Following on from yesterday's rumor, the PlayStation Blog has blown the lid off of the free version of Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception's multiplayer mode. Releasing today on the PlayStation Network, players can get into the game's competitive modes and play through level 15, but making progress after that will cost money. $5 raises the level cap to level 25, while $20 will remove the cap completely. The cooperative modes also cost extra money to play. Developer Naughty Dog plans to offer free multiplayer access in all of its games going forward. Polygon has that story:
"This isn't just an Uncharted thing or a Last of Us thing; it's sort of going forward, whatever we do," [director Justin Richmond] said. "I think this is going to be a 'how it works'; there is going to be a component that is digital-only, or a component that is free-to-play ... that is something that we'll see what happens. If it's a complete disaster maybe we will rethink it. But right now we're very excited for it. I think this is something that is going to pave the way for stuff that we are thinking about for the future."
If you're really going to play the Uncharted 3 multiplayer and invest some major time into it, I'd recommend just buying the complete game in its Game of the Year incarnation for a retail price of $40. That'll get you the single-player mode of the game as well as $45 worth of extra downloadable content such as maps and character skins in addition to a capless multiplayer experience complete with full cooperative modes. Freemium multiplayer is a great way to test the waters on a game of which you're unsure, but don't fall for the trick of paying more money for less content. Get the most that you can for your money when you're ready to buy.