PC Games

Published on June 26th, 2024 | by Marc Rigg

Crime Boss Rockay City PC Review

Crime Boss Rockay City PC Review Marc Rigg

Summary: A decent if underwhelming entry into the heisting genre, that was only a few small steps away from greatness.


Slightly underwhelming!

Originally launching as an Epic and console exclusive in 2023, Crime Boss: Rockay City has now made its way to Steam. The premise is a simple one, assemble your team of criminals, take over the city, and get rich in the process.

It’s most similar to the Payday games, both in concept and execution. However, there are a few key features that set it apart from Overkill’s heisting simulator. Most notable are the territory control and criminal empire management mechanics.


The player assembles a crew from a list of people of questionable character, chooses their equipment and perks, and takes them on heists across the city. These heists range from jewellery stores and armoured cars to less conventional targets such as rival gangs’ drug supplies and warehouses full of electronics.

Missions can be tackled stealthily, scouting out guard and camera positions, neutralising sentries quietly, and infiltrating your target with a minimal amount of fuss caused. Doing so often makes for an easier time of things. Once the police are notified of your presence, they send armed quickly, and from that point, things can spiral out of control if not kept on top of. Going in guns blazing from the very start is an option too, but this is rarely the optimum solution.

Unfortunately, it’s a straightforward stealth system that is very easy to abuse. Guards patrol their set routes, largely ignoring everything around them. Make too much noise or run into the line of sight for a couple of seconds and they’ll investigate briefly, but so long as you get out of the way they go back to their previous route very quickly as though nothing had happened.

I found that in a lot of cases, running up to them, regardless of whether I was in view or not, and mashing the melee button to subdue them was more effective than trying to stealth around them. Should another enemy see you do this, it doesn’t matter for the most part. As long as you get your initial target restrained and disappear from view before they get too close, and they don’t seem to care.

Heists are unfortunately rather brief, too. Most seem to be over within five minutes, ten at most.

Money earned from unsavoury activities is used in the empire management section of the game that takes place between heists. It’s surprisingly well thought out and had a lot more depth than I was expecting. Between missions you’re presented with a basic map of the city, split into districts. Each of these districts is controlled by one of the several crime bosses that lead each of the five factions. Territory can be attacked (and later defended) to gain control. These small attack and defence missions take the form of very short deathmatch-style combat arenas. Each side fields several troops and the team left standing at the end, wins. Soldiers that fall in battle need to be replaced, or else the enemy gets the upper hand.

This back and forth between the various crime lords of the city, heists, and constant buffing of your criminal empire forms the core of the campaign. It’s not a bad experience, however, I found that the short nature of the heists, combined with the limited stealth mechanics made it get stale relatively quickly. The territory control and management mechanics added a nice bit of variety to things, but they too get old quickly.

Crime Boss: Rockay City employs an all-star cast of well-known actors to voice the characters of the campaign. Well-known actors such as Michael Madsen, Chuck Norris, Danny Trejo, Danny Glover, and Kim Basinger all contribute their voices and likeness to the game. Unfortunately, despite this list of undoubted talent, the voice acting is incredibly flat and lifeless. Most of the lines feel like they’ve been phoned in, lacking any real enthusiasm or direction. It’s a massive shame because they could have brought the world or Rockay City to life. This aside, the audio in general isn’t bad. Weapons have a satisfying amount of punch and impact to using them, and the soundtrack is adequate, if unremarkable.

Multiplayer is a slimmed-down version of the campaign. Focusing entirely on the heists, with money earned used to buy new characters and gear to play with. I’d like to say that I got stuck into the multiplayer far more than the campaign, it is, after all, essentially just Payday (a series I adore!) when playing with others. However, I never actually managed to get into a game with anyone else. Perhaps it was just the times that I was attempting to play at, but not once did I manage to join a lobby with another person in, nor did anyone join my lobbies.

Built on Unreal Engine 4, the visuals of Rockay City are what you might expect. Each of the famous actors that contribute their likeness are rendered realistically and look how you’d expect them to. Environments are filled with small details and look suitably impressive. However, it presents itself with an overly soft image, that simultaneously looks over-sharpened, even at 4K. It’s possible to tweak the config files to get the game looking half-decent, but this shouldn’t be necessary in any case.

Final Thoughts

Crime Boss: Rockay City is a game that has so much promise and potential, that unfortunately just misses the mark by the smallest of margins. It’s by no means bad, it’s competent and runs relatively well, but with a few small changes to the stealth system and adding some more depth to the heists, it could have been great.

Thankfully it’s a budget title, and for the current asking price it isn’t such a bad deal. It’s currently on sale and for a limited time, buying the games grants all presently released DLC for free, forever.

It’s far from perfect but has some nice ideas that set it apart from other similar games and I enjoyed my time with the campaign, even if it did start to repeat itself after a while.

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