Crime Boss: Rockay City review

by on June 21, 2024
Reviewed On
Release Date

June 18, 2024


Playing Crime Boss: Rockay City even after the recent multiplayer update is a somewhat baffling experience. On the surface it appears to be a game like Payday, wherein you stage daring heists with or without your online buddies, with an aim to become the best bank robber in town. In actuality, though, it’s a territory-based roguelite that sees you attempt to oust rival gangs from Rockay City and become the, well, Crime Boss, I guess.

But the game itself is pretty bad at explaining what it is. Listening to a clearly ageing Michael Madsen attempt to snark and wisecrack his way through a pretty threadbare script doesn’t help matters, but Rockay City also manages to shoehorn in Danny Trejo and Chuck Norris, neither of whose status as genuine icons does anything to elevate what is a pretty incoherent mess.

Crime Boss: Rockay City

Playing solo is just a little bit confusing. It starts off with you in control of a gang of cliches robbing a jewellery store, threatening people from behind before cable-tying them up without a shred of protest, then smashing the glass boxes and filling bags with the goodies. The crux of most playable missions is something similar to this, often devolving into a shootout with cops or security. Neither the shooting nor the stealth is well-implemented, and the half-cut story about Chuck Norris’ badass sheriff coming for Madsen’s Travis Baker is just a bit try-hard.

Taking Baker into a mission is asking for a restart, as his death will end the current run and chuck you back to the start, with a few perks and stats adjusted randomly for the next attempt. When you’re not robbing places, you’ll be sending your gang soldiers out on missions for you to seize territory, which will often require you to rock up yourself afterwards and help with the gunfight, something that is rarely hard because the AI has no concept of cover, flanking, or tactics.

Crime Boss: Rockay City

Developer INGAME Studios has largely decided to leave the single player alone. I’m not sure if that’s because even the developer thinks it’s a lost cause, or because they’ve reached the conclusion that even if the multiplayer isn’t great, everything is better with friends. You have to give the team props for recognising its  creation was flawed and taking the criticism on the chin, but what it’s produced isn’t all that much different to what was here before.

Multiplayer in Crime Boss: Rockay City mostly abandons the territory war, instead focusing on playing the heists with friends. It’s more Payday 3 than GTA V, and sees you carrying over weapons, gear, skins and abilities you unlock in the campaign mode. Here, there is some fun to be had, as even when things are going wrong and the AI is on the fritz, you have your friends to back you up and, often, laugh with you.

Crime Boss: Rockay City

It’s fair to say that Rockay City has expanded somewhat since it’s original launch on the Epic Games Store, and lands on Steam with a lot of new content such as the Cagnali’s Order and Dragon’s Gold Cup DLCs, which add a bunch of new replayable missions and extra skins – all of which can be unlocked in-game as Crime Boss, refreshingly, has no microtransactions despite the opportunity to include them.

INGAME Studios’ dedication to the game is impressive, and the team’s ambition to improve and expand based on player feedback is more than admirable. The Steam release is bigger, more content-rich, and even runs fairly well on Steam Deck – though it still suffers visual glitches and dodgy AI.

Crime Boss: Rockay City is very much a matter of taste, then. The solo campaign is simply not that good, filled with dodgy voice acting, weirdly out-of-place actors playing characters 30 years younger than they are (Trejo and Norris are both north of 80), and some seriously shoddy design. The multiplayer, however, can be a lot of fun played with friends or even strangers – and you can’t fault the amount of content on offer here, all free of micro-transactions. But ultimately, even for a low price, Crime Boss: Rockay City is a tricky game to fully recommend.


Multiplayer can be fun
Lots of missions
Loads to unlock


Poor AI
Solo campaign isn't great
Story is very iffy

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Crime Boss: Rockay City has expanded somewhat since it’s original launch with has a lot of new multiplayer content.