Infinity Ward knocked it out of the park with this year's Call of Duty title. Modern Warfare has garnered some controversy and isn't without its own flaws, but it is arguably the studio's best contribution to the franchise since Modern Warfare 2. While multiplayer is always the talk of the town, one shouldn't miss the stellar single-player campaign.
Not only is it filled with compelling drama, but it also has one of the best cast of characters in the series. To celebrate this cast, the following list will detail five characters we love, and five we cannot stand. In all fairness, most of the people in the latter category are still well written, they just got on our nerves in one way or another.
10 Love: Kate Laswell
Kate probably rubs a lot of people the wrong way upon first meeting them. Her no nonsense attitude makes her seem like a real party pooper. However, later on in the campaign, she gives Price what he needs in order to get the job done, putting her own neck on the line in the name of doing what's right. Her hands are always tied by her duty, but she loosens the knots when the need arises.
9 Cannot Stand: Hadir
Hadir comprises his relationship with his sister, Farah, in order to win the battle. By using the gas on Barkov's troops, he betrays everything he and his sibling stand for. He tries to redeem himself in the end by locating the factory manufacturing the weapons, but it is hard to say if it was enough. His fate is left up in the air, and his allegiance could go any way in the sequel. Will he strive to win back his sister's trust, or will he join Al-Qatala and turn into a villain?
8 Love: Kyle Garrick
Kyle Garrick starts off the campaign as a naive soldier, wholly believing in doing what is right. His ideology cracks as he begins to understand there is no right and wrong on the battlefield. It's easy to sympathize with this realization. He ultimately saves lives, but in doing so he bloodies his hands. By the ending, he is fully dedicated to the mission regardless of the cost, and is also revealed to be Gaz from the original Modern Warfare.
7 Cannot Stand: The Butcher
The Butcher is a real monster. Innocent lives are of no concern to him when it comes to achieving his goal. In "The Embassy" he not only kills a man right in front of his spouse, but it is heavily implied that he kills a child. He is last seen in Russian custody, where Price and Garrick leave him for the authorities after using his family to extort information from him.
Players can either decide to shoot or spare him. The torture scene reveals his selfish nature. He has no problem murdering civilians, but cracks when his own family is in danger.
6 Love: Nikolai
Upon arriving in St. Petersburg, Price calls on the help of an old friend. Nikolai was also in the original Modern Warfare, and having him back was a delight. He's a comparatively cheery personality, but the story reveals something deeper within his character, as he voices his disgust towards the gas and he feels its existence hurts his country. He also personally apprehends the Butcher after hitting him with the van.
5 Cannot Stand: The Wolf
Al-Qatala's leader doesn't see a difference between himself and Farah, but to her and third-party observers there is a deep chasm separating the two. The Wolf believes no price is too big for Urzikstan's liberation, making him an unrepentant terrorist. Players eventually take him out as he has a bomb strapped to his chest. Afterward, they disarm the bomb, making his sacrifice in vain, taking away any power he had with his death.
4 Love: Farah
Farah Karim lost everything even before she decided to take up arms. In the flashback missions, players see all the torment she experienced in her childhood and as a prisoner. As a game, it is impossible to understand exactly what extended imprisonment and torture feels like, but it at least helps one understand the character's motivation. The moment of her vengeance against Barkov feels wholly justified and glorious. They say it is a dish best served cold, but this felt like it came right out of the oven and onto the dinner table.
3 Cannot Stand: Alex
Of all the protagonists, Alex feels the weakest. For the majority of the campaign he lacks any sort of personality. Only in the ending does he show any character. Perhaps this was on purpose, though. In the beginning, he is just following orders, and the name is heavily implied to be an alias. After Hadir's betrayal and Farah's army being labeled as terrorists, he abandons his orders to fight alongside Urzikstan. He ends up making the ultimate sacrifice for a country in which he was not even born. He makes up for his lack of character by the end, but it wasn't enough to put him in our good graces.
2 Love: Price
Even though it is a different continuity, seeing Price return is a real treat. No other character embodies the series better. It would be enough to see his face, but players understand something more about him in this campaign.
He is fully dedicated to getting the job done, whatever it takes. It's one thing to make a tough decision from a high position safe in a government building, but Price is there to make it and carry out the task. This is no better exemplified in the "Piccadilly" mission when he throws the civilian strapped to a bomb over the edge of a railing before it exploded. It seems cold, but it saved lives.
1 Cannot Stand: Barkov
Not only is Barkov a terrible person, but he makes it to the top - or bottom, depending on one looks at it - of this list for how poorly he is implemented into the game. Other than the flashbacks, he has almost no time in the spotlight. Players know little about him other than his hatred for Urzikstan. Seeing his army's actions in the country is more than enough to make someone want to kill him, but without the extra characterization it makes him feel like a cartoon.