Naughty Dog and Sony made a welcome announcement Monday concerning Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. The multiplayer plans for the PlayStation 4 adventure shooter were laid out and it includes free DLC, co-op play, and a single-player campaign add-on.
The move to free multiplayer DLC is one that many AAA games have begun to take this generation. The original Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare showed it could be successful, along with Halo 5 for the Xbox One. Other upcoming titles taking the free DLC route include Gears of War 4 and Blizzard's Overwatch.
"Right off the bat, we want to highlight that all future maps and modes will be included with Uncharted 4 at no additional cost, and all vanity and gameplay in-game store items will be unlockable through gameplay!" Lead Game Designer Robert Cogburn announced on the PlayStation Blog.
"This means that the Uncharted 4 Multiplayer community won't be fragmented by different types of DLC, and that those who are loyal in participating in the community will be rewarded. Our DLC release approach will represent an entirely new direction for Naughty Dog, and we are confident it will have a hugely positive impact and keep the Uncharted 4 Multiplayer community thriving."
This also, of course, means the Naughty Dog will make up the lost revenue from selling DLC via optional in-game microtransactions. Players can choose to spend real world cash on "DLC Gameplay Chests" that contain random weapons, Mysticals, boosters, and other items, or on "DLC Vanity Chests" that reward random skins, hats, face wear, taunts, and more. Prices for the chests have not been revealed yet, but they can still be earned through gameplay versus purchase.
Players will earn the in-game currency, Relics, by winning Uncharted 4 multiplayer matches and completing Daily Challenges. These Relics can then be spent on chests. The success of the system will ultimately depend on the correct balance of earning Relics with the kind rewards that come out of the chests.
The main concern is the "DLC Gameplay Chests" because they come with items that impact gameplay, such as Weapons and Mysticals. Games like Halo 5 get around this by only allowing unlockable weapons and vehicles earned from packs in the Warzone modes, and not the competitive eSports-like Arena modes. Meanwhile, Gears of War 4 plans to only allow character and weapons skins as its unlockable items.
The DLC roadmap below for Uncharted 4 includes a major content release every season through next spring, and also a typo. It appears they meant "Winter 2016" instead of "Winter 2017." The highlights include a new game mode added this summer, followed by the introduction of a co-operative mode in the fall. The winter and spring release are less detailed at the moment, but includes more weapons, boosters, skins, and more.
You'll be awarded points for winning a match, and points will be deducted for losing. When you acquire the necessary number of points, you'll enter into Qualifiers – which is where things get really interesting. At this point, a player is given the opportunity to increase his or her Rank by winning a certain number of the next few matches. Failing to do so will knock the player out of Qualifiers, and he or she must earn points again for another attempt.
For example, if you are Rank Bronze I and earn enough points to enter Qualifiers, you must win three of your next five matches to reach Rank Silver III. Failing to win at least three of your next five matches will result in a failure in Qualifiers, and will force you to earn points to try again.
This is joined by standard Team Deathmatch mode, where you can be matched up with anyone. Command is the big objective gametype for Uncharted 4, though. Players must capture sites around the map. The player that earns the most points to the team's objective is made Team Captain and receives bonuses such as the ability to revive teammates faster, more health when downed, and cheaper in-match store items. However, this also puts a target on the Captain's back with increasing visibility until they are knocked out by the opposing side.
Plunder is the Uncharted spin on Capture the Flag. Players will need to capture an idol and return it to their treasure chest to score points.
Those that still need to fine tune their abilities can take on the Trials game mode against NPCs. Higher scores and Relics can be earned by completing challenges for using specific multiplayer mechanics.
Details on the single-player story add-on for Uncharted 4 was not shared. All that is known currently is it is included with a "Triple Pack" DLC offering, which includes the add-on plus two multiplayer packs for an unannounced price.
What do you think of Uncharted 4 going the free DLC route? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via PlayStation]