Call of Duty: Ghosts is set in an alternate timeline that follows the nuclear destruction of the Middle East. The oil-producing nations of South America form "the Federation" in response to the ensuing global economic crisis and quickly grow into a global superpower, swiftly invading and conquering Central America and the Caribbean.
The game's main protagonists are the Ghosts, a force of U.S. Special Operations personnel trained to conduct clandestine missions behind enemy lines. The unit is led by retired U.S. Army Captain Elias Walker (Stephen Lang). He is joined by his sons Logan and David "Hesh" Walker (Brandon Routh), along with a trained German Shepherd named Riley, Captain Thomas A. Merrick (Jeffrey Pierce), and Sergeant Keegan P. Russ (Brian Bloom).
The game's main antagonist is Gabriel Rorke (Kevin Gage), the former leader of the Ghosts who works for the Federation after being captured and brainwashed by the Federation with torture and hallucinogens.