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God of War Ragnarok free Valhalla DLC is a 'celebration of the franchise'

God of War Ragnarok co-directors Mihir Sheth and Bruno Velazquez say the game's Valhalla DLC is a "celebration of the franchise."

Valhalla - which is available now for free on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 - is an extended epilogue roguelike that takes place after the events of Ragnarok and features Kratos, accompanied by Mimir, on a new journey who will experience new trials.

The co-directors told IGN in an interview that this new story for the character is "intimate," as they went on to discuss the DLC's inspiration, the growth of the series, and how players will react to Valhalla's "surprises."

Touching on the DLC's roguelike elements - which give Kratos a maxed-out skill tree and abilities - Sheth said that Sony Santa Monica is "taking an inspiration from a genre that's not really 'what we do,'" but that Valhalla is "still very firmly a God of War experience."

The developers later added that Sony always planned for the DLC to be free and that it's a "gift" to all God of War fans before the end of the year.

"This is a celebration of the franchise, its players and its history," Sheth said. "The character of Kratos is the culmination of all of this, but celebration was a theme... We need our fans to come with us because we are taking them on a journey that's quite unique in this regard.

"We want everyone, again, I stress this, if you've ever been a part of this franchise, this is for you."

Following the DLC's announcement at The Game Awards 2023, Velazquez explained in a YouTube video that Valhalla was a location that the studio wasn't able to explore in Ragnarok, and said: "In true Santa Monica Studio fashion, we had a lot of fun creating a new take on Vahalla for you to explore."

Sheth went on to say that players can expect an "unraveling adventure" that will "reframe God of War," and that no singular run will be the same, taking full advantage of the roguelike genre. 

For more, be sure to check out our list of the best story games, along with our list of the best PS5 games you can play in 2023.

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