Developer: Raven Software
Release Date: 11/04/2016
Also Available On
When a game as big as Call of Duty 4 gets remastered it takes you down a trip of serious memory lane. I remember watching the E3 reveal video of the “All Ghillied Up” level and being blown away. The cinematic gameplay and delivery of CoD4 were unheard of back in the day and helped push that generation of consoles forward. It was a groundbreaking game despite where the series has gone over the years. Each level was carefully laid out with memorable moments and varied gameplay that most first-person shooters didn’t do 10 years ago, and that’s just the campaign. The multiplayer rewrote how first-person shooter online play should be.
That sound you hear when you hit an opponent and the X that appears in your crosshairs when you nail them? That was all Call of Duty. Being able to earn ranks and upgrade your weapons over time? That was Call of Duty. The maps were fantastically designed and the weapons felt amazing to shoot. The movement was fluid, the pacing was perfect, and the opening scene on the ship is something I will never forget. Take all of that, fast-forward 10 years, and then stick the game in a current-generation engine and you have a game that holds up, and is better, than any recent Call of Duty game.
While the campaign only lasts about 4 hours or so, there’s so much variety. From the stealth missions in Pripyat to using the AC-130 and bombing the crap out of Russian Ultranationalists, and even running away from choppers in vehicles. There’s various terrain, weapons, and pacing to make the campaign feel far from boring. While the story is generic and barely interesting, the gameplay isn’t. You play as two separate military teams from the US Marine Corps and SAS. “Soap” MacTavish and Jackson are your two guys, and while it doesn’t really matter gameplay-wise, Captain Price is actually quite a memorable character as he has interesting dialog, cracks jokes, and has such a unique appearance. It seems silly, but Call of Duty 4 was the only game in the series that had anything really interesting or memorable going on.
The multiplayer here is not only groundbreaking but super addictive and fun. There are several different game modes, but my favorite has always been Team Deathmatch. The maps are perfectly designed and are easy to remember every nook and cranny. Upgrading weapons and ranking up is so fun in this game, and you could literally spend dozens and dozens of hours just in the multiplayer alone. Despite how much time you spend on the online portion I just wish the campaign was longer. It’s such an overlooked part of the game and trumps any future Call of Duty campaign.
The visuals have been massively upgraded to the point where current hardware will have a hard time rendering it. The textures look beautiful and have been painstakingly redone to make this game look like it was released yesterday. Lighting, physics, sound, and models have all been redone to look current and it looks amazing. So much so, that you need at least 8GB of VRAM just to see all the textures in the glorious detail and at least GTX1060 to get the game up off the ground at 1080p.
Overall, Modern Warfare Remastered is a snippet of a game that pushed the first-person military shooter in a new direction, but also shows just how far downhill the series has fallen. Carefully planned out campaigns, and memorable maps are long gone for this tired franchise, but at least we have an upgraded version of one of the best shooters of the last decade.