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Pax Dei Village Community
Screenshot by Prima Games

Pax Dei Early Impressions | A Medieval Sims

Pax Dei has an identity crisis, but is it in a good or a bad way?

Many players consider Pax Dei a glorified survival-crafting game, even though it has been marketed as a social sandbox MMO. At the time, its gameplay heavily leans on exploration, resource-gathering, and base-building rather than completing activities with other players. The potential for these social activities is there, but it isn’t there yet.

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Player Summary

  • 33.2 hours of playtime
  • Games played that are similar to Pax Dei: New World, Enshrouded, Valheim, and V Rising.
  • Survival-crafting games enthusiast

Joy of Discovery and Adventure

Like most survival-crafting and base-building games, you start with nothing but with everything else to explore and conquer. There’s always a thrill of finding a new resource and figuring out what you can do with it. Starting your first adventure in Pax Dei is very slow because of its MMO aspect for a survival-crafting game. Claiming a plot and figuring out the most optimal spot to build your base is already taxing because you don’t immediately know the best place to make your base.

I started playing Pax Dei on release, so none of the areas had been claimed yet, which means I had the best pick of the litter. Even then, you wouldn’t know the best spot to build your base on, so I immediately went for the most aesthetically pleasing location. Once a few hours had passed, it was a unique experience seeing all the other players claim plots and build their bases, which I believe Pax Dei separates itself from most the other survival-crafting games.

You’ll tend to see a random player that has claimed a plot next to you and become your “neighbor” in a way, since you’ll constantly see them throughout your playthrough. When you start exploring other areas to scavenge for resources, you’ll see more players with their bases. You’ll see them expand and show off their creativity as each day passes and become surprised that someone turned their one-story house into a medieval castle.

For players who still want to get into the game, don’t get discouraged, as their progress doesn’t really affect you in any way. Even if there have been a lot of plots claimed already, you can still find a great spot because of how they limit their players on each server or shard.

Once you have grasped the early mechanics of the game, you’ll continuously struggle to find enough resources for certain things. For example, producing Charcoal is easy, but since you’ll need thousands of it, it becomes tedious to keep farming for thousands of Sapwood while needing other resources simultaneously. While that is the nature of most survival-crafting games, it definitely needs a lot of work or quality-of-life improvements, especially for players who want to play the game alone.

On the bright side, Pax Dei’s crafting is more profound than any survival-crafting game in the market. There are hundreds of recipes, workbenches, tools, and resources to uncover, and it always feels exciting to unlock a new crafting path. Their cooking system alone features winemaking, baking, and roasting, which are all separated through different production builds and skills.

The game always seems to push you to discover new things because you are rewarded with new quality-of-life upgrades for your base or character, such as getting better tools or having larger storages.

Things Get a Bit Stale Quickly

While I have been harping about Pax Dei and its survival-crafting mechanics, the developers have been really clear that it is an MMORPG. The game can be both an MMO and a survival-crafting game, which makes it unique, especially considering how visually alluring it looks. However, their MMORPG systems or mechanics definitely lack on all fronts in the current build.

Once you finish your base and unlock all the fancy recipes, you begin to wonder, “What’s the point of having all of these?” apart from improving your base’s design. From someone who played the game in basically single-player mode, the endgame feels moot, to say the least.

If I put myself on the other shoe, I can see how the game’s multiplayer aspect and game pillars, such as a large clan coming together and declaring war on another clan for PvP. However, these are all on their roadmap or manifesto, and we still need to see them come to fruition.

The planned updates are definitely enticing, especially how they plan to unveil the game’s lore, create a gold economy, and make other balancing changes. As mentioned before, I am taking the game at its face value, and for now, the early access game is just a deep and aesthetically pleasing survival-crafting game with a hefty price tag.

What Pax Dei Needs Right Now

Pax Dei’s potential to become a great MMORPG is clear as day. However, execution and timing will play a crucial role in the game’s success. At the time of writing, building and crafting still need a lot of balancing.

Using 50 Sapwood to craft 25 Charcoal while taking 20 minutes is a tad absurd. Players can argue and say, “You can build more Charcoal Kilns,” but with your limited plot space and hundreds of other objects and buildings to craft, it doesn’t make sense. The same goes for the Furnaces and its recipes.

While a farming system is in the works, based on their roadmap, it is heavily needed right now to accommodate all the other recipes. I would also love a way to travel fast from one place to another, and they said in an interview that mounts could be coming, but aren’t a priority.

If all of these were in the game on their early access launch, Pax Dei would definitely be one of the best survival-crafting games out there.

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Image of Enzo Zalamea
Enzo Zalamea
Enzo is a staff writer at Prima Games. He began writing news, guides, and listicles related to games back in 2019. In 2024, he started writing at Prima Games covering the best new games and updates regardless of the genre. You can find him playing the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Path of Exile, Teamfight Tactics, and popular competitive shooters like Valorant, Apex Legends, and CS2. Enzo received his Bachelor's degree in Marketing Management in De La Salle University and multiple SEO certifications from the University of California, Davis.