What are the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 campaign missions? As you embark on the MW3 2023 campaign, it can help to know exactly how many missions you have to complete, and what they entail. In the Modern Warfare 3 reboot, we also know that levels take on a brand-new form in open combat missions, giving you more player autonomy than ever before.
We got our first glimpse of Modern Warfare 3 during Gamescom Opening Night Live 2023, which introduced us to these open combat missions with nine minutes of gameplay from Operation 627, the first level of the MW3 story. But where does the FPS game take us after the Russian prison, and what can we expect from the rest of the story? Let us answer that with the MW3 campaign missions list, and everything we know about open combat missions. Be warned, there are spoilers below the list of missions.
Call of Duty MW3 campaign missions list
The Call of Duty MW3 campaign missions in order are:
- Operation 627
- Precious Cargo
- Deep Cover
- Crash Site
- Frozen Tundra
- Gora Dam
- Danger Close
- Trojan Horse
Fans of the Modern Warfare series will know that Captain Price was known as Prisoner 627 when we rescued him from the Gulag in the original Modern Warfare 3. That said, Price is not the prisoner we’re here to get. Instead, Vladamir Makarov is the main antagonist in MW3, and the Makarov reveal trailer shows him being escorted through a Russian prison. We can now confirm he is the prisoner we’re trying to get our hands on in Operation 627.
During Precious Cargo you take on the role of Farah Ahmen Karim as you’re tasked with retrieving GPS signals to plant on missiles that are about to be stolen. This is the first example of MW3’s open combat missions, where you take control of how the mission plays out, with only your objective and starting loadout being set.
Reactor sees you head off on a mission to destroy three helicopters operated by the Konni group. You can pick up RPGs and other explosives along the way to make this mission a breeze. Watch out for the circling attack helicopter overhead trying to make your life that bit harder.
This is one of the longest missions in the early game, and for good reason, too. Expect plenty of stealth, takedowns, and a fair few surprises along the way. You’ll start this mission by scanning a missile base, and end it with a lot of chemicals. We’ll spoil no further.
You’ll now take on the role of Kate Laswell in an attempt to sneak into a military base. You’ll not need to get your weapon out too often through this, and you’re expected to sneak in without drawing attention to yourself. After grabbing a key card and entering the admin building, it soon becomes clear that all is not as it seems, and your rush to evacuate is a life or death situation. Hint: be fast, head upwards.
As distasteful as it may be, you take control of a passenger forced into becoming a suicide bomber aboard a Russian passenger plane. We won’t spoil the story here, but your choices are limited and the combat is minimal throughout this mission.
Among a wreckage on the ground, you’re tasked with finding a few electronic devices to send the signals to secure storage. Choose between stealth or all-out assault, it doesn’t really matter, but depends on your preferred playstyle. As soon as you’ve secured the electronics, hurry to Alex.
A flashback mission which sees Price and Soap seek out Makarov at the stadium. You’ll capture Makarov, but soon find that he’s misled your forces. After flashing back to the present day, you receive a set of coordinates to hunt down Makarov.
When you get to the coordinates, it’s obvious Makarov himself is nowhere to be seen, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t useful information to be sought out. This is another of the game’s open combat missions, meaning you can approach the objective in your own playstyle. We chose to go stealthily to clear as many enemies as possible before proceeding to the point.
Work your way through the enemies to ascend the building, where you’ll have to capture Nolan, the Konni leader you’ve met previously. Watch for the heavily armored enemies, they’ll be your downfall (they were certainly ours). It’s okay to knock him out though …
In Frozen Tundra you’re shipped off to Siberia in an attempt to ambush Makarov and his convoy. Is this where you’ll finally take him down? Playing as Captain Price, you’ll start underwater before meeting a familiar face and heading to a nearby lumber yard. After meeting with Farah you face a frustrating ambush ahead.
Gora Dam is the last of the open combat missions in Modern Warfare 3. As with other missions of its type, there are 21 hidden weapons and items around the map. You’re tasked with diffusing some bombs before reaching the exfil location.
Danger Close is the penultimate MW3 campaign mission, not to be confused with the achievement of the same name. You’ll have to protect some boots on the ground from the skies above, and infiltrate a military base to look for something of Makarov’s. There are some specific instructions to follow, but nothing too intricate or taxing.
The final mission in the MW3 campaign rolls around quickly, and you’ve finally tracked Makarov down to London. You’ll need to monitor some CCTV cameras to find a location, before investigating a hideout and heading to the Channel Tunnel.
Thanks to a number of hints, not least in the trailer above and the MW2 post-credits scene, we also know about the return of No Russian. In the original mission, if the player didn’t choose to skip the level, you would take on the role of Joseph Allen as he tries to infiltrate the Russian organization led by Makarov. As such, you have to participate in a mass shooting in Zakhaev International Airport in Moscow. Given how this mission was met at the time, and still is today, we can only assume there may be some changes in how this mission goes ahead.
Finally, we have also seen a glimpse of a later mission in which you start by looking over the entire level and must plan your way through. This is the perfect example of new open combat missions, in which you decide how to proceed. Suss out the layout of the level and the location of enemies, prepare your best MW3 loadout, and go in how you want.
MW3 campaign difficulty levels
There are four Modern Warfare 3 campaign difficulty levels:
- Recruit – For players who are new to Call of Duty
- Regular – Your abilities in combat will be tested
- Hardened – Your skills will be strained
- Veteran – You will not survive
If you’re looking for a more relaxed playthrough and just want to witness the story unfold, we’d recommend Recruit or Regular difficulty. If you’re up for the challenge and prefer your experience to be more demanding, then Hardened or Veteran difficulty will be more suited to you. These difficulties add more enemies to each mission, meaning it’s more difficult to avoid taking damage. The good news is that if you choose a harder difficulty and find it too challenging, you can always change the difficulty level in the pause menu at any time, however many times you want. The difficulty level will be adjusted as soon as you unpause the game, meaning you don’t even need to start the mission over again.
MW3 missions allow more player autonomy than ever before as you decide how to play through each one. In previous Call of Duty campaigns, missions are mostly linear, maneuvering you into specific positions and forcing you to proceed either stealthily or otherwise, with some missions ending if you are spotted.
In Modern Warfare 3, you can choose whether to equip suppressed weapons – or even just a combat knife – and stay under the radar or go in all guns blazing and blow the place to bits. Some levels allow for the use of vehicles if you desire, and presumably more options will reveal themselves as we progress.
In the Open Combat Missions Intel video above, Sledgehammer Games’ associate director of level design Robert Pitts tells us that replayability is a huge aspect of these new open combat missions. This choice allows you to learn as you progress, establishing your own gameplay style each time you replay a level. He even recommends that you can inflict your own challenges as you play, such as speedruns or melee-only playthroughs.
That’s everything you need to know about the Modern Warfare 3 missions list and what it means for your gameplay experience when the MW3 release date arrives. As you prepare for the release of what could be one of the best PC games of 2023, make sure you know all about the MW3 carry forward scheme, and how your MW2 multiplayer weapons can be used in Modern Warfare 3, as well as those MW3 system requirements, so you can rest assured lag won’t get in the way of those perfect kills.