Most Iconic Call of Duty Characters
As the roster of playable characters on Call of Duty: Warzone grows each season, the callbacks to previous titles just keep growing and growing. Throughout the Call of Duty franchise there have been many iconic characters and to celebrate the franchise, we have decided to show off our top five. Remember, we are including antagonists too (even if they aren’t playable), as they have created memorable moments along with the heroes.
So, scroll down and enjoy a trip down memory lane, as we look at some of the greatest Call of Duty characters the franchise has to offer.
In the case of Captain John Price, there are not enough words to describe the impact he had on the franchise. From his first appearance in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, not including his identical grandfather in Call of Duty 2, to his last appearance in Modern Warfare (2019), there are large amounts of fans who enjoy his persona. Price can be known best for his confidence, execution of missions, honour, and expression of emotions.
In the original MW trilogy, we would see Price lead a squad, witness his closest allies fall and then rally to become the ultimate saviour. The creators behind Price had ensured that we felt his every move, which would then lead to a deeper connection. We believe therefore he is the ultimate franchise character, and the fan favourite operator in Warzone.
The most brash character of the game first made his first appearance in Call of Duty: Black Ops, but then appeared in many other COD titles, including last year’s COD: Cold War. We come to find that he is a someone that will follow orders but will go to extreme lengths to achieve them. As well as having great dialogue with other characters and a “go-hard all time” personality, he has featured in many of the best moments in the Black Ops series. We can see the character he is in one of the first moments of Black Ops.
This being his Russian Roulette game in captivity, in which he pulls the trigger not knowing if that is his last moment. His greatest foe would come in the form of Menendez, the antagonist in COD: Black Ops 2. Woods’ obsession with slaying his foe came from when Menendez captured him and his squad. He would then slay his squad Infront of Woods before then placing him in captivity. Seeing Woods go through this diversity, then going through a character arch which would include seeking revenge only brought us players closer to Woods.
Shepherd is truly a villain that breaks boundaries, but he is a villain whose motives are understood clearly. He had witnessed 30,000 of his own men sent to their own demise, courtesy of a nuclear attack. From this point, he considered the side he thought so highly for, did not align with his ideology. Shepard would stay calculated allowing attacks to happen which would only help his own agenda further.
We would witness Roach and Ghost being double-crossed by Shepherd in the mission “Loose Ends”. His demise would ultimately come at the hands of Soap McTavish and a well thrown knife. A quote that summarises his painful experiences, yet fearful future is “Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye. And the world just f****** watched. Tomorrow there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots”.
He isn’t currently represented in CoD: Warzone, most likely because he’s a “behind-the-scenes” kind of man, but we do see Shadow Company, which was his hand-picked special unit from the original trilogy.
How could we not include one of the most evil and destructive villains in Call of Duty history. The sheer acts of violence and terror, leads each campaign player to hate this man. He has no redeeming qualities or a moment in where he can be changed. He believes his sole purpose is to destroy the USA and its allies, thus allowing anarchy to reign.
He is responsible for many heinous crimes including the nuclear attack which lead to the demise of 30,000 of General Shepherd’s men. He would also feature in the airport attack mission ‘No Russian’. This mission pitted the player through an airport massacre of innocents. Alone this mission outside of the game had led to mass controversy. It even led to critics claiming it would demonise players into acts of terrorism. This characteristic of pure evil combined with great story creation from writers created Makarov, one of the strongest villains in gaming.
Gabriel T. Rorke
One of the least explored but certainly one of the most captivating villains is Rorke. In COD: Ghosts he carried the campaign, and he was a man with understandable motives. He had formerly been the leader of Ghosts, but after being abandoned by Elias Walker had been assumed KIA. Rorke in fact had been captured and then mentally destroyed by the Federation. This would go on to change Rorke and his ideology, which led turned the former leader of Ghosts, into its most dangerous nemesis.
He finds his revenge on Elias after capturing him. Before executing the man that abandoned him, his most memorable quote can be heard. “You’re right Elias. I’m not a Ghost, I’m the man that hunts them down, and sends them back to the other side”. It would have been a great service to the story if we had seen a follow up campaign, but unfortunately a full sequel is unlikely. For likely the same reason, none of the Ghosts cast have so far shown up in modern CoD, but who knows what future seasons or even a CoD: Warzone sequel may bring?