Modern Warfare Remastered Proves a Classic Still Fits Like a Glove
Ben Sheene / Sep 9th, 2016 No Comments
It’s hard not to look at Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare as a classic in the first-person shooter genre. It may not have been a genre-defining title like Doom or Half Life, but it did more to polish the wheel than reinvent it. Stripped of its World War II roots, Modern Warfare was a gritty, realistic game that allowed a growing legion of online-connected console gamers to test their mettle against others around the world.
Almost 10 years have passed and the franchise has added tactical nukes, jetpacks, space exploration, and millions of new fans to its arsenal. But even after all this, Modern Warfare holds a special place in so many people’s hearts. Thankfully, Modern Warfare Remastered looks like it will preserve and smooth that bulletproof legacy.
Knocking Off the Rust
At Call of Duty XP 2016, I had the opportunity to play Modern Warfare Remastered’s multiplayer. But I only did so after diving into an intense session of Infinite Warfare. The newest Call of Duty takes players to space, packing in black hole grenades, energy weapons, and deadly mechs. Even with its similarity to Black Ops 3, there’s no surprise some players are hesitant of the drastic change.
The current Call of Duty requires fast-paced gameplay and lightning-fast reaction times. In 2007, however, this wasn’t the case. Before playing Modern Warfare Remastered, we were jokingly reminded that there was no wall-running and no boost jumping. “Oh yeah,” I thought to myself, remembering it had been at least five years since I touched any version of Modern Warfare.
Then, I remembered how revolutionary perks felt; how different guns and attachments helped nudge me more toward my preferred playstyle and differentiated me from the other 11 people I was playing with. The desire to prestige and complete weapon challenges always drove me to push forward, even when I never felt like I was good at Call of Duty.
I sat down and scanned the pre-configured classes and the choose-a-class options. Upon opening the perks list, I was hit by a wave of nostalgia. Martyrdom, the perk where you drop a grenade upon death, was there, as was Last Stand. The voices of others nearby matched my feelings of fond remembrance. These days, slotting in a perk that grants three frag grenades might seem like child’s play, but back then it let you explore your inner demolitions expert.
Modern Warfare Remastered is like opening up a time capsule. It takes you back to a time when Call of Duty wasn’t synonymous with the FPS genre, and when there really weren’t that many games taking place from a first-person perspective. There was a time when things like perks and nebulous classes weren’t factory default. Modern Warfare was the drop in the ocean that caused tidal waves, ushering in many players’ first time in an experience like this.
Slow and Steady
The most initially alarming thing for me was the lack of an infinite sprint. I’m the kind of Call of Duty player that runs around corners blindly, trying to rush into others and take them by surprise. Back then I couldn’t do that, and in Remastered I still can’t unless I have the right perk. Time to kill is also noticeably different, being just a matter of half-seconds longer. Developer Raven Software has kept the game true to the original Modern Warfare, and it would require a microscope to point out any differences.
Multiplayer runs smooth and looks great, especially for such an early last-gen game. Those worried multiplayer would not receive as significant a boost as the campaign should calm their nerves. In my brief time with the game, I didn’t notice any framerate issues.
Modern Warfare Remastered isn’t just a fresh coat of paint on a classic. We’ve had plenty of those, with first- and third-party developers putting out franchise bundles and remakes. The game is a fun, breathtaking history lesson.
The slightly slower pace when compared to current games doesn’t have a crippling effect. It took a couple matches to get used to, but I was soon back into the Modern Warfare state of mind. After the smooth transition, I began to be reminded of what made the game great.
From customization to multi-laned maps with great choke points and delicious gunplay, it’s all there. The modes everyone came to love and the skill required to pull off impressive wins are still there. Sure, it was weird having killstreaks fed to you instead of scorestreaks , and that damn assault chopper is still as brutal as ever, but this is Call of Duty, just as it always has been.
Infinite Warfare is working toward being a great transition for the franchise’s multiplayer. Unfortunately, it has faced a lot of derision, with many claiming they are forced to buy it just for Modern Warfare Remastered. It’s an interesting statement because in a way, the two games aren’t really that different.
Specialists and abilities and boosts are where Call of Duty is headed right now because that’s what the market seems to want. It works great for the competitive scene and makes for a fast, tense experience. But in the end, those games evolved from Modern Warfare, which already has strong, unbreakable roots. It will be interesting to see how players new and old will react to both games when they launch on Nov. 4.
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