WMG / Call of Duty: Ghosts

The mid-credits and possibly the end-credits scene was a what-if scene, or a hallucination by Logan.
The sheer improbability of events that occurred in the ending makes it a prime candidate for skepticism. After shooting Rorke with a .44 Magnum and leaving him to drown in the sinking train, he somehow manages to emerge from the surface and capture Logan by himself? For one thing, while Logan and Hesh barely managed to escape the sinking train alive, Rorke emerged sometime afterwards, when Logan had passed out and woken up again. And instead of washing up on the beach in front of them, he blindsided Logan by appearing from behind him.

It could be possible that they were ambushed by a Federation soldier who spotted them, but they would likely have no idea that they were Ghosts, and would probably just kill them on the spot, instead of capturing Logan and bringing him to be tortured. The events that happen during and after the credits were so improbable, that it was more likely that they were a nightmare or hallucination of Logan, rather than an actual occurrence.

Ghosts and the Modern Warfare series are set in the same universe.
Think about it: In 2011, Khaled Al-Asad seizes power in a powerful Middle Eastern nation. The United States intervenes, which ends in Al-Asad nuking his own capital city. This leads to a period of unrest and civil disorder in the Mid-East, eventually culminating in an all-out war between various nations after the US withdrew. This coupled with the civil war in Russia, caused much of the Eastern world's oil supply to go bust, leading to economic and industrial downfall of many European nations and somewhat America. This overshadows a stealth coup in Venezuela, where strongly anti-American general Diego Almagro seizes power. He sweet talks with the other oil-rich South American nations and makes them agree with his proposal for a united South America. Over the following years, the nations of the continent slowly amalgamated into the so-called Federation of South American States.

In the US, after NATO collapsed and the UN is without power, civil unrest and anarchy takes the streets. In order to meet the increasing demands of their population, the US falsifies claims of American citizens being detained and executed in South America, in order to get a casus belli for an invasion. The invasion is spearheaded by General Shephard, who leads a surprise attack on Caracs in order to quickly kill/capture Almagro and install a puppet government. Meanwhile, Task Force 141 tracks down an arms dealer in Rio de Jainero by the name of Alejandro Rojas, who supplied the Federation with many foreign weapons such as Russian T-90MS tanks and European firearms.

After the nuclear attack in the Mid-East, heavy protests against nuclear weapons took place in the US. Eventually, the weakened government caved in and promised to destroy all their nuclear missiles. However, to protect their sovreignety they kickstarted the ODIN (Orbital Defense Initiative) project in secrecy, which was not revealed to the world until several years later.

Because of the invasion of South America and an alleged attack on Zakhaev International Airport, the new ultranationalist Russia declares war and invades the United States and their former European allies under the excuse of them "still being allies". Many American army divisions are pulled out of South America to protect the homeland, where the spearheading Russians have already taken control of much of the East Coast. The US expected them to attack from the West, but caught them by surprise at the East instead. Now the US hurries to complete ODIN.

In 2017, one year after the US and Federation signed a seize-fire truce, the Federation with the help of ultranationalist Roskosmos sends astronauts to hijack the ODIN space station. They manage to fire several tungsten rods towards South-West United States and kill over 15 million people, after which they move their newly unified army through allied Central American nations and attack the US. Thankfully, the US managed to push Russia away and reinforce the small national guard defending the South-West. In the stalemate they are able to build a defensive wall, and after nearly ten years of 'all quiet on the South-Western front', both sides are ready to attack again.

All this does not only make sense, but it fills in the rather many plot holes Ghosts has in its story. Why did the Federation invade America? How come the US doesn't nuke the Federation? And where the hell is Europe assisting the US?!

The Cryptids are Chimeras from Video Game/Resistance in a parallel world.
Both in-plot and creatively speaking:
  • Original inhabitants/dedicated war machines of earth: Check.
  • Multi-limbed meaty creatures: Check.
  • Multiple eyes: Check. Cryptids have 5 while chimeras have 6.
  • Extremely dependent on heat: Check.
  • Their own body tissue can be used as a biochemical weapon against them: Check.
Now, Insomniac Games would want some answers.

Ghosts 2 will reveal one or several rebellious factions in the Federation.
Most likely patriots who want their country restored, despite the better economic situation with the Federation. For added drama, their political views could be communist, anarchist, or otherwise non-capitalist, leading to a tense alliance between them and the United States forces.

Rorke will perform a Heel–Face Turn at some point.
It's been noted by several gamers that the storyline of Ghosts is similar to Star Wars and Rorke is basically the Call of Duty equivalent of Darth Vader (being a former hero who has fallen to the dark side). Because of this, it's possible that Rorke will turn against the Federation and heroically sacrifice himself to help defeat them in Ghosts 2 or Ghosts 3.
  • Alternatively, he's secretly planning to destroy both the United States and Federation... because that's how he rolls.

Continuing with the Star Wars parallels, Logan is really Rorke's son.
Elias adopted him as penance after dropping his dad into a Venezuelan river. Hence Rorke's interest in Logan throughout the game.
  • However, Ghost Stories takes place only 2 years after Legends Never Die, and while Logan's age isn't shown, he's clearly old enough to remember if he was adopted.
    • Alternatively, Rorke was a lifer who knew he'd be a lousy dad, so he had family man Elias adopt the kid shortly after he was born.
    • Logan being adopted rather than Hesh's biological brother would actually strengthen the game's apparent themes about the bonds of brotherhood.

Ghosts is actually an elaborate Stealth Parody
The plot is absurd even by Call of Duty standards. Some of the dialogue is so cheesy that it's almost impossible to take seriously- because it's not meant to be. The game is a sequence of barely connected set pieces, because that's what Call of Duty is known for. The ending is trolling, well, because trolling.

Logan's the voice in the trailer.
You never hear that voice in-game, Logan never speaks in-game, so why not?

The Rorke encountered in the game is a clone. The real Rorke is either dead or still a captive of the Federation.
Since Rorke was an ultimate badass before he got captured, it's possible that the Federation wanted an army of him, except loyal to them. So they've been using him as a clone factory to mass-produce elite soldiers to conquer the world with. It would also explain how at the end of the game Rorke survives being blown up by a Kill Sat, shot in the gut with a .44 Magnum revolver, and left to die in a quickly sinking train. He doesn't - the Rorke who shows up in the final cutscene is a different clone of Rorke who was sent to capture Logan so they could clone him too.

The nuclear war that destroyed the Middle East was fought with salted bombs.
Salted bombs are designed to leave an area radioactive for much longer than conventional nuclear weapons. The use of such weapons in the Middle Eastern war would leave the entire region uninhabitable for centuries, making extracting oil impossible, thus paving the way for the rise of the Federation.

The Six Ghosts Who Weren't in the game actually appear
While 15 ghosts are mentioned in the prologue, only 9 appear. The other six are as follows:
  • Thompson
  • Baker
  • Mosley
  • Collins
  • The playable pilot character
  • The playable goon in the tank
No, there's no real evidence for this, and no, it doesn't make much sense, but it does at least explain what happened to all of the missing Ghosts.

The soldiers who take over ODIN weren't Federation
The Feds are invading a space station and murdering all of the unarmed crew, before blowing up thousands of civilians; why wear space suits that have your nation's flag on them? Obviously they don't care about upholding the Geneva convention. Instead, they were survivors of the Arab-Israeli conflict at the beginning of the game who wanted revenge on America for nuking their country, and decided to launch a false flag attack to get the two nations to destroy each other.