Since Call of Duty’s premiere in 2003, it has always been a promising series, with each instalment selling more units than the last. The biggest gap in sales occurred between Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Call of Duty 4 sold over 100% more copies than it’s Call of Duty 3 counterpart. This is when many say the series took off into the giant that it has become today, and will remain for the coming years. Call of Duty 4 is still, to this day, hailed as the best Call of Duty ever, but does it deserve that reputation?
Before the release of Modern Warfare, Call of Duty had been a successful series, but the first three games were extremely similar and they left fans wanting a change from the repetitive World War II setting. Call of Duty 4 was set in 2011 with modern technology and equipment. This gave fans a whole new experience while maintaining the original Call of Duty feel. Perhaps the biggest advancements occurred in the Multiplayer feature of the game. Killstreaks, perks, customizable classes and a whole new arsenal of modern weapons made fans keep coming back for more. This significantly increased the replay value of the game when compared to the previous Call of Duty titles.
We also have to take into account the next generation consoles. With the arrival of these consoles, comes the arrival of a new age of gaming. One where many gamers will be looking at graphics as the primary source on whether or not to play a game. This means that many gamers will stop playing the old Call of Duty games, including Call of Duty 4, and start playing the newer games with better graphics. Of course there will always be players on the Modern Warfare servers, but I predict that those numbers will drop drastically.
An option that Activision has, is to remake Call of Duty 4. Perhaps the most successful remake of a game was done by 343 Industries when they released Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a remake of the original Halo. The remake came complete with a high-definition overhaul, new sound effects and music, and more support for Xbox Live. Activision could easily follow these steps along with adding some more customizable features and they would also be very successful. If Activision released a remastered Call of Duty 4, I think that it could keep the game alive, and many more people would play it throughout the years.
The younger generation of first person shooter players expect to have an action packed game with tons of customization and new features. If you look at another first person shooter, Blacklight Retribution, fans praise the game for it’s in depth customization feature. You can customize your character, skills, and every single aspect of your gun. Call of Duty 4 on the other hand, is nothing like that. Yes, they improved customization with the introduction of custom classes, but there was only a few guns, and each gun only had two or three attachments.So, where does that leave Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare?
The reality of it is that if Call of Duty 4 was released today, people would not like it nearly as much as they did back in 2007. Because players of the series experienced such a huge jump between Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, they interpret the game as the best installment, when in my opinion, it isn’t. Although Modern Warfare was extremely different from it’s older brothers, it was still a simple game that most people would find boring in this day and age. The reason Call of Duty 4 is held so highly, is because it was a huge step forward when compared to previous installments of the series, but when compared to the newer Call of Duty titles, it falls short.