E3 2016: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Stuns with Updated Visuals

Although Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is nearly ten years old, it retains a special place in many gamer’s hearts and minds. To put it simply, Modern Warfare was revolutionary. It had a tightly-weaved narrative filled with adrenaline-pumping set-piece moments and the best multiplayer suite released on consoles at that time. Players have been demanding a remastered version for a while now and Activision and Raven Software are ready to answer.

Activision played an exclusive demo for media at E3 2016, showcasing the first level from the game, “Crew Expendable.” For those that don’t remember, Crew Expendable is the prologue mission where the SAS, led by Captain Price, board a cargo ship. The main objective is to look for any nuclear materials.

First off, the difference between the PS3/Xbox 360 original and this remastered edition is like night and day. Raven is developing the remaster and they have done an amazing job bringing this game to the current-gen platforms. Textures have been completely redone, removing the shiny effect that Call of Duty 4’s characters suffered from. Models have been polished to remove any jaggies, which makes looking down the sights that much clearer. It’s really impressive work.

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Raven could have stopped there, but they didn’t. In addition to the graphical updates above, the studio has actually added in new graphical touches to bring the visuals close to modern day standards. The studio has added in plenty of brand new special effects. Fires look richer and more colorful, water bobs and sways realistically, and wind and rain react dynamically as a helicopter flies close. It’s impressive looking closely at your MP5 and watching rainwater trickle down the sides. Modern Warfare Remastered also employs a brand new lighting engine, which looks stunning in action. The cargo ship has never looked so good.

Of course, there is legacy to consider. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is perfect in many gamer’s eyes so Raven has been careful to leave much of the original game intact. Anyone who’s played Crew Expendable will know what to expect: the twisting and tight corridors, the open crate area and the large amounts of bad guys aiming for your head. Then, of course, you also have the amazing set-piece at the end of the level. The frantic chase top-side is just as frantic in Remastered as it was in the original.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare wasn’t a perfect game, though. Probably the most glaring is the infinitely respawning enemies. Essentially, enemies will continue to respawn until the player passes a certain threshold in-game. While this was fixed in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, it’s a problem that does surface in Modern Warfare Remastered. Likewise, the only guns players will be able to pick up are the base versions. Really want to use a Red Dot Sight or Silencer? You best hope the gun you get at the beginning of the mission has one because you won’t find one lying on the ground.

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The one thing everyone wants to know about is multiplayer. Unfortunately, Infinity Ward and Raven Software had nothing to show at E3. All they would say is stuff we’ve already heard; ten maps will launch with Modern Warfare Remastered. Only five of the ten maps have been revealed so far: Crash, Overgrown, Crossfire, Backlot and Bog. We’ll get a full multiplayer reveal at the Call of Duty XP event this September.

This is what fans have been waiting for since the PS4 and Xbox One launched. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered not only allows to players to experience the thrill of Call of Duty 4 all over again, but in a visually pleasing way. The updates Raven Software have made to the visuals are astounding and I can’t wait to see how the entire game, including the multiplayer, looks. This is Activision’s best attempt yet at a remaster and fans should be excited to see one of the best Call of Duty games ever re-released.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered is out November 4 on PS4 and Xbox One. The game, at this time, can only be purchased as part of the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, or Legacy Pro Edition. Those who pre-order any of these versions on PS4 can play the campaign 30 days early on October 5.