I have heard a lot of people describe this game as Cyber Punk Dead By Daylight and those people are definitely not wrong however as a fan of both, Gold Express is a very unique game with tonnes of features that DBD players like myself have been begging for. After a deep dive into this game I have emerged to tell you why Gold Express is in a league of its own.
Right off the bat I need to say the only cyberpunk part of the game is the aesthetics. Every other aspect follows the DBD genre. So if you are purely a cyberpunk fan then take a look and these pictures and you will see why the comparison is made. The character models look amazing, the maps are unique and there are many features and perks that are beautifully displayed.
For those of us that are DBD players then the game mechanics and objectives of Gold Express should not be surprising however for those of you that are new to the genre I will cover these details. Gold Express is a 1v4 online survival game where the 4 Extractors must work together to complete an objective to escape the map. The Watcher is there to foil you escape, disrupt objectives and end the existence of the 4 Extractors. The unique premise of GE is that the Extractors must collect data cubes which must be collected and uploaded to the main objective in order to power their means of escape. Once the objective has been complete then there is a wild dash to exit the map.
The advantage in having a game based on DBD but being brought out much later is that the developers can see what works and what needs changing in the original game. A lot of these games tend to fall short of their mark and the changes end up being very underwhelming but to my complete surprise GE has hit the nail on the head in some key areas. Here are some issues I have ranted about in the past when it comes to DBD and see how GE has tackled these problems.
Looping! For those of you that are unaware, the meta for DBD is when a survivor is being chased there are many places on the map when you can run circles around the killer and as long as you don’t mess up they will never catch you. There is very little that the killer can do and is one of the main reasons I stopped playing DBD. GE’s answer to this was to update the barrier mechanic. Both DBD and GE have barriers that can be used to block your opponent and slow them down however unlike DBD, barriers can be remade after being destroyed and more importantly can be put up by both Watcher and Extractor. There are always going to be areas where loops can occur but as they become common knowledge, Watchers can set up their own barriers and block these paths. This adds a tactical element to the game and also opens up the game play.
Survivor stalling! I have played multiple DBD games where the survivors have waited around not taking any risks and dragging out games for no good reason other than to force me to rage quit and play something different. This is because there is no time pressure placed upon the survivors or any incentive to play quickly. The only saving grace I have found in DBD is when I play as Mike Meyers I get stronger the longer the game plays out with the stalking ability. I can tell that GE has addressed this issue with a feature that slowly reduces the max health of the Extractors after a certain point only if none of the objectives are actively being worked on.
Hook camping! The main way the Killer can eliminate the survivors is by hitting them twice until they are grounded, picking them up and plopping them on one of the numerous big rusty hooks dotted across each map. This should allow Survivors to help out their buddy and grab them from the hook however it is far too tempting to just sit there and watch you prey slowly perish one by one. I won’t lie, there have been some games where a previous set of survivors have ticked me off (Mainly because of the two previous examples) and I have been a serial hook camper. Luckily GE has come along and removed that outdated mechanic all together. If a Watcher finds and downs a pesky Extractor then you can straight up just squash them bugs. The Extractor then turns into digital form, or as I like to call it a ‘Glitch in the Matrix, in digital form you are impervious to hard from the watcher however you need to find one of your team mates so they can revive you. You have to be quick however as your health bar will be counting down to zero until you find help.
I have spoken a lot about the comparisons between the two games however the features in GE make is a stand alone title. These include but are not limited to, Watchers inputting viruses onto data cube point which will damage any Extractor trying to harvest them, Airdrops are dotted around the map that can be collected to give your character perks and extra abilities and the ability to see what role is most popular before you queue for a game (This feature in particular has addressed a common issue with DBD by allowing the players to reduce there own matchmaking waiting times).
There are some minor negatives I can attach to this game however they seem to either be quick fixes to maps and abilities due to the current meta or my personal preferences. The main issue I have found with gameplay is the map design is some areas. Extractors have a must easier time getting into areas of the map which is understandable as you can play as a giant 7ft robot (Side note: is it just me that wants to see a mode where we can play as Battle Droid?) but there are areas where it would take me 10x as long to get to compared to the extractors. As for personal preference, I love the horror vibes of DBD, GE does move away from the eerie aspect of the game which makes the title its own but does take away from one of the main reasons why I played the genre. Even if their only change was to revert back to DBDs First person view for the Watchers it would make a significant improvement to the games immersion.
I will be covering Gold Express in the future especially the unique Watchers and Extractors. I have also been told that Death Garden is also a similar game so I want to check that out as well so stay tuned for some upcoming articles in the coming weeks.
Amazing game and a welcome addition to the genre, has the potential to challenge bigger titles if given time for the community to grow.
- Unique and well flushed out features
- Smooth, seamless gameplay
- Beautifully Designed
- Minor Map design Flaws
- Lacks immersion compared to competitors
- Audio isn’t fully all there
- Graphics 0
- Gameplay 0
- Narrative 0
- Audio 0
- Technical 0