The multiplayer portions of Sony’s blockbuster first-person shooter title Killzone 3 will be released on the PlayStation Network as a free download, the company announced today on the PlayStation Blogcast, though the free version will sport a few restrictions.
Coming to North America February 28 (just a few days after the game’s first anniversary), the free download will grant players access to Killzone 3′s Warzone, Guerrilla Warfare, and Operations modes as well as all maps and DLC packs. However, free players will be prevented from ranking up past “Sergeant,” the 10th rank out of 45 in the game.
In order to continue leveling up and achieving new trophies and weapons, players will have to unlock the full multiplayer mode at a cost of $14.99, or buy the full game, which also include an extensive single-player mode. It’s a structure that’s similar to other recent high-profile games that have added a free-to-play offering, like World of Warcraft, which caps free players at level 20.
Unlocking the full multiplayer game will also grant access to a series of double-experience events, including a double experience weekend starting Friday, March 2. Any player who upgrades to the paid version will also be granted access to 24 hours of double experience play.
The announcement is one of the most significant moves yet in the slow arrival of free-to-play gaming on consoles. It is not, however, the first free game to grace Sony’s PlayStation 3—several games within the PlayStation Home social network are available free of charge, including Sodium, a vehicular combat game funded by microtransactions.