- Big Bad: Colonel John Konrad took over the city of Dubai after it was ravaged by sandstorms, instituting a harsh military government and committing many atrocities to maintain order. However, Konrad is actually a Posthumous Character as he was Driven to Suicide over the immense guilt he felt from committing said atrocities, and Captain Walker has been imagining that Konrad is behind all of the city's woes even though Walker himself is actually the one destroying Dubai. Walker needed the idea of a Big Bad to justify his actions, even if said Big Bad was a complete farce. In fact there are so many players and circumstances at fault in this situation, not just Walker, that the idea of a single Big Bad being responsible for it all is just simplistic thinking.
- Destructive Savior: Driven by his need to save the survivors of Dubai, Walker battles the Damned 33rd whenever he can without a thought to the long-term consequences. He eventually ends up destroying the radio tower, a good part of the city of Dubai, and all of the reserves of water, thus leaving him unable to save anyone.
- Determinator: Captain Walker is initially part of a small recon team sent to investigate what happened in Dubai, find survivors, and then pull back to contact his superiors, but once he sees the madness that has engulfed the ruined city, he becomes set on getting involved and putting things right. Yet Walker never actually makes anything better — quite the opposite, in fact — and each new Tragic Mistake he makes only hardens his resolve to finish this self-imposed mission and justify what he was "forced" to do to complete it. By the end of the game he's crossed the Moral Event Horizon and doomed everyone in Dubai to a slow, horrible death, all because Walker couldn't turn back from what he decided he had to do.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Walker and his team are Delta Force, so they should have a handle on the situation, right? Wrong-as the situation in Dubai keeps getting worse, Walker shows just how in over his head he is.
- Freudian Trio: Adams and Lugo actually trade the positions of id and superego over the course of the game; Adams starts out as serious and stern, but as he eventually realizes how bad the situation is, he wants to save the refugees of Dubai. Lugo, meanwhile, starts out as cheerful and joking, but as Walker becomes increasingly mentally unstable and unreliable, he begins putting the mission above all else. As a result, they frequently disagree and butt heads. Walker is supposed to be the ego, the one who resolves their differences and balances their viewpoints out, and thus they follow him no matter how bad things get. His lost cause leads them both to their doom.
- Giant Mook: The Heavy Troopers are all over seven feet tall, carry light machine guns, and are ludicrously durable. However, their large sizes and imposing weapons make them easy targets for the player, and they are frequently forced to call for cover fire.
- Hero Antagonist: The ultimate goal of the Damned 33rd is to maintain order in Dubai and protect the refugees, but Walker refuses to accept their better qualities and instead focuses on the atrocities they were driven to commit so he can continue to see them as the "antagonist."
- Heroic Wannabe: Walker wants to be a hero and help Dubai above all else, so he defies his orders to leave the city and continues fighting the 33rd. His constant failure to do good in the hellhole that is Dubai just fuels his Determinator tendencies to the detriment of everyone else.
- Jerkass: Radioman constantly taunts the Delta Squad over the airwaves and grates on their nerves with his obnoxious jokes. By the time he makes fun of the victims of the white phosphorous accident, Lugo declares that he will kill him and makes good on that promise.
- The Leader: Walker has tight control over his Delta comrades and maintains their trust throughout the course of the story. If they had questioned his logic at any point or relieved him of duty when they had the chance, they might have survived the events of the game and Dubai might've been saved.
- Military Maverick: Walker was originally sent to Dubai to investigate what happened to the 33rd, but instead of simply reporting his findings and leaving, he goes deeper into the city thinking he can save the stranded soldiers and civillians. His decision to abandon his mission ends up dooming the people he intended to save.
- Token Good Teammate: Lugo is perhaps the most consistently moral member of the Delta Squad, shown best when he tries to stop Walker and Adams from using white phosphorous on a group of the 33rd. Even so, he is only one man and his comrades overrule him. As a result, forty-seven innocent refugees are needlessly killed.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Walker is consistently motivated by his desire to be a hero and help Dubai, but his increasingly destructive actions negate any opportunity to save the refugees, and his intentions prevent him from acknowledging what he's done and leaving Dubai.
Deconstructed Character Archetype / Spec Ops: The Line