If you’ve already played Modern Warfare 2 on previous consoles, you already know what to expect. It’s the same game, minus some game modes, with a lick of fresh paint to make it more visually appealing on modern consoles. And that’s it. It looks good, it runs great, and it’s still a bombastic experience.
For those of you who haven’t played Modern Warfare 2, remastered or otherwise, let’s delve a little deeper.
Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is the exact same game that released back in 2009 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. However, it’s missing some game modes, which makes this package less appealing. Multiplayer is nowhere to be seen, though I can’t say I’m all that bothered. I never really got into Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer. In fact, the first time I got involved in Call of Duty’s online multiplayer was in Treyarch’s fantastic Black Ops. Still, I can see why some would be put off. If you’re wanting Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer on PS4, the closest thing you’ll get is the original maps remade in the rebooted Modern Warfare, or as part of Call of Duty: Warzone.
Another omission is the Spec Ops mode, and this is unforgivable in my book. Spec Ops could be played single-player or in co-op in the original game, but it’s nowhere to be seen in Modern Warfare 2 Remastered. Why? That’s the big question. It’s a shame the mode is missing as it offered a dozen scenarios where you would have to defend against waves of enemies, or race for the best time while not dying on a snow sled and more. It was what kept me playing the game back in 2009, but now it’s gone.
So, the story mode. Is it any good? Yes, and no. I’m critiquing my past self as much as the game in this sense. I remember playing Modern Warfare 2 when it was new on the Xbox 360 and PS3, and I was blown away by the story. It was like playing a Hollywood blockbuster movie, and it still is. However, I’m older and wiser and I can see now that the story is patched together to fit whatever ideas the game designers had. I imagine that somebody said “hey, let’s have a mission set on an oil rig!” and the story writer had to find a way to fit it in. Another said “hey, let’s have a mission set in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro!” and again, the story writer had to make it work. The story falls apart with the slightest tug at the in-game universe’s logic, but it’s brainless fun all the same.
Don’t expect great character growth or immersive cutscenes. There’s one scene (spoiler, I guess?) where Captain Price is rescued after having been presumed dead for years. Soap, Price’s protege in the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, reacts by saying “Captain Price?” and then he hand Price his old pistol back, and that’s it. There’s no “oh my god, you’re alive! I’m so happy to see your muttonchops again!” Instead, it’s super macho. “Here’s ya gun, let’s go and kill some people.” Not a lick on the more recent games, then.
I’ve played Modern Warfare 2 Remastered using the ‘Hardened’ difficulty setting and it’s proved to be a good challenge. I normally stick to ‘Regular’ for all games, but in this case, I upped the ante, and I suggest you do, too. It turns an arcade shooter into something a little more tactical. You take damage quicker and you die easier, which forces you to play either more aggressively or more conservatively, depending on the situation.
The moment-to-moment gameplay is par for the course. You hold down the left trigger to pull up your iron sights, you pull the right trigger to shoot, you do this for six or seven hours, and then you watch the credits roll. Nothing has changed in terms of gameplay, and if you’ve played a Call of Duty before, you know exactly what is coming your way with this remastered release.
On the technical side, Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is a decent looking game, but it’s not up to par with the most recent release. Still, it’s a big improvement over the original game and it holds up well. There are still some of the last-gen graphical oddities, like characters having a halo-effect around them in darker scenes, but for the most part, it’s perfectly serviceable and to be honest, I’ve seen worse from games made this decade.
I’m also happy to say that, at least on PS4 Pro, the performance is great. Frame drops were rare and I never really noticed them a great deal. Whether it sticks to 60fps most of the time or not isn’t something I have the means to test, but I can tell you it’s better than it ever was on the last-gen consoles, and with all the extra graphical bells and whistles, too.
If you’re happy to pay the price just to sit through the single-player campaign again, go for it. I enjoyed it, perhaps not as much as I did a decade ago, but it kept my busy for a few evenings and let my mind be taken on a globe-trotting adventure for a few hours at a time.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered PS4 Review
Overall - Good - 6/10
Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is budget-friendly and perfect for those single-player gamers who just want to lose themselves in some Hollywood-style action for a few hours. It loses a lot of replayability with the omission of multiplayer and Spec Ops, but it’s still worth a look if you’re wanting to experience the story in the best possible way.
- Looks great with remade character models and lighting.
- Classic Call of Duty gameplay, made all the better if you crank up the difficulty.
- Severe lack of replayability. The multiplayer missing I can understand, but Spec Ops? I don’t get it.
- The game’s story doesn’t hold up to modern standards, but it’s still OK.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game bought at the expense of the reviewer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
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Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella. (Bronze trophies, that is – he only has one Platinum.)