It would appear Spring 2020 is the season of High Definition Remakes and Remasters. Preceding the long-awaited release of Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy VII Remakes, Call of Duty fans were treated to a surprise announcement.
The legendary Modern Warfare 2 campaign from 2009 has been remastered, bringing one of the most acclaimed and over-the-top Call of Duty stories to the current generation with stunning updates to the graphics and audio. Whether this is your first time experiencing the story of Task Force 141 and General Shepard, or you are a seasoned veteran from the glory days of 2009, Modern Warfare 2 Remastered (MW2R) contains several hours of content to enjoy in this surprising package!
Fresh coat on a classic story: What’s new with MW2R?
As you access the main menu, players are greeted with fantastic 3D images from moments in the campaign. This gives us our first taste of the upgraded graphics and detail of the remastered campaign. Additional facial details are most noticeable in these images, particularly facial creases and wrinkles of Soap Mc Tavish and Captain Price. Starting the game as the American army teaching local Middle Eastern Militia combat tactics, and the following mission ‘Team Player’, the upgraded graphical detail was not as clear as the menu.
While there was a new brightness and distinction to some game objects, the two missions felt very similar to the original 2009 version. However, it was during the third, legendary mission ‘Cliffhanger’, which sees the player assisting Soap in infiltrating a Russian military base in the middle of a snowstorm, the beauty of MW2R revealed itself. The individual snow-droplets hitting the visor looked truly fantastic. Similarly, the blood-splatter upon the snow during the same mission looked horrifically realistic and fantastic throughout.
As the missions continued, the effort and work put into remastering the campaign by Beenox became clearer and clearer. The visceral detail of rag-dolled enemies, the look of horror and surprise on Russian bad-guys during Modern Warfare 2’s signature ‘breaching’ sections all added to the enjoyment and appreciation of the love poured into this game. One of the best examples is the improvement made is during one of my favourite missions, ‘Second Sun’.
An EMP detonates and wipes out electricity in the entire Eastern Seaboard of the US and you, as a normal infantry soldier witness the carnage that follows. During the momentary lapse in death and destruction, you must make your way through the streets of Washington DC with nothing but the fires of burning wreckage to light your way.
While an untrained ear may not notice as easily, the audio of Modern Warfare 2 has gotten a delicate upgrade too. Footsteps, individual gunfire and character audio is much clearer and well-defined, while still retaining the feel of the original game. In comparison to Modern Warfare (2019), the M4A1 sounds like a lightweight, plastic toy or airsoft gun. However, this is staying true to the audio characteristics of the original game. It would have been easy to beef up the audio of weapons like shotguns with additional bass, but one must appreciate the dedication Beenox have to preserving the feel of game as many of us remember it.
However, like with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered which was released in 2016, some changes and additions have been made to the game. One hilarious example in MW2R being the secret clowns present in the ‘S.S.D.D.’ mission which awards players with a trophy if they manage to snipe all three. Another is the introduction of a Technical Death Metal track during the end-game credit sequence.
What do I get in MW2R?
As the name suggests, this package includes the remastered campaign only. The campaign includes the original 18 missions and takes roughly five to six hours to complete. The additional, and mental, ‘museum’ mission is also included with a related trophy for surviving it.
However, this means that there are no multiplayer or Spec-Ops missions included. The lack of multiplayer makes sense from a business perspective, Activision of course would not want to intentionally take focus away from their latest game Modern Warfare (2019) and its fantastic new battle royale mode ‘Warzone’.
However, the absence of Spec-Ops is lamentable as those missions in the original Modern Warfare 2 were an extraordinary challenge and very rewarding once completed. I do not believe the addition of these missions would have been detrimental in any way to their income and would have only further cemented fan appreciation for Activision’s recent efforts to reward fans and provide value for money.
On a positive note, purchasing MW2R unlocks several goodies for the latest game, Modern Warfare (2019). Some of these goodies include a skin for the ‘Ghost’ operator which resembles the original Ghost from the MW2R campaign, gun charm, two Battle-Pass tier skips and several other customisation items.
Is MW2R worth the price of admission?
In short, yes with some caveats. There are issues with the package that will annoy many fans such as the lack of multiplayer and Spec-Ops missions, which results in a lack of replayability considering the €25 asking price. However, the over-the-top action, global carnage and fun during the World War III story cannot be understated in this game. The added digital goodies for Modern Warfare (2019) are a fantastic addition to the package.
Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is for newer Call of Duty fans that missed out 11 years ago on the glorious FPS gameplay from a different time and veteran players that want to take a trip down a gorgeous, bloody rendition of memory lane.