Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Sgt. Soap MacTavish is the player-character during the S.A.S. missions in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. At the start of the game, he has only recently completed basic training and been assigned to a squad under the command of Cpt. Price. This squad also features Gaz, who holds the record in the the SAS training mission. After completing a quick training course, Soap rejoins the squad and they set out for their first mission: the infiltration of a tanker suspected to carry nuclear cargo. The mission is a success, although the tanker begins to capsize while the team is still inside, requiring Sgt. MacTavish to make a daring jump onto a getaway helicopter before the ship disappears into the Bering Sea.
The SAS squad is then charged with rescuing Nikolai, a captured Ultranationalist, in Russia with the assistance of Sergeant Kamarov, a Russian Loyalist. While returning home, the squad's helicopter is shot down while heading back west. From there, the surviving squad members make their way through a village in the middle of the night, where MacTavish saves a farmer's life by shooting militants who were harassing him. Once they are extracted from the area, they are given the new task of hunting down Khaled Al-Asad to find out who supplied his forces with a nuclear weapon.
The team launches a nighttime assault on Al-Asad's safehouse, and discover via phone call that Imran Zakhaev had been the one who supplied the weapons. The next day, the squad repels waves of Ultranationalist forces while waiting for extraction, and then head off in search of Zakhaev's son, Victor, in order to get information on his father's whereabouts. This begins a joint operation between the British S.A.S. team and American Marine Force Recon. An ambush staged to capture Victor fails, and MacTavish is forced to pursue Victor through the surrounding streets and alleyways. Once he is cornered by the S.A.S. and Force Recon, Zakhaev commits suicide, leaving the joint strike forces seemingly clueless as to his father's location.
However, Imran Zakhaev retaliates by announcing that he will launch nuclear missiles targeted at the eastern coast of the United States. Having thus learned the location of his command center, and working again with the 1st Force Recon, Soap sets out to stop the launch and eliminate Zakhaev. After gaining access to the launch facility, and subsequently the underground control center, Sgt. MacTavish uploads the abort codes into a computer in the launch control room, completing the former objective.
Immediately afterward, it is learned that Zakhaev's militants within the vicinity are converging on the base, prompting a hasty retreat by the strike forces. Using stolen military trucks, the joint squad escapes the launch facility, but are followed closely by Zakhaev's men while en route to Russian Loyalist territory. One of Zakhaev's helicopters destroys a bridge ahead of them just before they arrive at it, and their truck crashes into the debris. Having barely climbed onto sturdy concrete before a section of the bridge breaks free, the S.A.S. squad members, along with Sgt. Griggs of the Force Recon, attempt to hold off Ultranationalist soldiers charging onto the bridge. As a critically damaged tanker explodes behind them on the wreckage, Sgt. MacTavish is momentarily knocked unconscious. He awakens after an attempted rescue by Sgt. Griggs, only to witness Griggs' death after multiple gunshot wounds. However, Soap then notices Zakhaev in front of him while executing fellow SAS soldier Gaz. During this time, Cpt. Price slides a pistol to Soap, who kills the unsuspecting Zakhaev and his bodyguards. MacTavish, and the rest of the surviving strike team, are then rescued by Sgt. Kamarov.
Although very little information is given about the "Mile High Club" mission, which takes place after the main storyline of the game, it is implied that the squad is commanded by Sgt. MacTavish. The squad members speak with British accents, and since the rest of the team from the game has been killed (though the fate of Cpt. Price is left somewhat ambiguous), MacTavish would have been in line for a promotion. The official strategy guide also lists the player's character as "Sgt. Soap MacTavish."
Modern Warfare 2
After the events of Call of Duty 4, Soap joins up with Task Force 141, an elite Spec-Ops anti-terrorist group. Soap's first appearance in Modern Warfare 2 takes place in the mission "Cliffhanger", where he and fellow Task Force 141 operative Gary "Roach" Sanderson infiltrate a base located in the Kazakhstani mountains to recover an ACS module from a downed satellite. The two of them scale the mountain and navigate the base through a blizzard to reach the hanger where the ACS module is located. Roach retrieves it, but Soap is spotted by a group of enemy guards and is corned. However, Roach detonates previously placed C4, which creates a large explosion that distract the guards long enough for both Soap and Roach to gun them down. Soap and Roach then escape from the base, using stolen snowmobiles.
Soap's next mission takes place in Rio de Janeiro, where he and fellow Task Force 141 members--including the familiar-sounding Ghost and Roach--search for the weapon supplier of a recent terrorist attack on a Russian airport. There, he discovers Prison 672, a major enemy of Makarov's locked up in a Russian gulag. Soap plans to use the prisoner as bait for Makarov.
Soap leads Task Force 141 as they break into the prison and free Prison 627, who turns out to be Soap's previous mentor, Captain Price. Price helps in tracking down Makarov, but also leads the team to a Russian nuclear sub where he launches an SLBM towards war-torn Washington DC, which has been blamed for the Russian airport terrorist attack. The missile explodes high into atmosphere, and creates an electromagnetic pulse to disable all Russian and US technology, allowing the military to retake the nation's capital.
After narrowing down Makarov's hiding place to two locations, Task Force 141 decides to split up. Ghost and Roach head to the Caucasus Mountains to locate Makarov's safehouse, where they are both betrayed and killed by General Shepherd, the manager of Task Force 141. Meanwhile, Soap and Captain Price find themselves trapped in an airplane boneyard in the middle of a war between Makarov's men and Shepherd's men, the Shadow Company. Soap manages to fight his way to Captain Price, where they escape the ambush with the help of Nikolai.
Price locates Shepherd's position after contacting Makarov. Together, Soap and Price infiltrate Shepherd's base and flush him out. He tries to make an escape via boat, but Soap and Price pursue. Shepherd attempts to escape in a helicopter, but Price manages to shoot it down. The resulting explosion causes Soap to drive over a waterfall. At the bottom of the waterfall, Soap wakes up to find himself alone amongst the wreckage, but he later finds Shepherd. The two fight, but Soap is beaten and stabbed in the chest. Right before his execution, Price arrives and engages Shepherd in a bloody fistfight. After failing to reach a nearby pistol, Soap pulls the knife out of his chest and throws it at Shepherd, hitting him right in the eye. Price helps Soap to his feet, and together they escape in Nikolai's chopper.
Modern Warfare 3
Modern Warfare 3 picks up just hours after Soap and Price escaped in Nikolai's helicopter. Nikolai has brought them to India where they can both hide out and Soap can get the medical attention that he needs. As Soap is being operated on Makarov's Ultranationalist army close in on the team. Yuri is introduced into the story as "someone who hates Makarov even more than Price does" and aids the team in escaping India. Yuri keeps Soap alive during the escape by giving him a shot of adrenaline to keep his heart going.
After a few months of healing Soap, Price, Yuri, and Nikolai head to Sierra Leone, to hunt down an arms dealer who has delivered an unknown weapon to Makarov's undercover agents in London, Berlin, and Paris. Task Force 141 eventually tracks down the arms dealer and warlord, Waraabe, in Somalia. While Price, Soap, and Yuri are too late to stop the delivery of the unknown weapon they are able to get information on where it was headed, which Price relays to his friends in the SAS.
Soap's final mission is to Prague, where Price, Yuri, and Soap head to hunt down and kill Makarov. After a night mission aiding Kamarov, the leader of the Czech Resistance, in fighting the Ultranationalists, Task Force 141 finally tracks Makarov to the Hotel Lustig where he is having a meeting with his top advisors. Soap and Yuri find a place to perch and wait for Price to descend into the hotel to kill Makarov. As they watch Price make his way into the hotel they see an unconscious Kamarov appear from an elevator with explosives strapped to his chest. Makarov's voice can be heard coming over a walkie talkie that was waiting for Yuri and Soap. Makarov refers to Yuri as his 'old friend' just before explosives detonate and kill Kamarov and destroy Soap and Yuri's sniper perch. Soap and Yuri are sent plummeting down scaffolding and into a firefight where Yuri helps an injured Soap across a battlefield and into a makeshift medical treatment center set up by the Czech Resistance. Price attempts to help Soap but with his dieing breath Soap tells Price that Makarov knows Yuri. Soap then dies on the makeshift operating table.
- Soap is voiced by Scottish actor Kevin McKidd.
- A plastic bust of Soap was included in the Prestige Edition of Modern Warfare 2, to be used as a stand for your night vision goggles.
- A few others obtained a bar of soap with the name "Mactavish" on it, an obvious reference to his nickname.