Dante’s Inferno: Trials of St. Lucia DLC review

Huge add-on mode brings a new playable character, a level editor and endless user-created arena challenges

Creating a wave is as simple as picking out a game mode (“Kill ‘em all” is the default, although there are nine others to choose from), deciding which monsters you want and determining their toughness, how many you want to spawn and how much health and mana they should give up when they croak. You can also place traps and aid items in strategic (read: pre-selected) places around the arena.

The catch is that you’re limited by each wave’s “budget,” which assigns a point value to every monster or item; hit the point cap, and you can’t add anything else. Unfortunately, this means you can’t just mob yourself with more than, say, 14 zombies (fewer, if you’re adding more complex creatures), but it’s done with the intent of keeping the game running fast with two players onscreen.

And run fast it does; sometimes too fast. If you got used to the helpful moments of slow motion the game would provide when you started a fatality or parried a blow, you may be surprised when you’re playing with a buddy and the game only gives you a split-second to react to onscreen kill prompts. Because the usual slow-mo would slow the action down for both players, the developers decided to keep things speedy. So for your sake, your reaction time had better be lightning-fast.

What Trials of St. Lucia brings to the table is deceptively simple, but ultimately a lot of fun. Lucia herself is a lot more fun than the comparatively sluggish Dante, the co-op action is fast and gruesome and the varied goals and challenges keep the trials from ever really getting boring (and the community-rating system, ideally, will keep the more boring trials from ever getting to you). And if nothing else, the level editor can turn creating your own trials into an almost casual experience; want to just dick around and see what it’s like to fight against a mix of impossibly tough demons, then dial their health down to the minimum and kick their asses while “testing” your trials? You're free to do exactly that. There are certainly worse ways you can have fun for $10.

May 3, 2010

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
We recommend