Dante's Inferno: Trials of St. Lucia DLC Hands-On

Creation and cooperation are the hallmarks of this upcoming downloadable content for EA's action game.

After finishing his tour of the nine circles of hell, you'd think that Dante, the poet-warrior who stars in EA's recently released action game Dante's Inferno, might want to take a rest, but as the saying goes, there is no rest for the wicked. In the upcoming Trials of St. Lucia downloadable content, Dante will once again be thrown into the fire, taking on wave after wave of hell's most horrible concoctions. Only this time, he'll have help. With the debut of the titular St. Lucia--an angelic, winged warrior who is a formidable fighter up close and at range--the Trials DLC will include co-op play as Dante and Lucia team up in a series of challenges created by EA developers and, eventually, the fans themselves. We recently tried out both the cooperative play and creation tools in the Trials of St. Lucia DLC during a visit to EA's Redwood Shores campus.

So, who is St. Lucia? She's the patron saint of the blind in Christian faith--a woman who, according to hagiographic texts, refused to marry a pagan suitor and subsequently was punished by having her eyes gouged out. In the game, however, Lucy (as she's colloquially known) is pure butt-kicker, from the point of her deadly scythe (this one presumably not stolen from Death) to the tips of her massive wings that allow her to briefly glide in the air. Though not as powerful as Dante in terms of melee combat, Lucia's ability to fly and to shoot formidable blasts of energy out of her eyeless sockets make her an effective ranged combatant.

Together, in co-op play, Dante and Lucy make a formidable pair throughout the more than 40 challenges that will be packed in with the Trials DLC. All are created by EA developers, many of whom worked on the original game, and these challenges offer a number of different play modes that weren't found in the original game. Of course, you can play through levels that will require you to kill everything onscreen, but there's more to do, including challenges that will test your reflexes and your discretion. For instance, one mode requires you to rack up a melee combo of a certain number of hits, and another asks you to kill only the monsters that have a mark above their head. Other modes include a "don't kill the prisoner" mode, where you're trying to save the life of a non-player character while destroying all the rest of hell's minions onscreen.

During the challenges you'll revisit some of the areas you encountered while touring the nine levels of hell from the original game, but there will be a handful of new levels, as well as two enemies you'll encounter that weren't in the original game--the Forest Siren and the Death Knight (both from the Dark Forest DLC released in early March). You'll be able to use all of this content and more to create challenges of your own using the built-in editor that will come with the Trials DLC.

The basics of challenge creation are straightforward: Choose a level; the number of waves you want in that level; the enemies, traps, and aids that will appear in each wave; and the type of mode rules you want each wave to follow. You can add up to six levels in a challenge, and as many as 12 waves per level. That can result in some lengthy challenges, especially when you start tossing in lots of enemies and conditions per wave. There are some restrictions in place, however, to prevent you from clogging the screen with blade babies. Each wave you create has an allotted budget that is slowly filled up with each enemy, trap, or aid you add. Once you've reached the maximum, you won't be able to add anything else to your challenge wave without first taking something away. In addition, any enemy, trap, or aid you add to your level must be placed in one of several predetermined spots on the level map.

Those restrictions aside, the creation tools have some flexibility for those who want to dive deeper into making their challenges more difficult. For instance, you can tweak the toughness and health level of any individual enemy. You can micromanage traps too, including the timing of when a trap springs and how much damage it causes when it strikes the player, among other variables. Before you save and publish your challenge, you'll be able to test it thoroughly thanks to easy-to-use testing tools that will let you play entire levels, single waves, or the entire challenge at any point.You can use these tools to create up to 100 challenges that you can then upload and share with other Trials players.

All challenges are rated for difficulty through an algorithm running under the hood that calculates things like the number of waves, different modes used, difficulty of enemies, and so on. The more difficult a challenge, the more points you'll earn for completing it, and all points you earn will go toward your online leaderboard score. You can even earn point multipliers by beating challenges five, 10, or more times. Those point milestones, as they're known in the game, are incentives to keep you coming back to play challenges over again, and a five-star rating system will let you rate the challenges of others.

As for our created challenge level, we were able to cobble together a series of challenges using both Lucy and Dante (you can create solo or cooperative levels and can combine Dante with Lucy, Dante with another Dante, or put two Lucys together). We tossed in a number of different modes, including one mode where the goal was to use only melee attacks against all enemies onscreen. However, because we tossed in some hell minions as enemies (who are impervious to physical attacks until you hit them with holy energy), we quickly discovered that we had broken our own level's rules. A quick edit or two was all that was needed to fix the problem, and before long we had a completed challenge that we affectionately dubbed "Hell-o World." Yes, we're probably going to hell for that pun.

You too will have your chance at eternal damnation and challenge creation when the Trials of St. Lucia DLC is released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on April 29.

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Discussion

62 comments
PixelBully
PixelBully

EA's called in the defibrillator to restart a game that had no pulse to begin with. Guess who flipping the doctors bill?

SithChampion
SithChampion

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Hotchip123
Hotchip123

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ZzZEVOLUTIONZzZ
ZzZEVOLUTIONZzZ

@j-force01 Jedijon04 pretty much summed up my thoughts for you just check out his post. DMC came out before god of war and uses the same hack and slash mechanics GOW does.

JediJon04
JediJon04

@j-force01 You clearly don't understand what it means by saying something's a clone of something else in the world of games. In terms of gameplay (camera, controls, puzzles), God of War and Dante's Inferno are indeed alike or "clones". Where their resemblances end is the story, environment, etc. In the same vein, Devil May Cry and God of War share much the same camera angles, controls and puzzles. The difference is their story, environment and weapons. It actually seems Dante's Inferno and Devil May Cry have more in common than the Dante's Inferno/God of War comparison, seeing as many characters/places in Devil May Cry are callbacks to the original Divine Comedy, the basis of Dante's Inferno, as well as similar cameras and controls. I own and love all three series' games, and they're all unique from each other. Saying one is superior to the other is personal preference so please, stop trying to top someone in a forum fight and just enjoy the games. Lastly, this is supposed to be about the upcoming DLC. If you don't like the game, don't post here. Go make a forum thread elsewhere.

j-force01
j-force01

dantes inferno cant surpass god of war

j-force01
j-force01

@ZzZEVOLUTIONZzZ how can you say that god of war is a D.M.C clone? god of war is better than d.m.c

zidan4000
zidan4000

@jedijon04 i meant that the game was trying very hard to get an atmosphere like GoW im talking about the setting and how you go against the saints (or gods), actually i think that the gameplay is unique. and by the way didnt know that the same level designers from GoW worked in dante's inferno. maybe im wrong but to each his own and that is what i think anyway.

JediJon04
JediJon04

Can't wait for this DLC. @zidan4000 Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Did you forget that many of the same level designers from the God of War Trilogy worked on Dante's Inferno? Sure, it plays a lot the same but beyond gameplay it doesn't take any ideas from God of War. Dante doesn't seek vengeance, he's not a brutal madman and he only cares about saving Beatrice. It has as much in common with God of War as God of War has with Devil May Cry, whether or not you want to see it...and DMC has as much in common with other games in the past. Yes, I love GoW too, but stop acting like GoW is completely original.

zidan4000
zidan4000

@ZzZEVOLUTIONZzZ it is a god of war clone , and no ,god of war is nothing like devil may cry and it doesnt try to be like, you wouldnt understand until you play dante's inferno and you will see how the game tries to be like god of war in many ways.

-KU-
-KU-

@ BlackhawkBix Actually Santa Monica said they`re not going to end it just take a brief period of rest to work on new IP`s

ZzZEVOLUTIONZzZ
ZzZEVOLUTIONZzZ

@ j-force01 then u could say god of war was a devil may cry clone... It is not a "clone" it is a genre. The story is nothing alike. On topic i haven't played dante's inferno YET but I will be purchasing it shortly to many good games have come out here recently but is on my MUST play list.

Naro003
Naro003

I've my doubts 'bout this game, it do not sounds as great as it sees, the battle system and movement mechanicals dont appear to be a point up, the game its too short 'n repetitive they say, I guess buyint it wont be a good choice.

Sulima
Sulima

@capitalthoughts I in part agree with capitalthoughts. While it does not really bother me that the game uses Catholic religious symbols, I do think that there should be more respect given to religion in media (including games). There are people that pray to St. Lucia and I am sure they will not apreciate her shoting laser beams out of her eye sockets. Most Catholic saints are symbols of peace and not destruction. I bet EA would never make a similar game using Muslim religious symbols. I wonder why?

SithChampion
SithChampion

This game sucked. No dlc should be out for this.

Ratatoskr321
Ratatoskr321

This is pretty great for DLC! I'm very impressed EA. Challenge modes are great but adding in a challenge editor is creative and impressive.

majahret
majahret

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Alezzx73
Alezzx73

guys with your religious believes you can argue and argue but its only a game dont get so brought up on this thing i understand that you want to defend your believes but its just a game your only going to make it worse for yourself trust me.

capitalthoughts
capitalthoughts

@majahret..Where did I say it put a damper on my religious views. There is right, and there is wrong though. There is nothing ever good about perverting someone else's sacred people or places to sell a game. It is just a matter of being civil, and without civility, you will have no civilization. That isn't just me, that is Confucious, Buddha, Ghandi, Plato and every other great person from history that will be long remebered after you, me, and EA are gone and forgotten about.

majahret
majahret

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

capitalthoughts
capitalthoughts

This is truly a disgrace. Mad props too EA for crapping all over St. Lucia. Truly a class act. For their next DLC, how about Jesus shoots beams of energy from his wounds that he suffered on the cross. Seriously, if you feel so inclined to include important religious figures in a game, you should know that they mean something to people. May not mean something to everyone else, but since when has it made anyone cool to insult another's religion in such a manner?

Morreski
Morreski

awesome another hack n slash game, keep it comming!

antsaround
antsaround

Dante's Inferno Blows A Lot of Smoke and Never Really Goes Anywhere! Bayonetta is more entertaining and I don't own it either. Thank you Blockbuster Video!

dean0586
dean0586

@ LorDofGod it may be like god of war, or dmc if you like. but thats just like saying every fps is the same, i think of these games as a genre and not a clone. and dante's inferno pulls it off well. imo

LuongoRox1
LuongoRox1

@Solid_Azeus: You know what would make your comment better? If IGN actually reviewed the DLC. I'm not some fanboy of the game, I didn't really enjoy it. But don't go making crap up.

raith616
raith616

i agree with KoRniTo, though i would agree also with gamespot that the latter sections of the game were disapointing after how good the start was, though farmfresh might want to check out who the founding faction in the christian religion was (definately catholisiswhich was the christian church in the time period of the devine comedy)

KoRniTo
KoRniTo

I think people here need to start respecting others opinions. I played the whole game and I would give it a 8.5. I understand a good portion of you think the game was crap but I'll give a try on this DLC. It just might turn out to be fun as the full game itself.

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

GS needs to get their facts right. Dante's Inferno is not in any way affiliated with Christianity, it's more Catholicism, which is completely different. Christianity does not have "patron saints" and angels for different aspects of life.

LorDofGod
LorDofGod

I like very much this game but he is identical of God of War, the same thing.The difference is in holy cross what Dante throw but the combo is the same.

Solid_Azeus
Solid_Azeus

so glad i rented DI, i beat it in 4hrs and i don't see anything bringing me to buy anything more related to this specific DI. IGN already reviewed the DLC to be 1hr long content with recycled stuff and a non-sensical story with plot holes. Make Dead space 2 instead of this crap!

BlackhawkBix
BlackhawkBix

With God of War coming to a close, there really isn't a standout action game series. Devil May Cry has already seen 4 titles, and I don't see them doing much more with that. Bayonetta, Darksiders, and Dante's Inferno are really the only games that have a grasp on that crown right now. The Trials of St. Lucia might be what this game needs to have it stand out and not be seen just as another God of War clone. G.O.W. never featured co-op, so this is definitely a first.

SciFiCat
SciFiCat

"Lucia's ability to fly and to shoot formidable blasts of energy out of her EYELESS SOCKETS make her an effective ranged combatant." :| wait, WHAT?!?! So, EA, when are we gonna get the "Jesus Uncrossed" DLC Mission Pack? Do we get to play as a gritty reboot Jesus as he swings his massive cross as hammer, shots bloody spikes out of his hands and feet Bayonetta style and uses his Crown of Thorns to bash enemies? Oh, could you include the Spear of Longinus as a secondary weapon, that would be cool, thanks.

Chickan_117
Chickan_117

Coop would be an awesome addition to this game and help separate it from GOW in people's minds :)

todd129
todd129

I liked this game and I'm looking forward to picking up GOWIII tonight at midnight as well. I'll get the St. Lucia DLC, too. I say play the games and make up your own mind.

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

I bought the game and I like it and I thought it was amazing.

02050muh
02050muh

what a lame game...i wanna buy it for my 360...but with that kind of point in gamespot review,and god of war 3 coming........in your face!! dante's inferno!!!!

Hellsinner
Hellsinner

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Hellsinner
Hellsinner

@Amroto The difference is that GoW is actually good while this game will bore you to death. One thing this game doesnt need is more bland wave/challenges

AltoShadow13
AltoShadow13

With god of war coming to a close for a while this would be there chance to make the game stand out more. Now they just have to make the levels longer and dante have more gear to fight with.

ShadowSlayer272
ShadowSlayer272

If this DLC is as good as it sounds i might actually pick this game up when it hits like 20$

amroto
amroto

will we ever be able to move on and realize that god of war=kratos ...and dante's inferno=dante !!!...fine if they have the same gameplay but who cares,both are awesome and we are the benefited ppl,we all play first person shooters which nearly all of 'em have the same gameplay,so..what da heck ?? give the game a break guys.

KaBo0m
KaBo0m

sounds like a lot of recycled content lol

metalkid9
metalkid9

@jadefury27, wtf are you talking about? I said the gameplay is really glitchy. For example in one of the trials it would not count my hits (so I kept failing it because of that glitch) so I just ended up beating the sh*t out of everyone under a minute instead of waiting for the timer to run out. That's just one example. If I were to write all the glitches throughout the game it would probably fill a whole page.

moyetee2
moyetee2

I like the game but they could of made it better but part 2 hopefully mite be better but im want gow3 oh & ( advanrcer) i take that Dante' Figure off your hands ,

advanracer
advanracer

this game had so much glitches its not even funny. solved it regardless..and SO TRADING IT IN.. for GOW III. anyone want a dante' figure? LOL. I'll give it to my dog..instead.

solidniko
solidniko

ahem trying to be different from gow are we?

Serentor
Serentor

ugh most wasted money this year was spending it on this game, i finished it in like 6 or 7 hours and i expected atleast 10 - 20