For some reason, the gaming community has a heavy love of classic games, even ones that don’t hold up all of these years later (looking at you, Pokemon Red and Blue). To capitalize, more and more gaming companies have released remastered or updated editions of their games in the past few years. However, with a love of history comes the opportunity for gaming companies to essentially just port a game to the newer consoles, knowing full well that people will still spend the money to play the classics from their childhood.
When news first broke earlier this year that a remastered version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare would be released with deluxe editions of Infinite Warfare, many seemed to be worried that all it would be was a simple port that looked and felt exactly the same as it did in November of 2007. The fear was that all we’d get is a game with a minor upgrade here or there, some bugs that came as a result of remastering, and something that was far from being worth an extra few bucks on your Infinite Warfare purchase.
Worry not, gamers. Not only does the remastered version Call of Duty: Modern Warfare feel like a brand new game with the charm of the old days, but you’ll surely be kicking yourself if you pre-ordered for the Xbox One and not the PlayStation 4. That 30-day wait to re-join the ranks of the SAS and the USMC is going to slowly kill you inside.
To answer your immediate question: No, this game does not feel phoned in like one of the George Lucas special editions of Star Wars. Everything about this game — the controls, the graphics, the fluidity during those intense gun fights — overshadows of so many other shooting games out there right now. Regardless of your play style — stealthy and healthy or run-and-gun — you will have fun taking out the ultranationalist terrorists and making them wish they stuck with Putin’s government.
That feeling you felt of your jaw going slack the first time you opened up Modern Warfare, popped it into your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, and saw the graphics returns in full force when you see what the remastered version has to offer. When you stare Captain Price in the eyes before sieging a cargo ship, you can almost smell the wonderful, war-filled taste and aroma that his cigar has to offer. When you look down the scope as you prepare to snipe a Middle Eastern terrorist with an RPG, you can spot the look of hatred in his eyes while he aims it at your squadron.
Call of Duty has always been a franchise where there’s no really middle ground: you either love it or you hate it. Watching the first few minutes of the remastered Modern Warfare, though, will again remind you just why this series of the franchise is always put into people’s “love” list. Modern Warfare Remastered, if we’re being honest, is potentially the greatest remastered version of a game we’ve seen — and, chances are, it’s going to keep that category for a long time.
I could easily bore you by retelling the entire story of this game and how a Scottish sniper of the 22nd Special Air Service and a cigar-loving captain team up to take the war to the Russians, but you’ve either played Modern Warfare or have a good enough idea of how a basic war story works. Instead, let’s just talk about Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered and what you need to know before rappelling down a rope, taking out some targets, and making sure to avoid looking directly at a flashbang. Seriously, your eyes will hurt.
- This game is a heavy download. Seriously, at 39.18 GB (but playable after 10.61 or so), you’re going to want to pull up Netflix on your laptop and kill some time that way. Because early access users got the game a couple of days before everyone else who pre-ordered for PlayStation4, I’m admittedly unsure if multiplayer will be up on October 5. If it is, — I’m leaning towards it will be because there currently is a locked multiplayer section — then this post will be updated.
- Long-time players of the Modern Warfare series will tell you this, but if you go into a mission expecting things to be easy — it is not going to end well for you. Modern Warfare Remastered is a straight-up challenge — a fun challenge and one that isn’t going to make you throw your controller, but definitely tough — and the AI will capitalize on your mistakes and errors. Some shooter games will send a guy down for good if you shoot him in the knee, but you do that here and the soldier will absolutely blast you from his back. If you can, try aiming for the head or upper parts of the body.
- Granted, I’m nitpicking, but I’m actually really pleased the PlayStation version has you use the options button rather than the touchpad as a means of hitting start. With how many older games that make it to the newer consoles that lazily use the touchpad, it can get annoying needing to pause the game in a firefight or at low health — only to die because of the way the controller’s formatted. Really, everything control-wise with this game works perfectly.
- A few people on my Twitter were worried that there may have been some audio issues like there were in other remastered games, but I saw zero issues on my end. The basic sounds — the ones that people were so worried about — are all fine as when people talk, their lips move, and when people shoot a shotgun, you don’t hear it sounding like an RPG or a pistol.
- It should be no secret by now that the Modern Warfare series has an excellent soundtrack and orchestral score, so I was definitely glad to see that wasn’t changed in the remastered edition. Let’s all thank Stephen Barton for giving us a soundtrack that truly screams danger and all-out war rather than a happy, lighthearted tune that plays when we’re trying to stop a nuclear device.
- I can’t remember if this was a problem at times with the original game too, but some of your allies at times will get in your way and almost block the pathway entirely. Whether that’s a coding issue that remained when the game was remastered or just a minor hiccup is unknown, though the game’s extremely friendly checkpoint system will alleviate any frustration that comes from an AI-induced death.
- The RPG still is pretty useless, but that pump shotgun you can get in the third level is absolute gold. Using that and a knife, you can blow through those close combat fights with ease.
- Major credit has to go to Activision for, to be blunt, not going in and changing things for no reason. It’d have been easy in one early level, for example, to allow players to use the mounted gun on the back of a random truck to take out terrorists, whereas in the original, the gun was just a still prop. Some fans may not like it and may complain that the game is too much of what it was nine years ago, but maintaining the charm and style of the original is sometimes much better than changing it in a remastered version. You listening, film developers?
- I never really thought about this until I was a few missions in, but the Machete Order theory that worked with the Star Wars films may also work for the Modern Warfare series. Although this game sets everything up and introduces the main characters for all three games – Soap and Price – the true plot of the series really begins in Modern Warfare 2 with Makarov, “No Russian,” and the beginning of World War III. Playing MW2 first, in its own way, sets the story up and allows you to play the first game not as one that begins the story, but acts as a prequel and gives you some of the “glory days” between Soap and Price. If you still have all three games of the Modern Warfare series, try playing them by starting with 2, going back to 1, and finishing up with the third game.
Because of the uncertainties surrounding multiplayer access, I can’t talk much about that right now (nor can I talk about Infinite Warfare), but what I will say is this: If other companies are going to remaster their old games for the newer consoles, then they need to take a page from Activision’s playbook.
If you go in with the desire of updating a game while keeping the old charm by not removing anything for no reason, you are going to succeed, and Activision pulled this off with aplomb. Hopefully, Modern Warfare 2 will get the same treatment in the coming years. I have a score to pick with Lieutenant General Shepherd.
Alongside Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the non-PS4 version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered will release on November 4 for Xbox One and Windows. Obviously, COD: IW will hit PlayStation 4 owners that day as well.
[Featured Image by Activision]