early Call of Duty games set the standard for some of the difficulty that was going to be featured down the line.
CoD2 feels a bit more streamlined and thought-out compared to the first game, but it’s still rife with grenades flying in from every angle and Germans that have had their skills honed by the Matrix.
There’s definitely a sense that the levels get harder towards the end, as a natural difficulty curve should do. The German respawn factory never ceases production, even until the very end. The only thing that lessens the difficulty a tad is the fact that Call of Duty 2 introduced regenerating health for the first time, meaning players had time to recover.
3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
We consider CoD4 to be the best Call of Duty game, and its characters, set-pieces, that nuclear explosion scene, and so much more make this campaign memorable, not least the punishing difficulty.
But it’s a handful of missions and sections that will get you used to the death screen. Charlie Don’t Surf’s push through the Broadcast area is painful, the Hunted is littered with large space and tight areas packed with enemies, and even scaling the hill in Safehouse can take a while.
But it’s some of the game’s final missions where things are turned up to 100. The iconic One Shot, One Kill mission is a supreme test of skill, patience, and luck on Veteran, No Fighting in the War Room is a timed slog through steam, claustrophobic corridors teeming with foes, and of course – Mile High Club.
A one-minute sprint through about 50 enemies in the tightest fighting area yet, going up a floor, demanding absolute precision and excellence on your part. You’ll find that if you check many gamer’s Trophies and Achievements for CoD4, they’ll be missing this one on Veteran.
2. Call of Duty: World at War
Call of Duty: Grenade would’ve been a more apt title for Treyarch’s 2008 World War II shooter and many players to this day still see grenade indicators appearing in their vision.
Every mission is an exercise in patience and bravery thanks to unlimited enemy respawns and the germans owning every grenade in existence.
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The game is a brutal journey for its first 14 missions on Veteran, and then you get to what is probably the most difficult FPS mission ever created – Heart of the Reich. The act of taking down four AA guns can take literally hours as you have little cover, enemies are attacking (infinitely) from all sides, and you’re having to constantly retreat from grenades every two seconds.
World at War is one of the last true tests of outrageous CoD difficulty.
1. Call of Duty 1 (Call of Duty: Classic)
Anyone who thinks World at War or CoD4 are the hardest campaigns only say that because they haven’t the arduous task of completing the first-ever Call of Duty campaign on Veteran.
Why’s it the hardest? It’s very simple. No health regeneration, no health packs, the checkpoints are utterly unforgiving as you need to have a certain amount of health to trigger them, otherwise, you get diddly squat, checkpoints can be awarded as you’re getting shot, enemies can regularly appear behind you, and they have an immaculate aim.
Then when you start to factor in Chateau, POW Camp, Eder Dam, Truck Ride, Battleship Tirpitz, and the absolutely mind-bogglingly difficult Pavlov’s House, then it’s easy to see why Call of Duty 1 has the hardest campaign ever.
Don’t believe us? Go and play it on Veteran, then get back to us.
So that’s our top 5 list of the hardest Call of Duty campaigns of all time. Even if your list has one or two slightly different entries, we can all agree that Call of Duty has done a great job of serving up some fiendishly tough treats.
Image Credit: Activision
Leaker claims Activision is considering changing Call of Duty’s annual release schedule
A leaker has suggested that Activision’s annual CoD release may be coming to an end with extended cycles being considered.
A new Call of Duty title is released every year, with multiple studios taking it in turns to bring out a new game. A new leak however has made the bold claim that Activision may be thinking about changing its release schedule and model.
It’s become a given that a new CoD game will be released in November of each year, with the likes of Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games, and Infinity Ward all taking it in turns to develop a new game.
It’s already rumored that Modern Warfare 2 is in the works for 2022, but depending on Activision’s approach, they may opt to change their release policy, starting with MW2.
Leaks seem to happen left, right, and center these days, with people able to learn a great deal of information about projects and plans, many of which turn out to be true.
The new Call of Duty rumor comes from leaker Ralph, who recently claimed that the reported Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer remaster has been canceled, and thinks that annual releases are being reconsidered.
A recent Tweet from them quite simply said: “Activision are reportedly in discussion for extending Call of Duty’s annual releases.”
As with any leak, this should be taken with a major pinch of salt. RalphsValve has recently come under scrutiny from fellow leakers regarding the accuracy of his claims.
With the rumored 2022 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 title still potentially a year out, maybe two now, things can always change, and we’d recommend taking these claims with a pinch of salt.
Furthermore, given how much this could change the Call of Duty landscape going forward, we’d also strongly recommend waiting for official confirmation from Activision before assuming this is the direction CoD will be going in the future.
For more Call of Duty news, take a look at when Vanguard and Warzone Season 1 starts.
Image Credit: Activision / Infinity Ward / Sledgehammer Games
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