Uncharted 3's multiplayer modes used to require an online pass to access, but Sony and developer Naughty Dog have rethought its payment structure 15 months later and have made accessing the online mode not only free to those who own the game, but free-to-play for everyone as a standalone multiplayer product.
The Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception Core Multiplayer Experience can be downloaded by anyone with a PSN account and will allow players to play the game's competitive multiplayer modes up to level 15 for free. After that, players will have to purchase level-cap unlocks and co-op missions. Or they can download the Uncharted 3 GOTY Edition that includes all 12 DLC maps, all co-op multiplayer modes and over 40 character skins. "Purchase the digital version and you will essentially be getting the single player game free," said Naughty Dog creative strategist Eric Monacelli on the PlayStation Blog.
While pricing isn't totally clear yet IGN listed the following rundown of add-on content:
- Raise level cap to 25 - $4.99
- Co-op Arena (W/Shade Mode) - $9.99
- Co-op Adventure (W/Fort co-op) - $11.99
- Level Cap Removed - $19.99
- Uncharted 3 GOTY digital version - $39.99
Additionally, multiplayer map packs, split-screen, and the standalone single-player game will be available for purchase.
Interestingly, Naughty Dog lead game designer Robert Cogburn told Joystiq that the game would feature retroactive leveling past the cap, so if you spend a few hours milling about at level 15 until your next paycheck arrives, then purchase a cap unlock, you'll automatically jump ahead a few levels to take advantage of all the points you would've been accumulating.
For more information about how Uncharted Multiplayer free-to-play will work and what disc and online modes are compatible with each other, Naughty Dog has a nifty FAQ that should clear things up.