Game news Pax Dei: “The game of your life”, this sandbox and social MMO aims to revolutionize the genre, and it will undoubtedly succeed!
As part of an exclusive presentation, we were able to discover the alpha of “Pax Dei”, a sandbox MMO in which players take over a desert world | will eventually be able to build cities and kingdoms. A very ambitious title, led by veterans of Eve Online. Here are our impressions.
All images in this article are from the alpha version of the MMO Pax Dei.
Just imagine… A desert land that stretches as far as the eye can see, where only the remains of an ancient civilization remain. Here magic, myths and ghosts exist, but above all everything remains to be done: houses, villages and finally kingdoms. A land so desolate that it welcomes no NPCs, only real players who have come on a “pilgrimage”. This world is the dream of the company Mainframe Industries with Pax Dei, a sandbox and social MMO. “This is the game of a lifetime, many of us have wanted to play this game for a long time”, tells us in an interview Sulka Haro – chief producer officer and co-founder of the studio. “The idea is to create a virtual world that millions of people want to live in for years.” A “big” dream, of which we already had a foretaste.
Let’s wander through the forest
As part of a closed alpha, we were offered the beginning of Pax Dei… Here the team focused on what it calls ‘peaceful gameplay’: exploring a huge world, collecting resources, crafting objects, building your house! Neither one nor two, after creating our avatar (in an already quite complete interface), we set foot in the province of Merrie, more precisely the “Heartland” of Shire, with nothing more than three pieces of cloth on our backs. The Heartlands are sacred regions where the player can claim any piece of land and make it their home.
Confidently – under the guidance of a divine protector – we set out on an adventure, picking up stones and pieces of wood along the way. Ideal to build an ax and then an improvised hammer and get interested in the craft aspect. As it stands now, Pax Dei already offers quite a few workbenches (be it building, forging or even sewing) and everything you need to build a house worthy of the name… During our presentation, Mainframe even showed us a village entirely owned by the players made. There was everything: mansions; a central square; a bridge to cross the river. When several plots are claimed next to each other, the buildable area increases!
Social at the heart of the equation
Of course, to achieve this result you don’t need three sticks and two and a half stones: the easiest thing is still to – spoiler – work together with other players… “Everything we have done is focused on work and cooperation, to make social interactions the central mechanism of the experience,” explains Reynir Hardarson, game director of Pax Dei. The man and his team firmly believe in this social dimension. “A few years ago we built EVE Online (then space MMO developed by CCP, editor’s note) and there was an emphasis on human interactions (…) Back then we learned that the most fascinating thing about an MMO is playing with other people, together or against each other”. With this choice, the space game brought to life some pretty crazy anecdotes, especially the “greatest betrayal in history.”
Reynir Hardarson isn’t the only sailor who worked on EVE Online! This is also the case for Pétur Örn Þórarinsson, lead game designer… Mainframe Industries also has talents from all backgrounds across Europe – 70 permanent developers -, from the world of MMO, AAA and even mobile. In particular, we can mention former architects of Habbo Hotel (an old metaverse for teens that became famous in the early 2000s), Angry Birds, World of Warcraft, Hellblade – or Alan Wake. In short, everything you need to bring Pax Dei to life. We have not yet specified it, but the studio wants its MMO to eventually be in the “cloud”, that is, available on all media – PC, console, mobile – and without the slightest download. Oh, and the title runs on Unreal Engine 5.
The road is still (very) long
You can see us coming: Pax Dei is a very ambitious project, both in content and form, and there is currently no release date to look forward to. Pétur Örn Þórarinsson even admits to us that in a sense the game will never be “really finished”, because Mainframe Industries has free rein to add more and more mechanisms (the company is increasingly funded by investors through a venture capital fund). And Reynir Hardarson has no shortage of mechanics.
“We see the first players as ‘pilgrims’ who arrive on an uninhabited land (…) The idea is that people start by building a house – and that house becomes the base of a village (…) eventually you will be able to to build kingdoms, it’s the ultimate dream. A tangible world because it is built by the players, and the players are really the most important thing in the game, and the drama between the players and the coalitions ensures that the game will last forever. – Reynir Hardarson, game director of Pax Dei
A dream project that could take “decades” to realize, Pétur confides Örn Þórarinsson. But this taste makes us want to believe it. With its crafting system and solid tech (with a lovely Skyrim-like atmosphere), Pax Dei gives us exactly what we need to get our imaginations working. If you close your eyes, you can easily imagine hundreds of towns, from hamlets to the largest kingdoms, and players with varied roles, from peasant to ghoul slayer in a dungeon! Because here Mainframe Industries promises us a world where everyone can find their way without having to worry about a level cap. A dream project yes, but one that seems to be coming to life.