Crime Boss: Rockay City Review
Crime Boss: Rockay City is a cooperative crime game that takes inspiration from 1990s crime thrillers and heist movies. In the game, you play as an ambitious criminal seeking to become the ultimate crime boss. The gameplay revolves around engaging in heists and other criminal activities in a co-op fashion with your friends.
Rather than offering an open-world crime-based first-person shooter (FPS) experience, Crime Boss: Rockay City focuses on smaller consumable, co-op gameplay, with short segments of frantic fun. It is very much in the vein of the Payday series but with smaller and less complex levels.
The game offers a decent range of mission types, including robbing strip malls, banks, and armored cars, as well as engaging in turf wars that can vary from simple shootouts under overpasses to intense gunfights across freeways and into hotels. As you progress, mini-objectives are introduced, such as acquiring key cards or collecting as much loot as possible while ensuring a successful escape.
Crime Boss: Rockay City boasts visually appealing environments, detailed character models for the main cast as I felt the character models for the lower tier goons were repetitive, and an atmospheric ’90s vibe. Refreshingly enough for Rockay Ricty, whether it’s watching them skillfully complete tasks or occasionally witnessing them standing around aimlessly the AI’s performance didn’t cause much frustration.
The game features four main play modes: Baker’s Battle, Crime Time, Urban Legends, and a tutorial heist called Street Smarts. Baker’s Battle is the single-player campaign mode, where you assume the role of Baker, the protagonist trying to conquer Rockay City. Crime Time is a quick-play mode that allows you to play with AI, friends, or random players. Urban Legends offers a series of mini-campaigns with unique objectives, heists, and turf wars, playable both online with other players or with AI.
The Urban Legends mode breaks down the campaign design into mini-campaigns with specific objectives, heists, and turf wars revolving around the key characters in Rockay City. Each mini-campaign introduces new dialogue and cutscenes, ensuring a fresh experience. Here, you play as one of Baker’s hired goons, striving to earn loot and prove yourself to the boss. The earned loot is used to unlock the next mission, adding light progression elements to the narrative. This also serves as an integral piece to unlocking some of the characters you will undoubtedly be looking to play as.
For online gameplay, Crime Time is the mode where you will likely spend most of your time. This mode offers the same gameplay loop as other modes, allowing you to join with friends, random players, or AI partners. The game’s simplistic design facilitates coordination even with random players, and the AI partners are decent in carrying out objectives, to an extent as is the case with many co-op games and their AI.
Dragon’s Gold Cup
Crime Boss: Rockay City‘s first paid expansion, Dragon’s Gold Cup, introduces a new addition to the game: action movie icon Danny Trejo. Danny Trejo’s character is particularly well done, capturing his likeness and voice perfectly but even more so, his swagger.
In Dragon’s Gold Cup, Baker leads a diverse crew of thugs, hackers, and criminals in a turf war to conquer Rockay City. The introduction of the Dollar Dragon character provides an opportunity for Baker to team up with his former rival and carry out a daring heist to steal the King’s gold from a heavily guarded depot. A new single-player storyline allows players to delve deeper into this relationship as they undertake missions. To access this expansion content, players will need to start a new campaign. Once started, yellow mission icons will appear on the game’s territory map, representing tier III missions.
Mission objectives throughout the expansion vary, ranging from maintaining control of turf areas to bribing cleaners or repairmen, and from sneaking and snooping to gather intel to engaging in stealth missions to capture photographs and gather information about an area’s defenses. As is the case in the main campaign, if Baker dies, you will have to restart the campaign from the beginning but do not be hesitant about the Tier III missions as they are definitely manageable for players of all skills.
The Dragon’s Gold Cup expansion in Crime Boss: Rockay City did provide several hours of new story missions and gameplay, with the added bonus of having Danny Trejo join the already impressive cast. The story missions are diverse and engaging, keeping players invested throughout the campaign. While the base game’s AI could still benefit from some improvements to provide a more challenging experience as I mentioned before, the heist-style gameplay in Dragon’s Gold Cup is still enjoyable.
The developers do have plans for more themed expansions in the future, with a campaign centered around Chuck Norris‘ sheriff character scheduled for the future so keep an eye out for more action in Rockay City to become available and maybe introduce yet another familiar face…?
Crime Boss: Rockay City is a delightful surprise that exceeded expectations. While it may not provide the desired open-world experience some were hoping for, the game is surprisingly enjoyable. The true fun lies in undertaking these heists with friends, as the game truly shines when played in a co-op setting. The opportunity to be part of a story that includes beloved movie stars is an added bonus that truly made me feel like I was a part of some of my favorite 90s films, but it can’t surpass the thrill of stealing goods alongside your closest buds.
Crime Boss: Rockay City Review
Developer: Ingame Studios
Publisher: 505 Games
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
A variety geek who enjoys geeking out with friends over video games, comics, or movies/TV shows. An avid wrestling fan since the days of the Attitude Era and N64’s No Mercy, he now spends much of his time reading and collecting comics. All of my puns are intended.