A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered is a visually enhanced downloadable re-release of the campaign from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. The original game was released in 2009. It tells a gritty story about a group of fiercely determined soldiers tracking down and fighting a Russian zealot. Combat -- viewed from a first-person perspective -- is bloody and intense, with players using guns and grenades to kill hundreds of enemy soldiers. Close-up encounters involve stabbing and slicing with a knife. A particularly disturbing mission (that players can skip if they choose) puts players in the shoes of an undercover operative working with terrorists who kill dozens of innocent civilians and police officers in an attack on an airport, forcing the player to decide whether to participate in the slaughter to better blend in with the terrorists. This is part of the game's conflicting messaging, which alternates between showing players the horrors of war while also luring them to feel exhilarated by the thrill of combat. Parents should also be aware that in addition to gritty military violence, players will also encounter characters smoking and using strong language.
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Now I have actually played the game myself so here... Continue reading
What's it about?
CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2 CAMPAIGN REMASTERED is a graphically enhanced re-release of the story mode found in 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The six-hour campaign leads players through the events leading up to and beginning a third world war against Russian ultranationalists, including one of the most notorious missions in the history of the franchise, in which players take on the role of an undercover soldier working with terrorists who's forced to watch -- and, if the player feels the need to better blend in, take part in -- the slaughter of dozens of innocent civilians and police officers. Other missions, such as a raid on an enemy base and a fight to save a besieged city, offer more traditional war action, with players directed to avoid civilian casualties as they pursue their objectives. As a remaster, this version of the game plays very similarly to the original, with classic first-person shooter controls and brief scenarios that involve climbing, driving a snowmobile, and manning turrets. The primary differences are visual in nature, including more detailed models and textures and a higher resolution and frame rate. As the game's title implies, the popular multiplayer modes from the original aren't included.
Is it any good?
Call of Duty has always delivered breathless action and realistic graphics, so it's no surprise that this remaster, despite coming more than a decade after the original, doesn't feel all that old. Of course, it helps that no expense has been spared in tweaking Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered for modern consoles and televisions. Its characters, weapons, and environments can't quite go head-to-head with those of current big-budget blockbusters, but they're nonetheless impressively detailed and dynamic, with neat little flourishes such as the ability to tap down on the D-pad to inspect the weapon you're currently holding. And with support for 4K, HDR, and ultra-widescreen PC setups, players running the game on the latest hardware and televisions can rest assured that they will get to see the ultimate version of this campaign.
That said, prospective purchasers should keep in mind that this is a pretty short campaign. Unless you plan to work through the story multiple times, expect no more than six or seven hours of play. There are some extras, such as the Museum, where players can observe characters and vehicles from the game, but don't expect the bonus content to add much. Without the multiplayer modes -- which is where most Call of Duty players spend the bulk of their time -- there's little reason to stick around once the credits roll. In the end, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered neatly serves the needs of two types of players: older gamers nostalgic for what some consider to be the franchise's heyday, and modern fans who were too young to play it the first time around but are curious to learn what the fuss was all about. If you fit neither group, feel free to take a pass.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in media. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered, violence is used both to demonstrate the atrocities of war and to provide a form of escapist entertainment. How do you think that affects the impact of the violence on players? How did you feel participating in some of the game's more disturbing missions?
Is it justifiable to do something terrible to a small number of innocent people in order to potentially save millions? Who, if anyone, should make such a decision?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Activision
- Release date: April 2, 2020
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Intense Violence, Strong Language
- Last updated: May 20, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.