Almost a decade later, it’s easy to forget that Infinity Ward took a risk that ranks alongside that of the original iPhone. Skipping the 20th Century entirely, Modern Warfare transported players to contemporary conflicts. In the place of beach landings and frontline combat, it captured the tension of SAS infiltrations, the organised spectacle of a US invasion, and the end-of-the-world stakes of militarised ultra-nationalism. It even threw in a stray nuke for good measure.
The Modern Warfare remaster—out on November 4 only as a pack-in bonus with the futuristic Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare––not only commemorates an iconic release, it reinforces Modern Warfare’s real-world foresight. The remaster is a testament to the power of a creative idea that revolutionised a genre, and to a game that seems to have predicted, or at least understood, how the geopolitical climate of the Middle East would further destabilise throughout the succeeding decade.
Visually, Modern Warfare was always a lavish, Hollywoodesque production, but it’s surprising just how good it looks today. The technical work behind the update makes this more of a remake than a simple remaster, with a complete rebuild of its weather effects, texture work, lighting models, and character animations creating a game that looks as modern as it did in 2007.