One: PFC Allen a.k.a Alexei Whats-is-name via Makarov (optional)
Two: ISS Astronaut (I don't count this as a player, really)
Three: Roach via Shepard.
Considering that you play as a total of four people during the story (five with ISS guy), and two of them are still alive by the end of the game (Soap doesn't die, that we know of), that doesn't scream overdone to me, especially considering what kind of stuff the player characters do over the course of the game.
I purposfully left out Ramirez's little arc because it admittedly didn't offer much to the story. Ranger fights Russians in D.C. pretty much sums it up. Oh, and on the oil rig you rescue some hostages. Also left out Allen's little ventures in Afghanistan because they are just there to set up the "Makarov frames U.S." mission.
I just realized which major point I missed.
Soap and Roach sneak into a Russian base to steal back a piece of satellite equipment. Russians manage to copy it before they get to it though, and get a free pass through SatCom defenses. Interestingly enough, the stolen plans are in Russian for some reason
On that note, breach sequences should've been in real time at least during Veteran in MW:2.
This. I finished Veteran earlier today, and those breach sequences were six or seven steps below the normal difficulty for each of the levels they are on.
On an only slightly related note: Those multiplayer woes I kept hearing from Battuta never materialized. Sure it's irritating if an akimbo '87 guy catches you around a corner, but they're really just easy targets without said corner.
(Infinity Ward missed a great moment to kill off Ramirez, Dunn, and possibly Foley with style when the chopper goes down though. That would've made a very nice tribute to Blackhawk Down.)
Also this. I noticed for the first time earlier that Dunn DOES get shot, in full view, when you're defending the chopper, but then is up and running around, taking point, no less!
in the next five minutes. I was sort of like