Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Review

The Call of Duty franchise dates back to 2003 with the first release in the series, but it was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that really redefined the genre as a whole. For those that purchased the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition last year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered was also included and has been exclusive to that bundle only. That has recently changed though, as Activision chose to release Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered as a standalone title.

The Call of Duty franchise may be going back to World War II finally this year, but it has been quite awhile since we have gotten a non-futuristic styled entry in the series. Bringing back one of the most iconic games in the first person shooter genre is a very delicate task, especially with it introducing elements that are standards in many shooters now, such as kill streaks. The good news though is that developer Raven Software and Activision choose not to stray too far from the original, with most of it being left in tact.

While Call of Duty in general may be known for its campaign, Modern Warfare was known for its stellar single player campaign as well. The campaign itself has basically been left untouched from the original content wise, with the same story structure as before. Even though it may not be as shocking if you’ve played through it before as a result, it’s still every bit as exhilarating to play through nearly a decade later due to the well crafted narrative found in the game that has a gravity to it that many Call of Duty in recent years have lacked. After personally spending nearly a weekend trying to beat Mile High Club on Veteran the first go around, which is still one of the most difficult gaming challenges I’ve ever taken on, it was really cool to be able to tackle that challenge once again here without any real changes to it.

Even though the story remains fully intact, what you’ll notice different in the single player campaign especially are the very much improved visuals from the original release. Even with the game being just from the last generation of consoles, it was very early into the life of the Xbox 360 and PS3. A lot of remasters tend to just look like slightly upgraded visually, but you can really tell that Raven Software put a lot of work into this one. This can be seen by simply just looking at how much more realistic the buildings and character models look now, as well as with the improved audio effects. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is not a complete remake or anything, but it certainly is a big leap from the original release with new assets everywhere, albeit not quite at the level of its counterpart Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare however.

Visual clarity has also been upgraded by a lot here, as the game features a 1080p resolution, which is in comparison to the native 600p of the original that could scale to 720p and 1080p, but didn’t look anywhere near this clear. The elevated resolution does not seem to affect the framerate either, as the game typically maintains its 60fps, with an occasional dip coming very infrequently in the intense action scenes.

The visuals and performance aren’t the only changes in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, as Raven Software also made some other improvements that certainly won’t be as noticeable unless you’ve played the original recently.

Overall reflex time in terms of the control input seems to be a bit better here also, with players not able to just run around and kill everybody with their knife like before due to the slow response time. Something very small but still a nice touch is that when you go into prone, you can now see your gun in front of you.

The screen design when sniping has also been adjusted, with it showing a blurred screen of the surroundings outside of the scope rather than just a black screen around the scope. Some of these changes are obviously most vital to the overall gameplay than others, but there is no question that there was some tender love and care for this game during development.

Multiplayer is the most important aspect of any Call of Duty game and the original Modern Warfare was one of the biggest multiplayer games ever. Bringing this back in mostly the same form as before was necessary, but it came with a few new additions as well. The multiplayer setup itself is as you remember it, but not a few game modes that didn’t come until later Call of Duty games have been added, such as Gun Game and Kill Confirmed.

At the game’s release last fall as exclusive to those that bought Infinite Warfare, there were some maps missing from the initial roster of maps that were found in the original Modern Warfare. However, these six missing maps were added later as free DLC, so it’s great to have all of them available. The only disappointing aspect now is that the other four maps that were DLC for the original game are also DLC here that you will have to purchase.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered has also added some new weapons and equipment as well that were not present in the original, but they thankfully there didn’t seem to be any issues here with them. However, there is something added that is definitely the most controversial aspect of the game, loot boxes.

By visiting the in-game Depot, you can purchase Supply Drops of different levels by expending currency you earn in game or by purchasing COD points with real money. The good news is that these are handled in a way where they are not pay to win, but rather are just mostly cosmetic items such as weapon camo and emblems, which combined with the new weapons make this game much more customizable than it was prior. The only weapons you earn this way are through completing an entire collection, known as a bounty, which will provide you with a special weapon. This is annoying to have included, but it could certainly be much worse.

To unlock better weapons and gear for weapons in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, you will still have to level up as in the original and earn them outright. This could have definitely created some major balancing issues if they had chosen to have all kinds of weapons in the supply drops, so it is good that they didn’t try to cash in on such a popular game as Modern Warfare.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was a gamechanger for the genre as a whole when it originally released and the game is every bit as worth playing today as it was then. There may not be a zombie mode or anything like people are used to these days from Call of Duty, but having the original game in tact with the very impressive visuals and performance upgrades, on top of a few other additions, makes Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered very worth taking a little trip to the past before heading way back to World War II this fall.


Verdict
A lot of people were disappointed that the only way to get Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered last year was to buy the Legacy Edition of Infinite Warfare, but now it is finally available as a standalone. Everything you love about the original is here with much more visual clarity and better performance, as well as a few new multiplayer additions from future entries, making it an excellent stopgap this summer ahead of Call of Duty: WWII.

9.0 Martydom Kills Out Of 10

Release Date: June 27th, 2017 (US)
Available Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Raven Software

Disclosure: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Was Provided By The Publisher For Coverage Purposes

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