For many, the last decade or so of modern military shooters started with Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare. Although the series has strayed away from this modern setting, heading to the future and back to the past, the core foundations of the franchise were built here. A solid over the top action packed single player campaign, matched with an equally entertaining multiplayer mode full of tight maps, customisable weapon loadouts, and killstreaks.
Remastering can be a tricky sell, despite the obvious jump in processing power from Gen 3 to Gen 4 that gives a graphical boost, there hasn’t been a lot else added to the game. In fact it launches with only ten of the original 16 maps included, six more being added (for free) on Dec 13th. The main selling point for remastering COD 4 at this stage is to get the player base onto Gen 4 systems and playing with their friends again. However as of right now the only way to get COD 4 Remastered is to buy the Legacy Edition of Infinite Warfare, the good news is that this bundle has been discounted regularly lately so you can pick it up much cheaper that it was at launch.
From the moment you boot up the game you are transported back in time. The opening sound effect, the instantly recognizable title music is all so familiar. Noticeably the visual quality has improved the textures, shading and frames per second to such a degree that it is almost on par with most games released this year. There are a few noticeable legacy gameplay issues that didn’t get ironed out, but for the most part it looks and plays fantastically.
While others may complain about the lack of pace and linear map designs, that appear to make the game a little dated, I found this a welcome relief from all the fast paced wall running we have at the moment. Getting boots on the ground and a sense of weight to your soldier creates a sense of realism the newer titles lack.
The campaign tells the single story of a group of British S.A.S. soldiers and US Marines on a race to secure stolen Russian nukes from Middle Eastern terrorists. It is five hours of adrenaline pumping set pieces that puts Hollywood to shame. While mission maps are tight they are super polished, there is a nice variety of mission types too. From that iconic stealth mission, the last gasp lines of defense, the all out attacks, measured sniper missions, and even taking to the air on board aircraft keeps everything fresh and moving along at a thunderous pace.
Multiplayer was and still is the core of the series. This is where the industry really got introduced to killstreaks, loadouts and classes. While other games did this before COD, COD made it mainstream by giving the player a sense of ownership over their progress and play-style. Using the XP system to unlock new weapons, attachments, and perks allows players to move away from the rigid pre-set classes most FPSs used, and put this in the hands of the player giving them much more freedom in how played, even allowing them to build different classes for different maps when a different approach was required.
There are 16 maps in total, ten at launch and six more in December, all of which have their own themes and are all very strong, even the smaller tighter maps still work due to the lack of vehicles and limited verticality. It comes with the traditional game modes like death match, team deathmatch, sabotage etc. that offer plenty of choice.
Overall: Call of Duty 4 is rightly regarded as a classic in the industry. It set the blueprint for so many others to follow. While it is sneaking up on its tenth birthday, and maybe showing its age a little, it still has a lot to offer players both old and new.