‘Call of Duty’ Is Bringing Back Its Old School Features

It's like 2009 all over again.
September 14, 2018
8 mins read

Picture this: It’s the winter of 2009. “Call of Duty” is owning the gaming industry. You and your friends just got the brand-new “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” and can’t wait to get online. You finally turn your XBOX on, join a match with your friends and let the fun begin.

After playing for hours on end, you never get bored. You just bask in the beauty of the first-person shooter that was way ahead of its time and continue to push yourself for that famed 25 kill-streaks and end the match with a nuke.

These were great times.

The “Call of Duty” franchise, however, has recently acknowledged the popularity of the original game and decided to go back to its roots. Nearly 10 years later in 2018, “Call of Duty” has been putting out a new installment every fall season.

Each of these games reached incredibly high numbers of sales and some were extremely well-done. The issue, however, is that some of them were anything but well-done.

It turns out that the franchise has decided to make sure nobody forgets what made them the biggest first-person shooter franchise in the world. “Modern Warfare 2,” most gamers would say, was their greatest success ever.

The time seemed appropriate to bring it back, but how could the game make a comeback if it was created for older platforms that are obsolete? Well, the XBOX One platform has made it possible to play old XBOX 360 games directly on the console through a process called “backwards compatibility.”

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” is remastering combining its old play features with new. (Image via GameSpot)

This means that certain games formatted through the old XBOX 360 can be installed and played on the new XBOX One without any issues.

So, through this process, XBOX has slowly been releasing games with this compatibility so that nostalgic players can return to some of their favorite games of all time. But not every game is compatible, and new ones are released from time to time.

Then, essentially out of nowhere, “Call of Duty” released everyone’s favorite game back onto online servers just over a week ago. The gaming world went crazy.

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” a staple for so many people’s childhood, has become available again for all those who enjoyed it in 2009. In its first day of being rereleased, the game servers saw more players online playing the game than any other day since its original release nine years ago.

That’s a pretty insane feat, especially considering that the game’s original release broke a ton of records in terms of sales and online player traffic. And now, suddenly, “Call of Duty” is back on top.

After releasing fairly average games, such as “Call of Duty: Ghosts and Advanced Warfare,” the franchise struggled to breakthrough the way they did with “Modern Warfare 2” as the years went on. Their later installments began to stray away from their classic warfare dynamics and varied heavily year-to-year with consistency in online gameplay.

Loyal fans of the franchise, however, have never left. The year-to-year games receive a lot of buzz no matter what, mostly due to the reputation of the “Call of Duty” franchise. Nonetheless, “Call of Duty” struck gold with several of their games and took the gaming world by storm.

But, after several of their games featured futuristic warfare tactics and absurd weaponry that resemble the alien stylings of the franchise “Halo,” the franchise fell off a bit. After underwhelming reviews plagued the 2016 installment, “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” the franchise announced that they were finished with the futuristic level of play, which was not a hit for fans.

In that same release, “Call of Duty” began a different trend for itself. Realizing that it’s been years since some of their classic hit games have been played, they decided to remaster the first game that started it all. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” which released in 2007, was the first installment that featured their famed online play style.

This new remastered game will give original fans the option to play multiplayer and online while keeping the game’s original style. (Image via LevelCamp)

Remastering a game means to update it significantly with newer aspects that were not featured in the original. Remastered games feature better graphics, more gameplay and fewer technical issues.

By releasing the game in a remastered version in 2016, “Call of Duty” fans turned their heads. With rejuvenated graphics, updated weapons and maps and new and old gaming audiences, the “Modern Warfare” remastered version helped bring a lot of gamers joy.

This began the trend. The resurgence of all the best games from the franchise were inevitably on their way back to the forefront of gaming in a big way. Following the success of the “Modern Warfare” remastering, “Call of Duty” announced the production of the remastering of “Modern Warfare 2,” the bigger and better sequel to its 2007 predecessor.

The major talking point about this announcement, however, is that the franchise specifically mentioned that only the campaign was being remastered. This means that, in the new-and-improved game, the main feature would be lacking its most noteworthy experience: The online play.

This was concerning for players, obviously, because nobody wants to play “Modern Warfare 2” by yourself. The best part of the game was crushing all the noobs to earn kill-streaks and proceed to talk smack to total strangers with your friends.

If “Call of Duty” isn’t going to release the online servers for the remastered version, what are players going to do? Enter, “backwards compatibility.” XBOX One servers came to the rescue with that same exact game from 2009, available in its nostalgic entirety all over again.

The game is available on the XBOX store for only $15. What a steal for one of the most played video games in history, right?

The remastered version is still on its way, but without an online multiplayer mode, all the hype stays around the newly playable original version, bringing so many gamers back to their childhood. Now it’s time to go score some nukes.

Joey Cunningham, University of Arizona

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Joey Cunningham

University of Arizona

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