Explore frozen wastes and cozy fixed-camera interiors in indie RPG Mortal Crux

Knight standing in the middle of a cottage living room
(Image credit: User @MortalCrux on Twitter)

Mortal Crux is an upcoming indie action-RPG that's aiming to capture the vibe of desolate, Northern European fantasy settings like The Witcher or the Elder Scrolls' Nordic adventures, Skyrim and Bloodmoon. It's being designed for both solo and co-op play, with up to four player sharing a seamless world via an isometric perspective like Diablo or Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, but with distinctly soulslike combat mechanics. The action shown so far features telegraphed, meaty enemy attacks and a snappy dodge roll. 

Mortal Crux's anonymous developer wants exploring its world to be a fluid and gratifying experience, and has spent a large portion of development focused on minimizing load times and keeping exploration fluid. He stated: "I love open-world games so I'm focusing on there being as little loading screen usage or interruptions from immersion as possible. Designing sophisticated data streaming methods has been the bulk of the development time so far."

The fruits of those efforts can already be observed in the gameplay videos he's shared, with snappy transitions between the overworld and distinctive, fixed-camera interiors. Those interiors were the thing that really caught my eye at first. On entering a building, Mortal Crux zooms into a perspective reminiscent of classic Resident Evil or a PS1-era JRPG.

Speaking on the stylistic choice, Mortal Crux's developer said: "I wanted to give every room a more intimate feel while exploring compared to keeping the camera zoomed out and toggling rooftops off like most top-down games tend to do." He continued, "Doing so also helps make the experience more artistic and personal, since every room becomes its own little scene to investigate."

I really have to agree, good interiors are one of those things that can make an RPG feel special, and the cottages and huts Mortal Crux has shown off so far remind me of the best cozy inns and peasant homes from The Elder Scrolls or Baldur's Gate. Additionally, I could see the use of multiple perspectives lending a nice contrast in pacing between fast, zoomed-out combat in the overworld and more subdued interior investigation.

Mortal Crux began development last November in its creator's free time, and has seen an impressive amount of progress since despite being self-funded so far. It will be coming to Steam for Early Access in the future, but for the time being, you can follow Mortal Crux's development progress on the game's official Twitter page

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.