God, this article is going to be absolutely gigantic, so strap yourself in while we reel off the highlights. Naughty Dog has announced that all of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End's multiplayer content will be available for free – including maps, modes, and cosmetic items. Some will be patched in – like the aforementioned modes and maps – while others you'll need to earn by spending Relics (a kind of in-game currency) on treasure chests. These will include random items, and while you'll have no say on what you get, you'll never unlock the same goodies twice.
It's all part of the developer's plan to keep fans engaged long beyond launch. The studio's outlined several core principles which have shaped its multiplayer mode: Fairness First (everyone always has access to all of the content), An Evolving Experience (the component will constantly be refreshed with new stuff), Content for Everyone (you can obtain everything without spending money), and Unified Community (everyone will always be able to play the same maps and modes). It's worth stressing, of course, that you will be able to buy specific items with real money if you can't wait.
But if you don't want to stump up, how will you earn extra content? Well, there'll be Daily Challenges in Uncharted 4 multiplayer for you to complete; fulfilling their objectives will earn you Relics. You'll also obtain Relics for winning matches. Once you've got enough Relics, you'll be able to buy one of two chests: Gameplay or Vanity. The former will include weapons, boosters, and the like, while the latter will include skins, taunts, and customisation items. The contents of each chest that you purchase are totally random, but you'll never, ever get any duplicates.
We're fine with this system for the cosmetic items, but it seems a bit shady to lock weapons behind the same system – especially when someone with disposable income will simply be able to purchase the best firearms from the PlayStation Store. If the game balance is good, though, no one should be able to pay their way to victory, which is good.
So, what modes will Uncharted 4 multiplayer include at launch? Well, there's Ranked (a twisted take on Team Deathmatch where you'll work your way up through leagues), Command (which is a kind of Chainlink-type experience where the MVPs carry a bounty), Team Deathmatch (you know the drill here), Plunder (a themed version of Capture the Flag), and Trials (a score-based mode involving computer controlled opponents). Co-op will be added for free in the autumn, alongside new multiplayer maps and items.
It looks like Naughty Dog plans to support this well into next year, with a cinematic replay mode coming in the summer, too. There's tons more information on the PlayStation Blog, but we've tried to compress all of the main bullet points for you in this article. What do you think? Will you be spending much time playing Uncharted 4's multiplayer? Cash in your Relics via the comments section below.