Following on from the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered back in 2016, Activision are back again with another spruced up take on a previous iteration in their famed shooting franchise. Gamers are able to re-visit Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 this time around, with the campaign offering a direct continuation to the events from the first game. However, this remastered release does come with one caveat that will certainly be a big deal to some gamers: it is only the campaign that’s included this time around, with the multiplayer and popular Spec Ops modes omitted from the package. Is the campaign enough to make this a game that’s worth re-visiting though, or is this remastered release one that you’ll just want to skip?
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered’s campaign offers everything you’d expect from the series, with over-the-top set pieces, a gripping tale full of twists and turns, and a big focus on killing lots and lots of enemy soldiers. It also just so happens to feature one of the most shocking levels in first-person shooting history and a gigantic shootout at the White House, which are two things that I’m sure ANYONE who played the game when it initially released back in 2009 are sure to remember.
Of course, that ‘2009’ date means that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is an eleven-year old game now, though it certainly doesn’t look it with its new remastered form. A lot of effort has clearly been made to ensure that the game looks like it belongs on modern consoles, with the slick environments and the detailed character models all having an impressive lick of paint. The environments particularly stood out to me, with the likes of Rio de Janeiro, the Kazakh mountains, and Washington DC looking better than ever.
Sure, it does show its age in some places, especially when compared to modern releases that were built from the ground up for current consoles. It doesn’t stop Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered from being a great effort by Beenox though, whilst the fact that it runs at a constant 60fps ensures that the non-stop action is smooth throughout.
That being said, the improvements that come with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered are mostly performance and visual based, with the game feeling pretty much the same gameplay-wise – for better and worse.
Whilst the campaign has some spectacular set-pieces across its levels that will certainly wow players, it also has that old style of progression where you’ll face the same waves of enemies until you push forward through levels and reach specific points. Now this isn’t really a problem, but it does show a lack of innovation in how levels and showdowns play out, with most situations simply seeing players run in and out of cover, avoiding gunfire and grenades, and just moving forward until they hit the RIGHT point of an area that initiates a checkpoint – all whilst the same repeated enemies come from the same locations over and over again. It’s not so bad on standard difficulties, but it shows it weaknesses when player on the harder options where you have to be a bit more patient in your approach.
In fairness, it’s not really an awful way to play through levels and it’s something that a lot of experienced Call of Duty players will feel familiar with anyway. It just feels a bit dated and repetitive now, with modern shooters offering a bit more variety and excitement in their level design that relies less on repeated waves of enemies.
One thing that is certainly worth highlighting is that this release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered only contains the single player campaign, with the ever-popular multiplayer and Spec Ops modes omitted from the package.
This wasn’t really a big issue for me. I mean, it’s being advertised to players as just the campaign, so it’s not as if Activision are deceiving anyone with their marketing – there’s nothing shady going on here. Would I have liked to have played the multiplayer modes and gone through Spec Ops again? Yes. Would I have preferred it if it was a little bit cheaper to make up for the lack of it? Maybe, but it didn’t ruin the experience that I had with the campaign. The campaigns of the Call of Duty franchise have always been the highlight for me, so the fact that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered contains just that didn’t bother me in the slightest.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered offers a refreshing take on the game’s enjoyable single player campaign, though it does feel a little dated with some elements of its design. I was actually pretty impressed by how slick Beenox managed to make a game from 2009 look and you’d be remiss not to think that it was designed for modern console from the ground up in places, whilst the constant 60fps frame rate ensured that it remained slick throughout too.
Still, with the somewhat repetitive shootouts and dated gameplay mechanics, it’s clear that this is a Call of Duty game from the past. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is certainly worth re-visiting, but it’s clear that the series has hit all-new spectacular heights since this.
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC