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Ex-EVE Online developers build new MMORPG in Unreal Engine 5 – promise maximum freedom and strong details

Pax Dei is a new sandbox . for PC inspired by medieval mythology. You meet magical creatures and spirits, fight with typical weapons like sword and bow and can explore a completely open world. It is being developed by indie studio Mainframe Industries, founded by former EVE Online developers.

What is this game exactly? In Pax Dei you create a character and use it to explore the beautiful game world in Unreal Engine 5. In a preview that we from MeinMMO were able to take part in, it looked really good, roughly on the level of Ashes of Creation.

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The focus is on group play, because even the fights against PvE creatures are tough. For special points of interest you will have to form a group with other players and can use a Holy Trinity.

However, the . does not have fixed classes, but lets you determine your playstyle through the choice of weapons. That – and also the combat system – is reminiscent of New World. You can hit, dodge, and block easily and hard. Even the “bounce animation” when dodging looks very similar in both games.

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Pax Dei also offers:

  • A very interesting building and housing system.
  • A zoom function that allows you to look specifically at decorations, equipment, but also elements in the open world. Even small engravings on worn equipment become visible, which should also play a role for the lore.
  • An economic system purely based on players. No equipment is dropped by mobs, there are only materials from which players can then craft armor and weapons.
  • There is said to be PvP, but there are no details on that yet. The only thing that is certain is that you shouldn’t be forced to participate in PvP if you don’t want to.
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It will appear first on Steam for PC. Later, however, it is planned as a cloud .. This should offer the opportunity to play it on consoles or smartphones.


When will the . appear? A release is planned “soon”. A more precise date was not given to us.

You can watch a first trailer here, but it doesn’t show any gameplay:


New . Pax Dei – Reveal trailer


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Housing and richness of detail as absolute highlights

What is the . really about? Pax Dei has two special features that stand out for us from the usual sandbox market. On the one hand, there is the construction system:

  • You can claim an area in the open world and just start building. However, this area can never be located on a street or at a specific point of interest.
  • You have the option to build completely on your own in your territory, or open it up and have friends help you. In addition to typical decorations, you can also set up crafting benches.
  • If you want, you can also connect your housing area with other players. Small settlements and cities can be built in this way.
  • In the preview, several developers got together, built several houses and built a small fence around them. It looked like a cozy medieval settlement. Everyone has also designed their house to match a profession. One hut had several smelting furnaces, while another had alchemy benches in his house.
  • You can give up your housing zone yourself, but it cannot be attacked or destroyed by other players.

In the preview we have already seen different floors, walls and doors, which were made of either stone or wood. There are also fences, crafting benches and all kinds of decorations for your house.

The other peculiarity is the zooms on all possible elements in the game. At the beginning we were shown a mushroom that simply grows on the ground and can be collected. With the zoom function, the mushroom suddenly took up almost the entire screen.

He is presented in great detail and also tells us some information about himself. So it said “insects avoid this fungus, does that mean anything?” The game tells you that you shouldn’t eat this mushroom.

That sounds like a very niche element at first, but it plays an important role in the world. Because there are no story quests, but diaries, inscriptions on the walls or engravings on objects. In the short 20-minute preview alone, there were dozens of different elements that could be zoomed in on.

Who is behind the game? The Game Director of the game is Reynir Hardarson. He co-founded the studio CCP Games, which is best known for EVE Online, one of the most successful sandbox .s.


CEO is Thor Gunnarsson, who has meanwhile been CEO of CCP. With Pétur Örn Þórarinsson there is another member of EVE Online in the team. He was Game DesEsports ExtrasDirector and takes on the role of Lead Game Designer at Mainframe.

More than 70 developers are currently working for Mainframe, all of whom focus on Pax Dei. Former Blizzard developers will also be there. The studio was founded in April 2019.

A sandbox game that still sounds very vague

What is our impression of the game? Graphically and in terms of housing, Pax Dei makes a really good impression. Especially the joint settlement looked very impressive. But there were also some question marks.


There were about 8 slots for weapons and tools, which could also be used during combat. What was missing, however, were skills. When I asked, it said that a number of weapons with different playstyles are planned and that they will also have abilities. But it didn’t get any more specific.

The content itself also raises a number of questions. We were shown some fights against monsters in the open world, through which you can then find materials for crafting. But without quests, dungeons and great explanations, many players could despair of complete freedom. A certain common thread is also important for sandbox games.

Last but not least, the answers to questions about PvP were unsatisfactory. It is unclear whether this will take place in the open world or in arenas and whether PvP will play an important role.

None of this would be a problem if there wasn’t talk of a release “soon”. Because to me it seemed more like preparing for the first alpha or beta tests. It’s also a pity that we can’t present any gameplay to you.


What do you think of Pax Dei? Does the concept of the game appeal to you or do you prefer to pin your hopes on another .? Feel free to write it in the comments.

In 2023 we will still get some new .s. We’ll tell you what they are here: 7 new .s that should definitely be released in 2023.