The game begins in medias res with Walker, Adams, and Lugo flying in a helicopter past the skyscrapers of Dubai, shooting down several pursuing helicopters until a sudden sandstorm forms, causing one of the pursuers to spin out of control and crash into the trio.
The story then jumps back to the start, with Delta traversing the storm wall to the outskirts of a mostly buried Dubai, being taunted on broadcasts by the Radioman (Jake Busey), a DJ and former journalist speaking for the 33rd. After coming across refugees being rounded up by the 33rd and engaging in a firefight, Walker elects to disobey orders and find Konrad.
Receiving a broadcast of CIA agent Daniels being interrogated by the 33rd, the team chooses to interfere. Tracing the signal's origin, they find Daniels already dead and the broadcast was a trap set for fellow CIA agent, Gould.
Gould helps Delta escape, but is later captured and killed while assaulting a location called the Gate. The team heads there and continues the attack. Finding it heavily guarded by the 33rd, the team employs white phosphorus to obliterate their opposition and advance further into the city. While walking through the aftermath, they realize they accidentally killed 47 civilians moved to the Gate for shelter by the 33rd. Walker blames the 33rd and vows revenge.