With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, we return to the title that arguably put Call of Duty on the map. Releasing in 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare took a new spin on first-person shooters, giving players the option to create their classes, choose their perks, and call in a variety of support, like UAVs and Airstrikes. Of course, this title started the line of Modern Warfare games; a series which concluded with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. This trip down memory lane brings a fresh, new feeling to an old game, but the question is whether the game still works in an industry dominated by class-based shooters.
Perhaps my biggest complaint with Modern Warfare’s multiplayer is its selection of maps. Perhaps one of my favorite maps, Bloc, was removed from the remastered version of the game, something I consider a missed opportunity. In a remaster, I would expect all of the previous game’s content to be included. I’m not too sure if it wasn’t in the game due to its popularity, or it there were some technical limitations, but it ends up hurting my opinions as they didn’t bother to include these maps, despite them being some of the most popular fields to play on. Despite this complaint, the multiplayer still survives in today’s industry of competitive shooters.
Being the first game that kicked off the Modern Warfare series, players begin their adventures with Captain Price, Soap Mactavish, and other familiar characters. Believe it or not, the campaign still holds up well, even with unmotivated responses from some of the characters. Their personalities seem very cut and dry, almost like they are being forced into awkward situations when the in-laws come to town. I don’t get a believable sense of urgency from the characters, and it does end up drawing out my experience to the point where I ask “Can you just shut up so I can shoot?”, But I digress. The missions are a hell of a lot of fun to play, especially the ones involving tightly knit scenarios like hiding in the grass while enemies and tanks walk around you. Run and gun, stealth, and long-executions with the Sniper Rifle were what gave me that “feel good experience” that I had when playing in the mid-2000’s. The development team did a great job at re-imagining the worlds for the current generation of gaming – something that leaves a good impression on you by the second mission. The quality of the environments, textures, and the water make the experience seem realistic, albeit with poorly spoken voice actors.
The killstreaks are what defined Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered‘s multiplayer. They were simple to use and weren’t bogged down by complex requirements. Helicopters, Airstrikes and UAV’s were the only obstructions to a player’s performance, and even saying that, they were avoidable as long as the player didn’t spawn in an open area. The thing that made Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare a great game was that it was well balanced and an enjoyable experience. Sure, there are weapons like akimbo shotguns that make life difficult in the game. However, it was this type of game that started the Call of Duty online experience for myself and many other gamers. The developers captured that same magic with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered and prettied it up with improved visuals.
The development team made sure to include just as many unlockables as there were in the first version, with even more to please your completionist personality. In seemingly every game you play online, you are frequently given new unlocks, whether that be new weapons, a new gun skin, or a new emblem for opponents to see draped across the screen as they suffer humiliation. This is thanks to Call of Duty’s level-based progression system, which makes me feel good after every game, making the experience more enjoyable and rewarding with each kill I earn. Your guns level up as you net more headshots and kills, unlocking more skins for further customization for your character. I mean come on, who doesn’t like having that bright gold AK47 to show your puny accomplishments to people who you may never talk to – ever?
Well, perhaps that was a feel good experience for only myself.
At the end of the day, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered was a tribute to its fans. The unfortunate price point of $110 CDN is what puts it over the top, though as if it were intended for ONLY the fans. Activision decided to bundle it in as an exclusive to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and as such, many gamers won’t experience the true greatness of this experience without spending lots of money. While I agree this is one of my favorite remasters, the game feels inaccessible, as it’s priced way too steep for anyone to enjoy it confidently. The game stands up to when it was released ten years ago, and with the improved visuals, provides a very nostalgic look at how the perk-based combat began for the Call of Duty series.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered released with the Legacy Edition of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on November 5th, 2016. Be on the lookout for our Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare review next!
Thanks to Activision who provided a review copy of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition for Xbox One.