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It’s a shame that Activision’s return to Modern Warfare 2 hasn’t been treated with more fanfare for the release of Modern Warfare 2 Remastered. While it must be hard to market a fourth CoD game in the span of a year — Modern Warfare 2019, CoD: Mobile and CoD Warzone have all released in lighting-fast succession – with a presumed fifth to be announced in the coming months, you’d expect MW2 to be treated with more respect.
Maybe it’s a testament to just how beloved this eleven-year-old FPS is that stealth-dropping a major AAA game can still lead to feverish excitement, despite lacking the multiplayer component that made it so popular in the first place. At a modest price of $19.99, does Modern Warfare 2 Remastered suit its asking price?
Yes. Review done! Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is still good. While it’s far from the politically-deep thriller you thought it was when you were a teen, Infinity Ward’s narrative efforts within this tight five-hour campaign are only truly beaten by the thoughtful campaign seen in Call of Duty: Black Ops.
That doesn’t mean that MW2R doesn’t hold thoughtful moments throughout Task Force 141’s action-packed hunt for Russian terrorist Vladimir Makarov. Switching between both sides of the story, you’ll get to experience horrendous acts – such as the infamous No Russian mission which is still just as effective in the game’s new coat of paint – from the side of the villains. It’s an interesting dynamic that most CoDs refuse to explore.
Of course, no Call of Duty is complete without the bombastic action set pieces that stick in your mind for a few weeks before fleeting away, but Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is different. You’ll remember these set pieces; if you’ve played the original you’ll likely have never forgotten them.
Every set piece is recreated exactly how you remember it, albeit with a graphical overhaul that pops with realistic lighting, photoreal environments and a splash of newfound colour that makes every environment look cleaner and more inviting than before. From the gorgeous snowbound trip to Kazastan Airbase that ends with a blistering high-speed snowmobile section to the frenetic wildfire of gunfire found in the Burger Town mission.
While Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered doesn’t introduce any mantling, sliding or other mechanics that many modern military shooters have incorporated over the past decade, “classic” CoD’s barebones shooting is still enjoyable. It’s clear why Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer still use the fundamentals from this era of Call of Duty: if feels bloody fantastic!
[shunno-quote align = “left”]as companies know far too well by now, money for nostalgia is often an easy trade[/shunno-quote]
If there was one aspect of Modern Warfare 2 Remastered that falls short, it’s that this new remaster hasn’t remade enough. While it’s faithful campaign has been recreated in tremendous accuracy, the lack of MW2’s challenge-based Spec Ops mode is a stark disappointment. While not remembered to the fondness of the campaign, or the missing multiplayer, it was still an awesome skill-based distraction that would’ve been a beloved inclusion.
As far as additional modes go, the developers have still recreated the game’s Museum mode which displays various enemies from the game as museum exhibits. Interacting with these exhibits will allow you to fight them with any weapon in the game. It’s a tad bit of fun.
As it stands, MW2R is a fantastic remake of its source material that only falls short by its omission of the original’s additional content. However, for a modest price, this is a fine, unforgettable Call of Duty campaign that undoubtedly forged many gamers’ childhood and, as companies know far too well by now, money for nostalgia is often an easy trade.