Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Review

Richard Walker

At the time, Call of Duty 4 was a complete sea change for the series, which until that point had existed exclusively within the theatre of World War II. Not only did it move away from that particular conflict - rich and deep a vein of source material as it is - but it also set the template for the franchise moving forward. In fact, it not only shaped the future of Call of Duty, but had a pretty major impact on the first-person shooter in general. It goes without saying that Modern Warfare was pretty damn influential.

Therefore, it's a game that's more than worthy of a remaster, and Activision and developer Raven Software certainly haven't skimped on the visual fripperies to bring a classic (it feels weird to call what still feels like such a recent game a 'classic') bang up to date. True 1080p high definition, improved textures, physically based rendering and high-dynamic range lighting are the banner features for this Modern Warfare revamp, and getting to re-live all of Soap MacTavish's most memorable moments with a wondrous, upgraded sheen is definitely welcome.

It also reminds you that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was already a looker nine years ago, but obviously, in 2016 the remastered version of the game has never looked better. Naturally, it plays exactly as you remember; smooth, sharp, polished and remarkably tight, it's no wonder the game was considered such a big deal back in 2007. Modern Warfare Remastered still gives the majority of first-person shooters a run for their money. And the story still manages to grip and hold your attention from start to finish.

From the very second you get back into the campaign, fond memories come rushing back of fighting to beat the record on the cargo ship mock-up during the opening F.N.G. mission, before rappelling onto the real thing amid a raging storm at sea. You'll soon recall the reasons why CoD 4 seemed so revelatory at the time; it informs every Call of Duty game to this day, even if the series has since taken a grand departure into sci-fi with its wallrunning and boost jumps, the spectre of Modern Warfare always looms large.

While the campaign remains comfortably familiar and a happy blast of nostalgia, diving back into multiplayer feels like a shock to the system. Snipers are deadly, sprinting around and failing to engage an enemy first spells instant death, and only slower, tactical more considered play works. Obviously, seasoned Modern Warfare players have graduated to the remaster and are plying their trade shooting anyone of lesser skill (namely us) over and over. All while the lovely visuals whizz by at 60fps.

As someone who hasn't played Call of Duty 4 since 2011, I felt out of my depth returning to multiplayer. While Kill Confirmed is a neat addition to the suite of modes, having to start from scratch, unlocking weapons and attachments is just too much to ask, unless you're already a hardened Modern Warfare multiplayer pro. Or just good at shooters in general. I'm not. Multiplayer is great, with 10 of the game's 21 maps included, but it's also tough. Luckily (for me anyway), there are no achievements attached to it.

There are, however, a bunch of new achievements, adding an additional 13 to Call of Duty 4's original list of 37 to make for a nice, round 50. Some are pretty challenging too, like beating the Infinity Ward record of 15.1 seconds on the F.N.G. cargo ship training course. 19 seconds was hard enough as it is. Complete a level without reloading your weapon, complete a level using only the knife... An easy list suddenly got a little harder, but kudos to Raven Software for adding new tasks. Oh, and completing 'Mile High Club' remains a badge of honour.

It's really not hard to see why Call of Duty 4 made such a big splash when it first released in 2007; Modern Warfare Remastered is a fantastic reminder that it's still among the best CoD games of all time, if not the absolute best of the best. Deserving of a thorough and proper visual overhaul, Activision and Raven Software haven't slouched in ensuring the game's re-release gets the treatment it deserves. It looks and plays wonderfully, making it a joy to revisit once more. Will it be released as a standalone product separate from Infinite Warfare? Activision would be crazy not to. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is a fitting tribute for an excellent shooter.


A Hollywood blockbuster-style score, excellent weapon sounds and that good, old voice cast of hushed, gravel-throated cockney geezers. It's good to be back with Soap, Price and the gang.

Now this is how you do a remaster. Actually, this could almost be considered a remake with new, polished up assets and a slew of improvements. Modern Warfare Remastered is nearly on a par with its contemporaries, in graphical terms.

Still Modern Warfare, still brilliant. You can't really fault it much. Call of Duty 4 really has aged rather well and you can see why its control system set the standard for pretty much every FPS since.

Some purists will cry foul at the absent multiplayer maps, but 10 is still a decent number. The addition of Kill Confirmed is also a nice touch and the campaign remains exemplary stuff that demands to be revisited.

The core list is the same, but now there are 13 new achievements thrown into the mix to bring the count up to 50. A decent list that throws up new objectives to complete during the campaign, this will do nicely.

Infinity Ward's seminal Call of Duty gets the revamp it deserves; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered gives the 2007 shooter a new lease of life, enabling newcomers to see what all the fuss was about and veterans the chance to relive a classic. The best Call of Duty game just got even better.

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