|John "Soap" MacTavish|
|'Call of Duty' character|
The character as he appears in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
|First appearance||Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare|
|Last appearance||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3|
|Created by||Infinity Ward|
|Voiced by||Kevin McKidd|
|Died||11 October 2016
Prague, Czech Republic
|Occupation||British Army, SAS, Task Force 141|
John "Soap" MacTavish was a main character and protagonist in the Call of Duty story arc Modern Warfare. He first appears as a main playable character in the 2007 video game Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare where he is part of the 22nd Special Air Service (SAS) regiment as a sniper and demolitions expert. This game alone has sold over 13 million copies as of May 2009.
He later appears in the sequel game released in November 2009 entitled Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, where he plays as a main character in the last 3 missions. He most recently appears in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 released in November 2011. In both games John "Soap" MacTavish plays the role of captain and field commander of Task Force 141 along with Captain John Price who also appears alongside him in all three of the titles.
John "Soap" MacTavish plays a key role in the storyline of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare where he is on the front lines of the fight against the Ultra-nationalists as part of the SAS, more specifically Captain Price's Bravo Team. In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the player experiences the storyline through the eyes of John "Soap" MacTavish however certain missions were played from a different characters perspective. Soap appears to be modeled after the character "Lake" in the 2003 movie Tears of the Sun.
The later games present MacTavish as a non-playable character (NPC) that the playable character fights alongside. However in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 the player takes control of MacTavish in the final three missions. In the final game in the series, MacTavish appears as a playable character only for the first mission then reverts to an NPC for the remainder of the storyline.
MacTavish is later killed in action during the course of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 after an explosion where he experiences massive blood loss, whilst on a mission to assassinate Vladimir Makarov, a continuing antagonist of the series appearing in all three titles.
The developers of Call of Duty: Ghosts added a DLC (Downloadable Content Package) which allowed the player to play as the iconic character called the Soap Legend Pack which was released in April 2014.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
MacTavish is first introduced in the opening mission, after having been selected for the 22nd SAS, based at Hereford. He is introduced to fellow squadmates as well as his new commanding officer, Captain John Price, where he undergoes a routine training exercise in the killing house before proceeding on mission to infiltrate a container ship in the Bering Strait and retrieve a nuclear device. He is part of the team responsible for the capture and execution of Khaled Al-Assad, the man responsible for detonation of a similar nuclear device in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, and also the death of Imran Zakhaev, the man responsible for providing Al-Assad nuclear weapons. Soap is part of Bravo Team, which works with US Marine Force Recon in disabling nuclear missles which Zakhaev launched at the shores of the United States, where he later kills Zakhaev after an Mi-24 Hind destroys a major bridge on their evacuation route. Soap and Price are barely spared the untimely death their squad received when a diversion created by Russian loyalists buys Soap time sufficient to kill Zakhaev and two soldiers with Price's M1911 pistol.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Soap makes his first appearance in Modern Warfare 2 as Captain of Task Force 141, a promotion he received in the aftermath of Operation Kingfish, where Price was captured and taken to a gulag in eastern Russia after an attempt on the life of Vladimir Makarov, Zakhaev's former top lieutenant. He appears on the mission "Cliffhanger" as an NPC, assisting the player's character, Gary "Roach" Sanderson. In the following mission where the player controls Roach, MacTavish and his team capture the right-hand man of an arms dealer and interrogate him, which then leads them to hunt for Alejandro Rojas, whom they captured in time, which leads to the rescue of Captain Price – the man Makarov hates most. In the final two missions of the game, he and Price discover that their commanding officer, Lt. General Shepherd had double crossed them, but are unable to warn their team (Ghost and Roach) in time and they are subsequently killed. After battling through a massive battalion of armed military contractors (dubbed Shadow Company,) Soap attempts to kill Shepherd with his combat knife, but Shepherd manages to stab him in the chest. With Shepherd distracted by a hand to hand duel with Price, and with what little strength he had left, Soap pulled the knife from his chest and threw it, directly hitting Shepherd in his eye and killing him instantly. Price patches up Soap when their friend Nikolai lands near their pickup point and extracts them to safety, setting the stage for Modern Warfare 3.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Hours after being extracted from Site Hotel Bravo, Task Force 141 has been disavowed and a dying Soap has been extracted to a Russian loyalist holdout in India. With Makarov on their trail to tie up loose ends, and a quick patch job by a loyalist doctor, loyalist Yuri joins Bravo Team in escaping the relentless assault by Russian ultranationalists loyal to Makarov to lay low while Russia is engaged in all out combat with the United States across the eastern seaboard. Sometime later, Price contacts former 141 operator Sandman who they worked with during Operation Kingfish for assistance with leads on Makarov's location, as well as SAS commanding officer MacMillan, Price's former captain in the SAS with whom he worked during the initial attempt to kill Imran Zakhaev 20 years prior to the events of Modern Warfare 3 (15 prior to the events of Call of Duty 4.) After retrieving intel from a number of sources and with help from loyalist Kamarov, the team is able to lock down Makarov's location in a martial law run-down Prague, in the Czech Republic, where Makarov is expected to attend a high-level meeting with other senior officials in his organization. Makarov, however is aware that 141 is in the city, and, after letting Yuri know he shouldn't have come after them, activates bomb charges intended to kill Soap and Yuri both. Soap saves Yuri's life by pushing him out of the window at the last moment, and is then jettisoned himself from a very high elevation, at which point Soap's previous knife wound is reopened. During an attempted extraction, Soap dies from massive blood loss moments after informing Price that Makarov knows Yuri. Soap is later mentioned by Price when the latter calls MacMillan to let him know that Soap has died and pleads for help in finding Makarov's location. He is mentioned one final time at the beginning of the last mission of the game by Price, who the player takes control of for the first and only time, when he and Yuri suit up in EOD armor, says "This is for Soap."
Due to the popularity of the character a Xbox 360 user avatar was released for purchase, which allows players to look like John "Soap" MacTavish. Similar to the Call of Duty character Captain Price, MacTavish appears in a video posted on YouTube by Machinima entitled "Captain MacTavish Plays Halo 3", as part of their Call of Duty and Halo crossover series. The character also appears in the Soap Legend Pack, a DLC for Call of Duty: Ghosts where John "Soap" MacTavish is a playable multiplayer character. This was released on 22 April 2014
On 22 November a mobile app designed for iOS and Windows Phone entitled Call of Duty: Heroes was released which featured Soap MacTavish as a character that the player could control once unlocked. The app has been well received so far with an average rating of four and a half stars on the App Store.
The character was well received by many fans of the Call of Duty franchise. An online poll on the Guinness World Records 2011 Gamers' Edition which involved over 13,000 gamers voting placed John "Soap" MacTavish in 12th place out of a list of 50 fictional game characters.
Both Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 are among the most well-received and highest rated games of all time, receiving average scores of 94%. From a commercial viewpoint, all three of the games in which the character appears have sold 64.9 million units collectively since they were released.
- Shack News article on Call of Duty 4 game sales http://www.shacknews.com/article/58537/call-of-duty-4-sales
- Kevin McKidd website http://www.kevinmckiddonline.com/filmography.html
- "Kevin McKidd: Being a super soldier in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 finally gave me chance to use my real accent". Daily Record.co.uk. 11 November 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
- Activision website http://support.activision.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/Call-of-Duty-Ghosts-Micro-DLC-FAQ#3
- Xbox Marketplace http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/Product/John-Soap-MacTavish/00000ffc-f83f-7201-c464-7f15415608cb
- Xbox Marketplace http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Call-of-Duty-Ghosts-Legend-Pack-Soap/fc818141-345d-49ac-acfa-f010b8f89a6d
- Gamespot article on Call of Duty: Heroes http://www.gamespot.com/articles/call-of-duty-heroes-released/1100-6423733/
- Call of Duty: Heroes official webpage http://www.callofduty.com/heroes
- iTunes listing for Call of Duty: Heroes https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/call-of-duty-heroes/id898968647?mt=8
- Game Informer article on popular video game characters http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2011/02/16/guinness-names-top-50-video-game-characters-of-all-time.aspx
- IGN mini-site on the Call of Duty franchise http://microsites.ign.com/call-of-duty-a-short-history/#_