It can be a risky thing to revisit your former glories. What was once the best in the business may, through the passing of time, become a piece of mediocre blandness. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the videogame industry. If a game had cutting-edge graphics when it was released, and not much else, then it’s going to look pretty poor nearly ten years later. It was with some hesitance then that I approached the review for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. When it was originally released, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was one of, if not the, best looking games on consoles. So how does the remastered version of the game fare?
Well the story feels quite choppy. It’s not just that the story is bouncing between characters, the levels can be quite brief and it doesn’t quite mesh together as well as I remember. Though these shorter missions do sometimes stop the story from flowing, the quality of the missions is inescapable. There are great levels like ‘Charlie Don’t Surf’, ‘Death From Above’, and ‘Crew Expendable’ as well as the classic sniper missions ‘All Ghillied Up’ and ‘One Shot, One Kill’. You play as Sergeant John “Soap” MacTavish of the British S.A.S. and Sergeant Paul Jackson of the U.S. Marines. Though these two characters never meet, their stories join together to form a larger story of ultra-nationalists and trying to avoid a global conflict. This was a great campaign when the game was released and it still holds up well today.
Graphically. the game looks good thanks to the polish applied to this remaster, however it’s not on the same level as the other AAA shooters out there this year. This remaster is definitely better looking than the original release, but it doesn’t muster the jaw-dropping effect that the original game had when it was launched back in 2007. Everything ran nicely and smoothly though, there are improved particle effects, and I think the animation has been improved a little. As remasters go, this is a good-looking game, but with all of these remastered titles, they rarely match the current crop of releases.
The audio for the game is perfectly fine. I don’t think much has been done to improve this area of the original game, but it is the area in gaming that hasn’t moved on as much over the years since its release. Guns sound great and their placement in the sound-map is as good as any other shooters released this year. The music for the game is also solid, but starting to show its age a little. The score is well written but the recording is not quite at the scale that more modern games are granted.
The multiplayer is just as you remember it. This means that if you loved it first time around, you’ll love it now as well. As you may gather from that, I personally wasn’t a big fan. I think that multiplayer games should always be fair and even, whether you’ve put in 2 hours or 200 hours. I don’t think it’s fair to give a new player a gun that doesn’t have anywhere near the power of the gun that his opponent, who has played the game before, has. However I cannot deny the stability of the servers, the same great movement and weapon handling from the main game, and the well-designed maps on offer here. If you put in the time that the multiplayer requires, you will be rewarded.
Whether you view the release of this remaster as a shameless way to get people to buy Infinite Warfare or as a gift to fans that have been clamouring for its release, the game is here and shows why it is so warmly remembered. The campaign may have some short levels that break up the flow, but there are so many outstanding moments throughout the game that it is forgivable. The graphics may not be on a par with the latest AAA shooters, but in videogames, gameplay and level design are king and that’s where this game has always excelled. Modern Warfare (and its first sequel) may well be the pinnacle of the Call of Duty franchise and this remaster reminds us all how good it really was.