One of these days you’re going to visit Popzara and find while the site generally looks the same, it’s slightly prettier and runs slightly better. Yes, you’ll have found yourself on Popzara Remastered. It’ll be a glorious day for you, me and the rest of mankind. For now, though, you’ll have to content yourself with other remasters, like the recent Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.
You’ve played Modern Warfare before, right? You haven’t? You’re missing out then. Call of Duty gets a lot of flack from people who, generally speaking, haven’t played Call of Duty. These games sell for a reason: they’re glorious cinematic spectacles that place you in the action and make you feel like a badass. Also something about multiplayer, but that’s not what we’re talking about here; instead, we’ve got the remastered version of Modern Warfare’s nearly 10-year old single-player campaign, and it remains fantastic.
This is a series that consistently hits high points, but it rarely gets better than some of the more memorable bits of this game. Case in point: “All Ghillied Up,” where you and an NPC buddy don ghillie suits and go on a tense sniping operation in and around an abandoned amusement part, barely avoiding enemy troops all the while. There’s also Death from Above, a mission where you’re controlling an AC-130 gunship raining destruction on the opposition; this would take on a new, chilling aspect after the release of the “Collateral Murder” video by Wikileaks which depicted a similar strike in Baghdad. Even the first mission, which takes place aboard a ship in stormy seas, remains a classic to this day thanks to its conclusion: a panicked rush back to the main deck to escape after the vessel begins to sink.
Modern Warfare might not feature the gimmicks and sci-fi trappings of the modern entries in the series; contrast the down-to-earth missions in this game with the insane cyberspace adventures that characterize the second half of Black Ops 3, for instance, and the series’ evolution becomes clear. Still, there’s something to be said for the purity of this sort of military shooter. Instead of faffing about with super jumps, exo dashes and what not, you’ve got firearms, a clearly defined enemy and a pressing need to keep pushing the offensive much of the time. The plot is solid for what it is, and the gunplay really is second to none.
Naturally, this is a remaster, so the game’s looks and performance are vastly improved over its initial release. There’s a new, fancy level of polish covering everything, the game runs at 60 FPS at nearly all times and there’s some slight changes in character models and level design here and there to showcase the improved graphics. I didn’t run into any technical issues, either; the same couldn’t be said when I played the original game on a poor, slowly-Red-Ringing Xbox 360 back in 2007. There are even some new cheats to check out if you explore the game’s levels to collect enemy intel. Say what you will about remasters, but when they’re done right like we see here and in games like Dead Rising Remastered, they’re a great way of reliving the classics.
As we wrap this up, let’s go ahead and mention the elephant in the room: you’ll need to own Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare to get this remaster. This, naturally, has caused the usual explosion of impotent outrage we’ve come to expect every couple of weeks in this hobby. There’s an image out there of a Modern Warfare 2 Boycott group on Steam showing all the members playing Modern Warfare 2 that really says all that needs to be said there, and I get the feeling Infinite Warfare is still going to top sales charts.
In any case, having not played Infinite Warfare I can’t say if it’s worth buying that game to get to this one (it’ll probably be worth buying on its own merits if recent series entries are any indication). But speaking solely on the merits of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, it’s a great remaster of a great game.