Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered review

A few days ago we had opened the review of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare comparing it to a ballad that would have tried to talk, as we have seen only partially succeeding, of the attitude of Infinity Ward to lay down the law in the franchise he has created. That attitude is born, more than from the first two chapters of the series, with the cycle of Modern Warfare: in November 2007 the Californian house brings Call of Duty 4 to the market and inaugurates what will be the golden season for the first person shooter. Modern warfare remastered therefore brings back on the market a real sacred monster, which must necessarily clash with its heirs (legitimate or "second bed", as in the case of Titanfall 2) and with the usual perplexities that arise when it comes to this type of operations: is it the classic nostalgia operation designed to place multiple copies of the various Legacy Editions or is the work behind the product serious and punctual?

Version tested: Playstation 4

The war of today
We often talk about the multiplayer of Modern Warfare, but the campaign was definitely not bad: the moments of high school certainly are not lacking

Modern Warfare, in a context where usually the theater chosen to stage products of this type was that of the Second World War, brings the war to the present day, setting the events in what at the time was the present. Initially, the two lines that, intertwining, will create the narrative fabric of the title start far from the other: on one side the player wears the uniform of the sergeant of the SAS (the British Special Air Force) John "Soap" MacTavish, just joined to the regiment and ready for its first mission, to intercept a nuclear cargo that is crossing the Bering Strait aboard a cargo ship. The second strand is the one that develops behind the ranks of the US Marines, where in the role of Sergeant Paul Jackson the aim is to capture Khaled Al-Asad, leader of the rebel forces that have just eliminated the president of Saudi Arabia. From the very beginning of the experience, Infinity Ward emphasizes the spectacular nature of the action, alternating truly heart-pounding moments (which are faced immediately, just think of the escape from the cargo ship of the first mission while it is sinking) with more passive sections, where the pace slows down and the player is almost forced to "suffer" the events, especially since the developer in these situations limits the interactions with the environment possible to simple changes of shot (as in the case of the second mission, all experienced in the role of President Al-Fulani while he goes to the gallows, without being able to do anything). In short, situations where Infinity Ward often exploits scripts and automatisms, but what pad in hand give intense and well-scripted moments, then enriched by some of the personalities that will accompany the player up to Modern Warfare 3 (above all the legendary Captain Price) and by the very successful locations put on the plate by the developer: the aforementioned cargo ship, but also Pryp'jat '(near Chernobyl), the background of two of the most evocative missions of the whole countryside. In short, with the usual variants of difficulty and the "delusions of completeness" of those who play, given the presence of some collectibles that are then useful for unlocking tricks that can be activated from the menu, we talk about about six hours of a well-packaged campaign, perhaps second only to the treacherous twists that Modern Warfare 2 will then stage.


The multiplayer of yesterday
On the online front, Modern Warfare has de facto devised a sub-genre

But Modern Warfare, despite the excellent work on the campaign side, has been delivered to the pages of recent videogame history thanks to its multiplayer mode. Because? Basically why it will be Modern Warfare to dictate the guidelines of what will be the competitive experience of Call of Duty and, consequently, of the whole arcade genre of the first person shooter. Even today, in fact, the basic equipment consists of two weapons (one main and one secondary, net of the perks that allow you to choose two weapons of the same class), two types of grenades (lethal on the one hand, blinding, stun and smoke-generating from the 'other) and a series of passive bonuses divided into three categories to confer advantages such as a prolonged sprint, more speed in changing weapons or more resistance to explosions or damage from falling. The endowment is then completed by the now classic killing rewards, which reward the player by giving bonuses such as the UAV (a drone that allows you to identify the position of enemy players on the map for a certain time), the possibility of ordering an air raid in a specific area or requires the support of a helicopter capable of firing on sight on opponents. The more you kill without being killed (lengthening the kill streak), the more rewarding you get, intuition that is still found today within the franchise: the Pick 10 introduced by Black Ops II will also have called into question the breakdown of the equipment we have seen (the base is still the one described, but you can give up some elements in order to spend more points on other aspects, for example by equipping yourself with an extra grenade in exchange for the secondary weapon), but the infamous "streaks", while changing their name from one chapter to another, are largely based on what can be seen in Modern Warfare.


The war has changed (with all due respect to General Shepherd)

The approach, as mentioned, is decidedly arcade and renounces any ambition of realism or simulation: those looking for a more accurate ballistics look elsewhere, Modern Warfare was designed at the time for a much more immediate approach, son of Arena era (partly recalled then in the Old School multiplayer mode, where you all start with the same weapons and perks and upgrades are to be collected on the map, in perfect Quake style) and based on speed of maneuver. And it is at this point that, as promised, the age-old question that sees the series repeating itself year after year must be faced head on: Infinity Ward with Call of Duty 4 defined the rules at the time, but with the As time went by the pace has tremendously increased up to today's scenario, a situation that starting from this basic plot has found a new point of reference as it is packaged by Respawn Entertainment (founded by Jason West and Vincent Zampella, not a case key figures of the Call of Duty franchise until their exit from Infinity Ward) with the first Titanfall. The pace, already high, has risen further, bringing back to vogue concepts such as that of verticalization taken from that Arena trend that had inspired Modern Warfare, and the time to kill in parallel goes down tremendously; the result is that, seven years later, ironically Modern Warfare Remastered turns out to be a product with a more reasoned gameplay and a more subdued step. Clearly we do not even remotely get to the typical maneuver of the historic competitor Battlefield, given that where in the house SAYS the imperative is to move as a team, the interpretation of Infinity Ward is still capable of enhancing the single and in any case moves at a higher pace, but it is still decidedly distant from what products are nowadays (some more, some less) derivative compared to what was released on the market in 2007.

More arcade than Battlefield, less than Titanfall and recent CoDs

And it will seem almost a paradox, but even if some sophisms introduced in the following chapters are missing (the slip while running or the possibility of "throwing oneself" to the ground even on the move) and paying the remote comparison with Modern Warfare 2, which on the basis of Call of Duty 4 was going to clean up the offer of all those aspects that made the experience frustrating at times like the hated martyrdom (every time you die you leave a grenade behind) in the chessboard we have before us in 2016 Modern Warfare Remastered fills a box, in fact, left uncovered, placed halfway between what the first person shooter was and what it later became. Will the players respond positively to the appeal? Difficult to say, given that for the moment the product is sold only in bundles with Infinite Warfare, placing an important obstacle in accessing content: only time will be able to tell us if there is interest in a product of this type, arcade and fast. but not as hectic as the most recent releases in the series.

The work behind the scenes
The remastering work is of the highest level

And then we come to what is the most characterizing aspect of an offer of this type, the remastering work done by Raven Software, the team that has taken on the burden of such a heavy adaptation given the name on the cover. Revision work which, in any case, can only be promoted with flying colors: the interface, in terms of layout, has remained very similar to that of the original, but has been bullied to the present day given the painstaking work behind the various icons present, and the same can be done for textures, elements of the scenario and polygonal models. The impact is often surprising, and mindful of what could be seen on the screen in the original version for the past generation, one can only be satisfied: if it were not that the upgrade is mainly aesthetic (therefore not going to touch heavier aspects such as the lighting system) one could almost speak of a real remake, rather than a simple remastering. In any case, from this point of view it is a pleasure to replay the Modern Warfare campaign or go down on the 10 battlefields present online (the six remaining excluded will arrive anyway by the end of the year), and it cannot be said that Activision has not made it big.

Verdict 8.5 / 10 The reason why I hate campers since 2007 Comment The war, videogame speaking, has changed, and after the lesson given to the genre nine years from Modern Warfare the reference points have changed and the rhythms have become tighter , with the time to kill increasingly dangerously revised downwards. Precisely for this reason, the offer proposed this year by Infinity Ward and Raven Software is particularly attractive: on the one hand the modern and futuristic Infinite Warfare, on the other a piece of history of the first person shooter which, while remaining faithful to its arcade nature, has a slower pace and an overall more reasoned maneuver, positioning itself in the middle of the spectrum. To limit a bit the appeal of the product there are some historical imbalances, which were then resolved by the following chapters, and the choice to sell everything only in bundles with the main chapter of this year: if the number of players present on the servers will survive the maneuver, we could be facing the first step towards a revival of this type of products. Pros and cons A piece of recent history
Great remastering job
Arcade, but less hectic than the competition x The historical flaws are still there
x Sold only together with Infinite Warfare: will it remain played?

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