Posted Sat Oct 8, 2016 at 11:00 AM PDT by Brian Hoss
Just one month ago, I wrote that One of the Most Significant Games in the Modern Era Will Return with 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered', so it should come as no surprise that this weekend, the name of the game is 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.'
Activision has a scheme through which PS4 players who have preordered one of the 'Legacy' or 'Deluxe' editions of 'Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare' can get a code that grants 30 days (ahead of launch) early access to the 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered' campaign. Frankly, the scheme isn't all that important to me, and I'm sure that an enterprising PS4 player could figure out how to preorder, play, and then decide if the game is worth buying. (Xbox One and PC players will have to wait until November 4th.)
And that brings me to my main point. This weekend is perfect for diving back into one of the best FPS campaigns ever. (Admittedly, it really helps if you like 'Black Hawk Down.') If you have access to a PS4, and have ever enjoyed a FPS, now is the time to get into or get back into this enduring classic.
Now we can talk some remastering. For myself, I recently played the original campaign on PC, running everything max at 2560 x 1440. And while it's been a few years at least, I've worked in the map files of 'CoD4.' I know how the game was built, and that helps me to understand where it excels visually (and in terms of design and production quality) and where the rough edges have been hidden or else really stick out.
So let me be clear, the campaign remastering is excellent. The results I've found on a regular PS4 are perhaps less stylized than the original game, but manage to be an impressive upgrade that retains the original masterwork. Looking back over at my recent PC run, I can see how well the PC version holds up, but this new PS4 version is better, more even, with superior lighting, characters, shadows, and with texture and geometry changes that help bridge that gap in time since the original production. It doesn't bring the game up to the standards of say, 'Infinite Warfare,' but there are plenty of current gen titles that don't look this good. When I think about this new 'Remaster' having its own PS4 Pro mode, well, I think it will be even more obviously superior to the original PC version that I so enjoy. (I've played both the 360 and PS3 versions of the original game, and certainly, the 'Remaster' has the step up that I would choose.)
Before I blather on too much, the big problem with playing the original campaign now for me is that there are some big warts, like giant repeating textures, simplified faces, and full bright/no shadow textures. The tricks used to make the game ship nearly a decade ago catch my eye. In the 'Remaster,' there are still rough spots to be found, but the change is remarkable nonetheless. I've put in a few comparison shots here which should reflect that sense for me.
Original PC (Click for Full Size):
One area I'm not happy about right now is the audio. Aside from adding optional controller sounds, the audio presentation seems a bit too faithful. I'd like it if there was a home theater mode to add more punch into the gunplay and big set pieces.
'Modern Warfare' is a special game, and it's one on a shortlist for me in the past 15 years or so that is well worth an intelligent and careful remaster. I hope that everyone gets a chance to play it.
You can find the latest info on 'Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare' linked from our Video Game Release Schedule.
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