April 15, 2024

Crime Boss: Rockay City is a co-op first-person shooter developed by Ingame Studios and published by 505 Games. Released in June 2023 for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, this thrilling action game allows players to assemble a team of skilled criminals and embark on intense missions involving infiltration, theft, and enemy encounters. Featuring a star-studded cast including Michael Madsen, Chuck Norris, Danny Trejo, Danny Glover, Michael Rooker, Kim Basinger, Vanilla Ice, and Damion Poitier, Crime Boss: Rockay City promises an immersive and cinematic gaming experience.

AT A GLANCE

Release date: 28 March 2023(PC), 15 June 2023(Consoles)
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, PC
Genres: First-person shooter, Adventure game
Developer: INGAME STUDIOS
Publisher: 505 Games
Final Score: 8/10

Story

Rockay City’s story is reminiscent of a video game version of “The Expendables,” featuring an impressive ensemble cast of characters. As the player, you assume the role of Travis Baker, a determined individual on a mission to establish dominance and become the kingpin of Rockay City. This fictionalized city draws inspiration from the vibrant atmosphere of Miami during the 80s and 90s, immersing players in a world filled with criminal enterprises and rival crime bosses.

Throughout your journey, you’ll encounter a colorful array of adversaries portrayed by notable actors, including the iconic Danny Trejo and Vanilla Ice. These rival crime bosses stand in your way, presenting formidable challenges that must be overcome in order to achieve your ultimate goal. Adding an extra layer of intensity to the storyline is the presence of the legendary Chuck Norris, who portrays the role of the town’s sheriff, constantly thwarting your plans and serving as a recurring obstacle.

The narrative of Rockay City embodies the spirit of old Hollywood movies, with its slightly disconnected storyline, over-the-top set pieces, and predictable twists and turns. It captures the essence of those classic films, immersing players in a world where larger-than-life characters and dramatic scenarios dominate the landscape. While the story may not deliver the same emotional depth as a game like “The Last of Us,” it still offers an enjoyable experience, provided players had realistic expectations and embraced the game’s homage to the action-packed films of the past.

Rockay City’s story provides a satisfying blend of action, nostalgia, and predictable yet engaging plot developments. It may not revolutionize the narrative landscape of video games, but it successfully delivers an experience that pays tribute to the excitement and entertainment value found in classic Hollywood movies.

Gameplay

Crime Boss offers three distinct ways to experience the game, catering to different play styles and preferences. The dedicated single-player campaign, known as Baker’s Battle, allows you to take on the challenges solo and immerse yourself in the gripping narrative. Alternatively, you can team up with friends and tackle missions together in the co-op-focused modes, or explore the mini-campaigns called Urban Legends. This variety in gameplay options ensures that there’s something for everyone.

While the concept of heists and high-stakes robberies is engaging and there is a variety of objectives available, the missions themselves often end in one of two ways: either with an overly simplistic and quick escape or a drawn-out and unfairly challenging firefight. The implementation of Crime Boss’ heat system, reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto, triggers waves of law enforcement, including cops and SWAT teams, to apprehend you. The game’s reliance on roguelike elements in Baker’s Battle, where perks are unlocked as you level up, can also make the early stages of the game feel unbalanced. It almost feels like the game intentionally hinders your progress until you’ve unlocked certain abilities, which can be disheartening for players.

The core gameplay loop of infiltrating locations, battling waves of enemies, and stealing valuable loot can become monotonous over time. The inclusion of side missions that venture into unexpected settings, such as a Vietnam War flashback or a frozen Russian airbase, adds a touch of variety.

Despite these shortcomings, there are still moments when Crime Boss manages to deliver enjoyable gameplay. The ability to assemble a crew and plan heists, coupled with the occasional successful execution of a mission, can provide a sense of satisfaction.

Despite the limited variety of guns available, the gunplay itself is satisfactory. Each weapon handles differently, providing a sense of diversity in gameplay. In Crime Boss: Rockay City, one aspect that stands out is the haptic feedback from the weapons, on the PS5. Players can experience a satisfying tactile sensation when firing their guns, which adds a level of immersion to the gameplay. The game manages to excel in this area, providing players with a notable haptic feedback experience on the PS5 console.

Crime Boss: Rockay City is a game that truly shines when played with a group of friends. Like many multiplayer games, the enjoyment and entertainment value of Rockay City are greatly amplified when shared in the company of others. The game captures the essence of those action-packed, over-the-top films of the 80s, allowing players to indulge in the thrill of epic shootouts, daring heists, and explosive action sequences.

Personally, I found the gameplay of Rockay City to be a delightful experience. Despite the occasional AI quirks, I had a jolly good time navigating through the game’s missions, engaging in intense firefights, and pulling off daring escapes. The game successfully captures the spirit of the cheesy Hollywood movies it pays homage to, creating a nostalgic atmosphere that brought a smile to my face.

Visuals, Audio, and Technical Performance

Rockay City truly delivers a visually stunning experience, especially when played on the PlayStation 5 in its quality mode at 4K resolution. The game’s graphics are remarkably crisp and gorgeous, showcasing the attention to detail put into its design. One aspect that stands out is the uncanny resemblance of the character models to the real-life actors. The developers have managed to capture the likeness of the star-studded cast with astonishing accuracy, immersing players in a world where Hollywood icons come to life.

When it comes to performance, Rockay City runs smoothly on the PlayStation 5, providing a seamless gameplay experience without any noticeable frame rate drops or technical issues. The developers have clearly optimized the game to take full advantage of the console’s power, ensuring that players can fully immerse themselves in the action without any interruptions.

Voice acting is another strong suit of Rockay City, as expected from a game featuring such an impressive cast. The talented actors lend their voices to the game’s characters, adding an extra layer of authenticity and star power to the overall experience. However, while the voice acting itself is top-notch, there are instances where the dialogue may feel a bit flat and disconnected, due to the shortcomings of the script or direction.

One aspect that I have absolutely 0 complaints about is Rockay City’s killer soundtrack. There are licensed tracks from renowned artists such as The Prodigy, Bomfunk MCs, Body Count, Stereo MCs, Jon Bon Jovi, and The Hu. The carefully selected songs complement the intense action and amplify the adrenaline-fueled moments, creating a dynamic experience.

Final Thoughts

Final Score
8 / 10
8/10

Summary

Crime Boss: Rockay City is a game that thrives on its unapologetic embrace of 80s action movie tropes and larger-than-life characters. Rockay City successfully captures the essence of cheesy Hollywood films, offering an enjoyable experience for those who appreciate the over-the-top action genre of the 80s.