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It all started in my game room back in 2007. Three friends were huddled on a run-down couch in a dark, musky basement around a CRT playing the newest game. Flashing lights lit up the room and anger induced shouting was a common occurrence. I remember my character sprinting to cover as a helicopter came in, cleaning up my friends on the tiny split-screen. “No screen looking!” “I know where you are! You can’t hide from me!” “How the hell do you get rid of the helicopter?! This is so annoying!” We went round after round learning the controls and laughing every time someone would trip on a claymore. Needless to say, it was a great time.
What game could cause this kind of madness between me and my friends? This was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the latest shooter on the market and the blueprint for modern shooters to come.
After years of futuristic CoDs, it’s nice to return to one of the best the series had to offer. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is a welcome return to familiar combat that made me feel both powerful and grounded. The core of Modern Warfare’s combat has aged remarkably well, keeping the same pace and fluid movement from nine years ago. Like Battlefield 1, the return to the past is a welcome change of pace. Modern Warfare’s modern day campaign and multiplayer are still as fun and exciting as you remember it to be. However, outside of its improved visuals, there are little new additions to feel new to returning players.
My fondest memories in my original run of Modern Warfare’s campaign was escaping the sinking ship in Crew Expendable and the race against the clock in Mile High Club. These missions play just as well as you remember it and look even better than you’d expect. I entered the first level, F.N.G. and was amazed to see the environment look as good as it did. Subtle things like light shining through the windows, soldier’s faces and textures looking near realistic made for an immersive experience. The campaign even ran at a solid 60 frames per second so movement felt smooth the whole way through.
Cinematic moments in the campaign like the nuclear explosion in Shock and Awe looked even better than imagined. Watching the city crumble in Aftermath as you crawl on your last breath hit harder than it once did with the improved graphics. All Ghillied Up really stood out, crawling through the abandoned city was visually impressive. The environment truly stood out and made the mission feel even better.
Modern Warfare’s multiplayer is just as chaotic and explosive as ever. Returning to Modern Warfare multiplayer after all these years may be strange to some, but it’s just as you remember. Every little detail from Modern Warfare’s original design is still intact. There are still the same three killstreaks, same old weapons, attachments, challenges, and perks. You can’t double jump out of the line of fire, so finding cover is more crucial. It’s a more cautious experience compared to the faster shooters of today. Regardless, playing the multiplayer feels as satisfying as the latest shooters.
A minor new inclusion is the addition of multiplayer calling cards and emblems. A small addition, but its nice giving players a sense of individuality.
Modern Warfare Remastered currently only includes ten of the original maps, with six more rolling out as free DLC later. These maps still hold up to this day and feel open enough to explore and ambush enemies. My favorite, Crash, is fun to run around in, with skirmishes taking place in and around the center downed helicopter. Shipment is still great for close quarter personal matches, a go to for local play. All of the maps look as good as the campaign, all well textured and beautifully rendered.
As for new content, Modern Warfare Remastered doesn’t bring much to the table. There are no new special features, weapons or maps. The biggest addition would be bringing Modern Warfare 3’s Kill Confirmed mode to multiplayer. It’s a good call considering Kill Confirmed is still a popular game mode that people consistently play.
As of now, the only way to get Modern Warfare Remastered is through the $80 Legacy Edition of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. It’s a shame especially knowing that many people will be missing out on such a great experience because they didn’t want to pay the extra dough. Hopefully, somewhere down the line this will change.
Modern Warfare is no longer modern, but its campaign and multiplayer are ageless. The remaster is on the same level of quality of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Skyrim Remastered. Its visuals are stunning and still feels fun to play nine years later. It may not have the same impact as it once did, but it plays just as well as you remember it.