Of all the characters ever featured in the Call of Duty franchise, Captain John Price has to be the most recognizable and iconic. Easily identified by his signature boonie hat and ever present cigar, the legendary commander of Task Force 141 is truly a force to be reckoned with. Whether he's slinking through the ruins of Chernobyl or preventing a global nuclear catastrophe, one thing's for certain - you don't want to be the poor sod standing between him and the objective.
With a new Modern Warfare title in which he'll be prominently featured looming on the horizon, now's perhaps a better time than ever to take a stroll down memory lane and remind yourself of his storied legacy within the series. So strap in, scroll down, and join GameRant as we recall ten moments that left us without any reasonable doubt that Captain Price is an absolute badass.
When most of us first met Captain Price, we were occupying the boots of the designated FNG, John "Soap" MacTavish. And the man made absolutely certain to let us know that he wasn't too incredibly impressed with what he saw.
As the player's still feeling out the controls of Modern Warfare and awkwardly shuffling up to his huddle of squadmates, Captain Price greets them with, "What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh?" Honestly, we might've been wondering the same thing. But that moment perfectly sets the tone for Captain Price's character.
During Operation Kingfish, things go belly up and Price is taken captive by Ultranationalist troops, then shipped off to a gulag for a brutal stint of imprisonment. In the events of Modern Warfare 2, the player (through the eyes of Gary "Roach" Sanderson) is a part of a Task Force 141 mission aimed at recovering him.
Imprisonment has obviously left Price's nerves on edge, however, as when the team moves in to recover him, his immediate reaction is to subdue a Russian guard, steal his rifle, knock Roach flat onto his back and shove the gun in his face. Soap sets him straight, but the fact that Price is every bit as lethal as ever is both impressive and chilling.
Although Price's methods can be a little more than controversial, it's difficult to argue that he doesn't know how to get the job done. This dynamic is pretty well demonstrated when he and his squad manage to corner and capture Al-Asad in his safehouse during the original Modern Warfare.
Afterwards, players bear witness to an absolutely brutal scene in which Captain Price is beating the tar out of Al-Asad to gain information on where he managed to obtain the nuclear bomb he'd detonated. Not one to leave loose ends, Price executes him after incidentally getting the info he needs.
Did we mention that Price's methods can get a tad brutal? During the hunt for Makarov, Price receives some information from MacMillan indicating that an African arms smuggler and militia leader named Waraabe had ties that could lead him to his target.
Tracking him down in Somalia, Price proceeds to interrogate him by triggering a gas grenade, saying that he'll give him a gas mask if he provides information on Makarov. He's a man of his word, as he tosses Waraabe a gas mask after receiving his answers, but he promptly follows it up with a bullet to the head.
Players get their first taste of Captain Price in action during the prologue mission, Crew Expendable, and it's more than enough to establish how well he handles himself under pressure. After Price's SAS squad discovers the ship's nuclear cargo, two aircraft open fire on the ship to sink it in an attempted cover up.
The squad must make a hasty escape if they don't want to sink with it. They make it to the waiting helicopter, but Soap's jump falls short, and he fails to get enough of a grip to haul himself on board. Luckily, Price has got his eye on him, and he manages to catch him at the last minute, pulling him to safety.
The climactic final mission of Modern Warfare 2, Endgame, sees Soap and Price on a desperate, high-octane quest to settle the score with the traitorous General Shepherd. After an intense chase, an injured Soap confronts and attempts to take him out, but Shepherd bests him and stabs him with his own knife.
The following scene in which Price rushes in to distract Shepherd with hand to hand combat is brutal, and allows Soap to pull off one the series' most memorable scenes - pulling the knife out of his gut and managing to skewer Shepherd through the eye with a deft throw.
Soap's in bad shape after he and Yuri walk right into an explosive trap that Makarov has set for them. A radio message clues Soap in to the fact that Yuri and Makarov have a history, but his injuries are severe, and after Price and Yuri get him to safety, he succumbs to his wounds. But not before letting Price know of Yuri's connection to their target.
The loss of Soap coupled with Yuri's revealed secret sends Price into a rage, and he sends Yuri tumbling down a flight of stairs with a solid punch, entirely ready to execute him as a traitor. He begrudgingly allows Yuri to live in order to help take down Makarov, but players are left with the impression that it's only by the width of a single hair.
All Ghillied Up and One Shot, One Kill are perhaps the most iconic missions in the entirety of the original Modern Warfare trilogy, are also rare sequences in which players are responsible for controlling Price himself. Alongside his mentor, Captain MacMillan, they stealthily infiltrate the ruins of Chernobyl to find and assassinate Zakhaev.
Both levels are packed full of amazingly orchestrated sequences, but Price manning the Barrett .50 Caliber sniper rifle to take out Zakhaev has to be the high point. Though he doesn't manage to kill the target, blowing off the big bad's arm and then proceeding to single handedly shoot down an interloping attack helicopter looked and felt amazing.
Price knows that there's a time to follow orders, but there's also a time to do what's right. This is well demonstrated in the mission Contingency during Modern Warfare 2. Task Force 141 is dispatched to capture a Russian submarine, but Price has a lot more in mind. The team's holding off enemies while Price infiltrates the submarine.
Soap begins to panic when he notices the submarine's missile bay doors begin open. That panic gives way to defeat as it launches a missile at the United States. This was Price's plan all along, however, and he detonates the missile in the air, causing an EMP blast that disables electronics, giving the embattled Americans an advantage over the invading Russians.
Price has sacrificed a lot in pursuit of Makarov, and he puts everything on the line to complete the mission during Modern Warfare 3's bombastic finale. The war between Russia and the United States may be over, but Price still has a score to settle.
Alongside Yuri, Price carries out a vicious and suicidal two-man assault on Makarov's last known location. After hijacking and crashing Makarov's escape helicopter, the two engage in a brutal struggle that ends with Price hanging Makarov from a loose cable, finally killing him and avenging the death of Soap.