Modern Warfare 3 Zombies: Soap and Kate's Role Revealed

In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Zombies, campaign characters Soap and Kate Laswell may have limited roles due to the need to preserve their story continuity, while Ravenov takes center stage.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Zombies – A Nod to Exo Zombies and the Role of Soap and Kate Laswell

For better or worse, Exo Zombies from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was the most unique attempt at a non-Treyarch Zombies mode. While the horror-focused style of WW2 Zombies was somewhat memorable, Treyarch had done spooky maps already with Verruckt. Similarly, while the cartoony aesthetic of Infinite Warfare Zombies was a nice change from Treyarch’s serious storytelling at the time, mechanically the mode played just like Treyarch’s content. Though it produced weak maps like Infection, Exo Zombies did several interesting things, and it seems like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is borrowing a trick from its reveal.

While fans do not need to worry about encountering EMZs, and needing to Pack-a-Punch a few dozen times will likely remain a thing of the past, they have already seen campaign characters utilized in the exact same way as Exo Zombies. After seeing these characters within the cinematic trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Zombies, fans may be wondering how big of a role they may have. If history is anything to go by, fans may have already witnessed the extent of their part in the Dark Aether timeline.

A Familiar Precedent

While Exo Zombies’ four proper maps focused on a star-studded celebrity cast that included the likes of Jon Bernthal, Bruce Campbell, and John Malkovich, there was technically a small prequel map that players could unlock. By reaching Tier 4 on the Exo Survival map Riot, a special sequence would play out where Zombies overran the prison that players had been fighting through. After shooting some undead and rushing to an exfil helicopter, players encounter Gideon, one of the main characters from the Advanced Warfare campaign. However, after saving the player and being pulled out of the helicopter, Gideon is never seen again.

A Familiar Face in Modern Warfare 3 Zombies

While fans may be focused on the major deaths in MW3 Zombies’ cinematic trailer, it is worth focusing on the presence of Soap MacTavish and Kate Laswell at the end of the footage. Just like how Gideon appeared in the trailer for Exo Zombies, Treyarch has borrowed some of the biggest players from Infinity Ward’s rebooted universe to tease its latest Zombies mode. However, there is reason to believe that they will not be involved in the mode’s actual events beyond briefing the player on Victor Zakhaev’s actions and introducing the players’ actual guiding hand: Ravenov.

Introduced in Firebase Z from Black Ops Cold War, Ravenov quickly became a fan favorite figure due to his relationship with Samantha Maxis and his endearing personality. While decades have gone by since the Cold War ended, making him an old man by the time of Modern Warfare 3 Zombies, his expertise on the undead makes him the perfect person to direct the strike force that will be containing the outbreak. Characters like Kate have much more knowledge on living enemies than resurrected ones, so she will likely exit the story here. As for Soap, unless players are using him as an Operator he will probably be nowhere to be seen as well.

A Careful Balancing Act

While Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War also featured some old faces from the campaign, there is a reason why this situation is more comparable to Advanced Warfare - and it’s not because Exo Zombies dev Sledgehammer Games is leading development on Modern Warfare 3. Black Ops Cold War using Weaver and Kravchenko heavily within its story was a viable option because of their fates. Treyarch was free to do whatever it wanted since it was unknown where Weaver went after the original Black Ops, and with Kravchenko’s death already happening in Black Ops 2, Treyarch did not need to worry about his future when using him. With Modern Warfare 3 Zombies, this is not the case, as Laswell and Soap need to be left alive so that their stories can continue in the campaigns.

Since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Zombies is said to be taking place between Modern Warfare 2019 and Modern Warfare 2, Soap and Kate Laswell need to be left alive. As such, it makes little sense to use them heavily within the narrative, as it drastically lowers the stakes of the conflict. Unlike Weaver, whose story remained unfinished, players know what comes next for these Modern Warfare regulars. Because of this, focusing fully on Ravenov would be ideal, so fans can expect Laswell and Soap to either exit the narrative after this trailer or have very minor roles within the story. Their presence seems like little more than a way to build hype and connect the Zombies storyline to the campaigns, just like what Exo Zombies did with Gideon almost a decade ago.


As the release date for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 approaches on November 10 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, fans are eagerly awaiting the return of Zombies mode. While the presence of familiar campaign characters like Soap and Kate Laswell in the trailer may have sparked excitement, it's important to temper expectations regarding their roles in the actual narrative. With the need to preserve their story continuity, it's likely that they will have minor roles, leaving Ravenov to take center stage in the battle against the undead. Treyarch's borrowing from the Exo Zombies playbook shows a nod to the past while paving the way for a new chapter in the Call of Duty Zombies saga.

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