Game Completion 2020 #21 – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

  • Platform: PC
  • Developer: Infinity Ward
  • Publisher: Activision

I took a near-decade hiatus from the Call of Duty series after playing Modern Warfare 2 originally. While I still hold CoD4: Modern Warfare up as one of the finest shooters in its field, MW2’s weirdly-inconsistent campaign turned me off entirely, thanks to story retreads, its revelry in its subject matter and its inability to say, well, anything important at all.

After replaying it in 2019, thanks to a remaster with fresher graphics and proper 4K support, my opinion of that hasn’t changed.

While there are a few spectacular levels in MW2, there are also some that are just plain baffling. The ‘protect Burger Town’ portion of ‘Wolverines’ made me laugh out loud back in 2009, and did so again this week, especially within the context of the USA’s idiotic anti-lockdown protesters heading into fast food joints with assault weapons strapped to their backs because freedom.

There are also missions where anything that’s remotely interesting happens out of sight, as is the case in the mission ‘Takedown’. In this mission, you are a lone soldier facing an entire army’s worth of 360 degree fire. Over comms your teammates commentate the exciting foot chase they’re in that you only see the climax of. Maybe I’m being harsh, if you’re really lucky–if you’re looking in the right direction at the right time and not getting shot–you might glimpse a limb here and there.

That all said, sometimes it’s just fun to turn off your brain and play a dumb shooter and MW2 did scratch that itch. What I didn’t expect, however, was for it to offer me more perspective on last year’s Modern Warfare reboot.

When I played that reboot (which I only did with the curiosity of being a new gaming PC owner), I felt it put the series a step back in the right direction. It came so close to telling an interesting story with deep characters, only to undo it with cartoon villains, weird USA revisionism and some tasteless multiplayer perks.

Playing Modern Warfare 2 in that wake of that made me realise what great strides it actually made and that I’d probably understated back then.