Dante's Inferno: Trials of St. Lucia Preview: Mod of War

In April, you can re-shape hell, or fly through it as a lady. And you can play through it with a friend, as co-op comes to this year's biggest God of War competitor.

A couple of weeks ago, Kotaku got a look at the upcoming downloadable content for Dante's Inferno, the Trials of St. Lucia. The Trials is an extension of the the Dante's game and the first mode of the game that will support two-player online co-op. Either Trials player can play as Dante or as new flying female character, St. Lucia.

St. Lucia is as upgradeable as Dante was, though her forked paths are defined as Earthly and Heavenly. I didn't get a chance to explore just how her abilities evolve, but I did learn that Dante or Lucia will be configured by players in this mode, regardless of how a gamer may have configured Dante in the main game.

Dante's Inferno: Trials of St. Lucia Preview: Mod of War

The Trials are arena battles, customized and shared online by players. Gamers will be able to choose from 12 hellish environments, five of which are taken from the base game. They can populate those levels with members of a 26-enemy roster, including the new Death Knight enemy and set up win conditions for each arena fight. Conditions include taking no damage, attaining a certain combo level or killing a summoner. The player can set up six trials, consisting of various numbers of waves of enemies, all of it tailored for different difficulty levels. Special decor such as health fountains, spike traps or the game's clever suicide-inducing trees can also be placed in the arenas. Players can name their overall trial that they share online, but they can't implement text in the game.

What I saw seemed fun if not altogether groundbreaking. The DLC looks to be what you'd expect: Customizable God of War-style combat, set in Dante's Inferno's Hell. The most distinct elements of Dante's, the narrative and the interaction with damned souls, is de-emphasized in this expansion in favor of malleable levels and a focus on gameplay. Whether EA is giving gamers enough options to let their creativity shine and make this a popular expansion remains to be seen.

The DLC is set to come out for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on April 29.