by Paul Tassi

Between the Xbox One and PS4, this console generation brought with it a wave a game remakes the likes of which the industry has never seen before. We’ve had new titles like The Last of Us and GTA V remastered for the current generation, and collections like Halo: The Master Chief collection go all the way back to 2001 to resurrect classics. Now, fans want one more series to go back in time, the most popular franchise on earth, Call of Duty.

Right now there’s a petition that just passed its goal of 75,000 signatures to get Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 an HD remastered re-release. The petition itself is a half-paragraph of poor grammar, but the sentiment is clear, Modern Warfare 2 is a great game people want to play again on current gen, and existing versions are mostly overrun by hackers if you try to play them today.

I have my doubts about the ability of any petition to actually get anything done (and this one lists Jason West, “CEO of Infinity Ward,” as one of the people it’s addressed to), but I think the idea is worth considering all the same.

This next statement will likely stir debate, but I’d say Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is considered to be the best in the series, at least from a multiplayer perspective. The original Modern Warfare is probably a close second, and Black Ops is probably in the mix somewhere, but I understand why it’s MW2 that has attracted the most attention for a remaster request.

To me, this seems like a no-brainer for a publisher with Activision’s vast resources. Yes, they’re concentrated on getting out a new Call of Duty release out every year, but you know what’s even better than a yearly COD cash cow? Two COD cash cows, which is exactly what a remastered Modern Warfare 2 would be.

Activision has now flipped over to a three year development cycle for Call of Duty games, switching between Treyarch (this year), Infinity Ward (next year) and now Sledgehammer (the year after that, and also last year). Between those three, I have to imagine they’d be able to find someone with time to work on an HD remaster of Modern Warfare. Given that Infinity Ward is not the same Infinity Ward it was when Vince Zampella and Jason West were in charge (despite what this petition thinks), I don’t think it has to be that studio in particular working on the project, just like 343 was able to adapt Bungie’s Halo games for the Master Chief Collection.

And that’s the question, why stop at MW2? I think Activision should go one step past what this petition requests, and do a bundle that’s Modern Warfare’s 1 and 2 as a remastered two-for package. Given how much of a fanbase both have, I think it makes sense, as you’d kill two birds with one stone. Between those two, you’d effectively cover your bases by releasing what probably 90%+ of the fanbase views as the “best” Call of Duty to date.

Even though multiplayer is the primary reason that people want to resurrect these games, I also do think that like Halo: MCC, they should include the original campaigns as well, given that they were some of the best in shooter history between Pripyat, No Russian and other iconic levels/moments. Even if we know all the twists, it would be nice to see them updated all the same (and see what Captain Price’s mustache looks like on new-gen).

Hell, they could even go all the way and throw in Modern Warfare 3 if they really wanted to, making a full package for the sub-franchise. MW3 wasn’t received nearly as well as the other two, but the opportunity for even more maps isn’t a bad thing. In such a package, it would be cool to see multiplayer either segmented by game, with exclusive guns/maps confined to each installment, and alternatively one mode that combines all of them together in one playlist.


Potential problems with the idea? I don’t see many, but I suppose given how the Call of Duty machine runs like clockwork each year, Activision might think they’re diluting their base to release two games in the same year, even if one is a remaster. A June release of a Modern Warfare package might overshadow a fall release of a brand new installment of the game from one of the developers, I suppose. I think the year’s spread out enough where both would sell well, however, and overall it would help the franchise more than it would hurt.

Past that, Activision had a very, very bad falling out with Jason West and Vince Zampella when they left Infinity Ward and essentially defected to EA to make Titanfall. I would assume that Activision does have the right to remaster the first two Modern Warfare games crafted by that duo if they wanted to as part of the separation agreement, but it could be another point of conflict they want to avoid unless it’s very clear cut from a legal perspective.

Still overall, petitions aside, a Modern Warfare collection in this age of infinite remasters seems more than logical. I care less about seeing old games look pretty on new consoles, and more about reliving some of the best multiplayer experiences from my youth. That’s why Halo: The Master Chief Collection was at first the most amazing remaster yet when it was going to deliver exactly that, and then ultimately the most disappointing when the multiplayer portion has only just now started working almost four months after release. All of this Modern Warfare HD talk is assuming Activision would not run into the same sort of catastrophic issues at release.

I’m so confident in the logic of this idea, I expect it to become a reality within a next year or two, just like I’m predicting Call of Duty will return to WWII for new installments shortly. Time is a flat circle, and all that.

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