Published on April 10th, 2023 | by Chris O'Connor
Crime Boss Rockay City PC Review
Summary: Perform heists to build your finances in a bid to become the new criminal king of Rockay City!
Let’s get it out of the way early… yes there are similarities to Grand Theft Auto… but Crime Boss Rockay City is it’s own beast!
The premise is simple enough… the previous criminal king of Rockay City is dead, leaving an opening for someone to take the thrown… you plan to make that someone you! But you can’t just declare yourself crime boss and be done with it… you have to show that you have the power and the ability to rise to the top and stay there. To finance your move for top spot, you’re going to need cash, lots of cash and there are a few ways to obtain it. From robbing jewellery stores and banks to taking over territories and turf wars, it will all play a part in your attempt to become the new underworld king of Rockay City.
Obviously one of the big draw cards Crime Boss Rockay City has going for it is the very impressive celebrity cast list and it is indeed impressive. The familiar voices certainly lend a quality to the game that instantly lift it above many of it’s peers. The only issue I really had was with the facial animations which didn’t quite live up to the (no doubt) expensive cast list. I suspect the issue comes down to either mo cap with a more broad approach (ie not using as many points of reference for the animation)… or potentially not using mo cap at all… though the general physical animations suggest there was motion capture involved… so I’d suspect it was simply not enough focus on the mouths when capturing performances.
But even if you put the cast list aside for a moment, a decent chunk of the budget must surely have also gone to the soundtrack. I was instantly in when I heard Stereo M.C.’s Step it Up… later there was Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory. As you make your way around the game world, you will sometimes come across a radio playing and again… it’s a song that (if you’re my age) you would have heard plenty of times growing up. I honestly would have been just as keen for Crime Boss Rockay City with the soundtrack even if it didn’t also have the impressive actors attached.
But what is the actual game like? Well, the first thing you are told is that you should expect to die. That may sound harsh but I actually quite liked the fact that I didn’t have to feel precious about my character… in fact, when you die you retain experience points… so multiple deaths don’t mean you are starting from scratch… they mean you are starting at the bottom but with improved stats (you can choose how to spend your level up bonus between a set of boost cards you are presented with) and you also may have a better idea for how to tackle a job in future. My main learning curve was on a bank heist in which I was doing my best to just suppress and subdue all guards so I could access the security and shut off cameras… then quietly get to the safe and open that without anyone knowing… unfortunately someone did a runner and the police were alerted and what was going to be a nice casual safe crack became a time pressured job that was bound to end in a hail of gun fire.
That early mention of Grand Theft Auto does hold some ground for comparison purposes but if you imagine it melded with Payday 2. The similarity to the GTA series is arguably most with San Andreas, specifically the territory wars. Crime Boss Rockay City gives you the ability to take over turf, sometimes there won’t be a gang holding the territory when you take it… other times you will have to take it from a rival gang and sometimes you will have to defend it from them. Where it compares to Payday 2 is in the actual heist section… you can tackle a job solo in some cases but the more people you can bring with you, the faster you can do the job.
Crime Boss Rockay City is a game of learning and whilst you can just run in guns blazing… it will likely cost you in the end… maybe not on the current job… but you aren’t likely to live long if you don’t think about how best to tackle a job.
I’m really enjoying Crime Boss Rockay City and highly recommend it! If you have a soft spot for the cast then that’s a good draw card… but if you have a big ol’ spot of nostalgia for music of the 90’s… it will be hard to suppress the smile as you enter a shopping mall only to hear Freestyler playing. If you want a great heist game that involves a bit more thinking and planning than GTA or even Payday… grab a copy!