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Sydney almost featured in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s campaign, now shows off multiplayer’s Exo Grapple

In a discussion with Stevivor on the origins of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s new, Sydney-based ‘Perplex’ map, Sledgehammer Games’ Michael Condrey admitted the Australian city almost featured in the game’s main campaign.

“We’d prototyped a map in early development for the main game, set in Sydney,” Condrey said. “The flow just didn’t work the way we wanted.”

Extra time to work on DLC meant the ember didn’t just die with the release of Advanced Warfare.

“The extra time that the DLC afforded the team, well it made this something we could come back to. It was the right time — for the first time in CoD history — to put a map based in Australia, and we’re really proud of it,” Condrey said.

“Players will find this one memorable.”


The new “Ascendance” DLC map pack meant Sledgehammer could use Sydney as a launchpad — pun intended — for multiplayer’s new Exo Grapple ability.

“Grapple is something we pulled from the campaign,” Condrey explained. “It’s an Exo ability that we really enjoyed in the campaign levels, and we really worked hard to get it to feel flexible and well-balanced in multiplayer.

“We’d come up with designs [ahead of this DLC map pack release] but we really didn’t have it right. When we release something new to the multiplayer release, it has to be great, so we just kept working at it. Now, it’s a ton of fun.

“Verticality and the boost jump have proved to be exciting to people; this gives you that. It also gives you really quick horizontal movement that you couldn’t quite get before. It gives you a new melee. It keeps you off the mini-map when you’re moving around, giving you an advantage rather than using the boost jump all the time. You can also use it to cling a wall and hang there for three or four seconds, which gives you a great sniper or overwatch position; it’s really strategic.”

While the ability works well in any map, Condrey said, it works best in Sydney.

“I personally like it in ‘Perplex’ the most,” Condrey asserted. “That map — the way that verticality is built; it’s small, it’s fast. In modes like Uplink, where all the nodes are at the top, it works so well.”

You can get a glimpse of ‘Perplex’ and the Exo Grapple ability in the following gameplay trailer:

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s “Ascendance” DLC map pack is available from today on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. A release will follow in about a month on PlayStation and Windows PC.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.