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Modern Warfare 2's messy plot: untangled - or why IW's shooter might be smarter than you think

What's an ACS Module? Is Ghost really Gaz from COD4? Who is the mysterious Kriegler? (Warning: SPOILERS)

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VIDEO: 'No Russian'

Who is Kriegler? I see his name all over the place; on shipping containers, on a blimp in the 'Suspension' Spec Ops mission...

One of the most mysterious elements of the Modern Warfare universe is the corporation - and likely person - Kriegler. PC modders found unused audio files for the mission 'Mile High Club' in COD4, one of which has Gaz saying, with regards to the hostage you have to save, "Remember, the objective is to capture Kriegler, I repeat, capture Kriegler, alive. He's no good to us dead."

And in the mission Crew Expendable 'Kriegler' is written in Chinese characters on the containers on the deck of the ship. We also see it in English on a number of multi-player maps in Modern Warfare 2, and in the 'Suspension' Spec Ops mission on a prominent blimp. Whoever Kriegler is, he's clearly of some importance. But why all references to him were removed from 'Mile High Club', we'll never know.

Here's our theory; the Kriegler corporation funded the Ultranationalists, which could explain their high tech weaponry and endless resources. And that would also explain why their containers were on the ship carrying the nuke in 'Crew Expendable'. As a side note, Richard Kriegler is a member of the art team at Infinity Ward.

We've another theory about Kriegler, and a potential link to MW3... so tune back to the blog early next week.

VIDEO: 'Suspension' in Spec Ops - note the blimp

So how did Makarov know that Allen was working with the CIA?

This isn't confirmed, but reading between the lines suggests... it's because General Shepherd ratted him out. It was all part of his convoluted Bond villain-style plot to take control the US military and make America the mightiest nation on the planet, by secretly orchestrating the Russia/America war with the Ultranationalists.

But with his status as a war hero secured, Shepherd betrays his partners, both in an attempt to remove any last link to his treacherous actions, and to gain further glory as the man who brought down Makarov. Makarov survives his betrayal, however, and prepares to go into hiding, while Captain Price and 'Soap' MacTavish figure out Shepherd's agenda and assault his base in a cave system in Afghanistan.

Shepherd's reign of terror ends when Soap hurls a throwing knife at his head, but the war has been going so long that his death will have little effect on the ongoing conflict. Soap and Price become fugitives, declared war criminals by Shepherd, and that's where Modern Warfare 2 ends. The next game will, no doubt, revolve around Price and Soap - if he survives (which he will) - trying to clear their name and halt the war, and finally track down Makarov. Lots of sequel potential there, and one is pretty much inevitable.

Why has Shepherd become a 'bad guy'?

Before trying to kill Soap, General Shepherd reveals, "Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye. And the world just fuckin' watched. Tomorrow there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots.

I know you understand". Shepherd served as commander of the coalition forces in the Middle East in CoD4, and we can only presume the '30,000' are those killed in COD4's nuclear blast, including Sergeant Paul Jackson (who's death you experience in first-person). It's all a bit Metal Gear Solid, but we think Shepherd was working with Makarov for mutual gain. They both wanted Russia and America at war, and orchestrated the 'No Russian' airport incident together: hence why Allen is enlisted to the mission, accepted so willingly by Makarov and - ultimately - 'discovered' and killed.

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