“Vote to Skip.”
Call of Duty 4, arguably the single most influential game of last generation, is getting a remaster for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. It will be bundled with all special editions of the new Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, starting at $80.
The remaster will include both the campaign and the multiplayer, and Activision says that multiplayer features like XP, Prestige and killstreaks will be brought back.
However, this is not a one-to-one recreation of the original, as there will only be 10 multiplayer maps in the remaster. The original had 16 at launch, so that means that six have to go. But in a multiplayer as iconic as COD 4, how could you stand to cut anything? Well, I bit the bullet and listed my picks for what I would choose to remove, in ascending order of reluctance.
Five of the ten (Backlot, Crash, Crossfire, Overgrown and Bog) have already been revealed, and I doubt Raven Software will include any maps from the lackluster Variety Map Pack. So these are just going to be the runts of the litter from the original 16.
I never liked Bloc. It was certainly unique, but I always felt like I could only walk around the 30% of the map that was inside of the hotel, for fear of snipers. The namesake block in the center of the map was a death trap, which I guess was the point. But still, I never felt like I had anywhere to go.
It’s awkward in Team Deathmatch, and its openness makes objective games frustrating. There’s nothing wrong with sniper maps, but compared to the maps it’s up against, Bloc is easily the weakest link.
Like the others on this list, District is not a bad map. But it’s just not memorable. To me, District is the poor man’s Crossfire. There are some neat sections, like the market in the north, but everything that District does well, other maps do better.
It’s also not just not pretty. It’s not a visually exciting OpFor map like Showdown, and it looks drabs. As far as Middle Eastern maps go, District is pretty forgettable.
I like Vacant, but it’s a little out of control. There’s little cover, and I always felt like I was getting shot every which way. Almost all of the action was centralized in that main hallway, and the surrounding areas like the warehouse were practically barren.
Infinity Ward regarded it well enough to bring the map back in a Modern Warfare 2 DLC, so this map has a better chance of reappearing than the others on this list. I recognize that it’s a solid objective map, but again, there’s other maps that do it better.
Visually, Downpour is unique. The rain creates low visibility, and the tall grass and greenhouses make stealth a viable option. The vacant houses provided some memorable close-quarters encounters, and the useless mounted LMG is a classic COD 4 staple.
But in comparison to its sister map Overgrown, Overgrown just does the things that Downpour does but better. It’s a superior objective map, it’s set in the same grassy Russian farmland, and it too has a useless LMG. So given that Overgrown was announced to be included in the remaster, I think this lowers the likelihood for Downpour’s inclusion significantly.
Another sniper map, Countdown takes place during the climax of the campaign at the Russian military base. Players use long lines of site to take out enemies from across the compound, while avoiding pitfalls into cavernous missile silos. While smoke obscures the battlefield and there’s bits of cover scattered around the map, Countdown just felt like a free-for-all as far as strategy was concerned.
While not as extreme as Bloc, Countdown’s design favored players who preferred to hide on the grassy knoll and take potshots. And while that’s not a bad thing, it wasn’t always fun to run around in the center of the map, praying you didn’t get picked off.
This one was probably the most difficult to put on this list… The campaign level which inspires Wet Work is arguably the most iconic moment in all of the original Modern Warfare. It’s the only map where the night vision feature is potentially useful, and its symmetrical design lends itself to objective gametypes. It’s one of the most unique maps in the game, but it just doesn’t cut it.
I couldn’t put my finger on what exactly doesn’t work here, but Wet Work is one of those maps where the novelty of the setting on the cargoship is more exciting than the map itself. It’s a “line-in-the-sand” sort of map where both teams clearly control one half of the ship, and I just don’t think that works in Call of Duty’s multiplayer. It pains me to say it, but Wet Work doesn’t belong in the final remaster.
While I may have sounded overly negative, I think all of these picks are solid maps at least. However, I think in comparison to the other incredible maps in the original Modern Warfare, these ones are either too similar to superior maps or just don’t work as well as the Pipelines or the Backlots.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t be upset if any of these ended up in the remaster. It sucks that something has to be cut for this remaster, but we’re fortunate that the multiplayer is even being brought back at all. Look forward to more details about the Call of Duty 4 remake this June at E3.