Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remaster
Call of Duty Modern Warfare started one of the biggest gaming pushes in the history of the industry, which led to the now most powerful franchise on the market. We wrote about how only Pokemon Go has been able to achieve that again, but we return to MW with a remaster. Is it worth it? We think so.
At the time of writing Modern Warfare is only available via a bundle with Infinite Warfare, we assume the game will be sold standalone soon.
With the franchise, and competing franchises, all going “futuristic” with combat a lot of people were begging for a return to the “past.” A lot of people wanted WWII games to come back, but Modern Warfare makes me believe we just wanted a simplistic tone back. A return to “modern warfare” is enough to feel refreshed in the shooter genre and the grounded approach is so much fun when you are tired of the jumping and darting around in newer games. The slower pace takes some getting used to, and the dated level design will make you remember how much combat has changed, but once you get the hand of it you might be addicted once again.
Many people are returning for one thing, nostalgia, and Raven Software has done an absolutely amazing job if ensuring you get just that. The team put a lot of effort into tweaking visuals, minor adjustments, and fixing a few glitches that were in the original game. In return Raven Software left the entire core of the game in-tact to make sure you get the same great experience. This means you feel weight in your player struggling to sprint out of combat zones, edging corners gives you enormous strategy, and climbing over obstacles is still a clumsy pain. All of it is good in my eyes.
You don’t feel superhuman like new games. You feel the tense combat the original game provided. You get that action movie approach blended with the urgency to run, or become tactical, instead of running full on Rambo into combat.
Online is very similar with combat taking place mostly in front of you. You can watch your radar and maps, and have very strong situational awareness. You won’t be constantly blind sided by people leaping over your head, running on walls, or spawning all around you. If several opposing players pop up around you, a skilled player would still be able to think of a way out of the situation.
MW also reminds us of a time where gun-on-gun combat was a strong factor. You will die a lot more from someone actually shooting you instead of kill streaks constantly wiping you out.
Visuals is where the remaster really makes your jaw drop. The remaster isn’t like others where a simple resolution bump, and some increased frames, are enough. Instead the team has completely polished the entire game with better animations, updated textures, better physics, and new facial animations. The entire revamp makes the game seem like a modern generation Call of Duty, instead of some polished dated title. There are moments where the dated technology kicks in, for example in the campaign I was constantly shoved aside (or stuck behind) AI characters that were utilizing pre-determined paths to move. There are also moments where the dated visuals will pop their head out to say hello.
The game honestly keeps surprising and makes what was easily one of the best titles in the franchise hit that much harder. There are scenes in the campaign that are worth reliving simply because the added detail really hammers home the emotion, especially with the improved facial animations, and key moments that are jaw dropping to watch playout. The campaign is your perfect action movie and makes you realize why you spent countless hours in the game. For returning fans the game might still be “easy” as you simply remember what to do and when, but it’s totally worth jumping back in.
The only real drawback from the remaster is that nothing was really added or truly changed for the better. I praise that they left things intact at the core, and fixed minor issues, but there could have been some tweaks added here or there to improve the game too. Perhaps a playlist where we have improvements, and a playlist where we have the core game? Something similar to Modern Warfare 2 would have been fine to me, just to change things up over time. There also isn’t any bonus content, so no developer commentary, art galleries, or anything special of that nature. The only real addition we got is “Kill Confirmed” is an added mode online. (The original didn’t have this mode) It’s not a huge deal though because this remaster is an actual remaster, and not just some resolution bump, so they put time into putting together a game instead.
Overall it is an absolutely beautifully crafted remaster, which should set the standard for all remasters. This is what we want. Visual improvements beyond better rendering, and not just minor tweaks that leave the game broken, but a playable experience that lives up to the original. If you loved Modern Warfare then get ready to spend all your hours in the series again.
Final thoughts: The game has a minor dated feeling to it for long time fans. It took me a little while to adjust to the old school style (for example you can’t sprint into prone, or slide behind cover), but once you get the hang of it you can’t stop. For fans that have wanted COD to go back to basics, this is a dream come true. For new fans this is a great time to jump in and play because the learning curve isn’t enormous, and you can quickly learn the more linear maps. The “slower” grounded pace is a lot more fun to some fans and that’s okay.