Crime Boss: Rockay City – A B-Movie Heist Gone Wrong?


Crime Boss: Rockay City, a first-person shooter with roguelike elements, arrived in March 2023 with the promise of a thrilling, star-studded heist experience. Developed by Ingame Studios and published by 505 Games, the game boasted a cast of recognizable 90s actors like Michael Madsen and Chuck Norris, along with a “Payday-inspired” cooperative heist formula. However, upon release, Crime Boss failed to live up to the hype, leaving many players with a sense of disappointment. So, is Crime Boss a hidden gem or a forgettable B-movie experience? Let’s delve into the reviews to find out.

Crime Boss

Promising Premise, Flawed Execution

Crime Boss’ core concept is undeniably intriguing. Players take on the role of a rising crime boss in the fictional Rockay City, assembling a crew of unique criminals (each voiced by the aforementioned Hollywood veterans) to pull off daring heists. The 90s setting injects a dose of nostalgia, and the roguelike structure, where death means restarting your criminal empire from scratch with some persistent upgrades, adds a layer of strategic tension.

However, the execution falls short in several key areas. Reviewers across the web point to clunky gunplay, repetitive mission design, and uninspired level layouts as major drawbacks. The gun mechanics feel sluggish and lack weight, with bullets seemingly floating towards enemies. Missions often devolve into straightforward shootouts with little room for tactical variety. Environments, while visually competent, fail to offer the intricate level design needed for truly engaging heists.

The Celebrity Cast: A Saving Grace (Maybe)?

Crime Boss’ biggest selling point was undoubtedly its cast. The novelty of hearing Michael Madsen bark orders or Chuck Norris deliver one-liners certainly holds some appeal. Unfortunately, the voice acting itself is a mixed bag. While some performances are passable, others range from phoned-in to downright cringe-worthy. The writing doesn’t do the cast any favors either, with generic dialogue and forgettable character archetypes failing to capitalize on the potential of these seasoned actors.

The question then becomes: is the star power enough to salvage the experience? For some reviewers, the cheesy charm of the B-movie presentation does add a certain entertainment value. However, for most, the novelty wears thin quickly, leaving behind a game with more flash than substance.

Technical Issues and Co-op blues

Adding to Crime Boss’ woes are technical shortcomings. Bugs and glitches have been reported by players, further disrupting the gameplay experience. While the game is playable, these issues can certainly be frustrating, especially considering the game’s launch price.

The co-operative multiplayer, often a highlight in heist games, fails to impress in Crime Boss. While the core gameplay loop might translate better to a team setting, the repetitive mission design and lack of meaningful co-op mechanics make the experience feel shallow.

A Glimmer of Hope?

Despite the negative reception, some reviewers find redeeming qualities in Crime Boss. The roguelike structure, while not perfectly implemented, can provide a loop of incremental progress and strategic decision-making that keeps some players engaged. Additionally, the budget price tag (the game has seen significant discounts since launch) might make it a passable option for those seeking a mindless shoot-em-up experience.

The Verdict: A Heist Gone Wrong, But Not a Total Loss

Crime Boss: Rockay City is a game filled with missed opportunities. The promising core concept and star-studded cast are overshadowed by repetitive gameplay, technical issues, and forgettable writing. While the B-movie charm might hold some appeal for a specific audience, most players are likely to find Crime Boss lacking in substance.

That being said, the game isn’t entirely devoid of merit. For a budget price tag, and with the right expectations, Crime Boss could offer a short-lived, albeit uninspired, heist experience. However, for those seeking a deep and engaging heist game, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Should You Buy Crime Boss: Rockay City?

Here’s a quick breakdown to help you decide:

Buy it if:

You’re looking for a budget-priced, mindless shoot-em-up.

The 90s setting and B-movie aesthetic appeal to you.

You plan on playing primarily in co-op (with the caveat that co-op doesn’t significantly improve the core experience).

Skip it if:

You’re looking for a deep and engaging heist game with strategic depth.

You value tight gunplay and well-designed levels.

You expect the celebrity cast to carry the experience.


Is Crime Boss: Rockay City Fun?

Opinions are mixed. While some find the 90s aesthetic and heist structure appealing, others criticize repetitive missions, clunky controls, and underwhelming voice acting. It can be a “so bad it’s good” experience for some, but frustrating for others.

What’s the Gameplay Like?

Crime Boss is a first-person shooter with roguelike elements. You build a crew, tackle missions with varying objectives (heists, assassinations), and collect loot. Death means restarting with some progress carry-over. The core gameplay loop involves shooting enemies, grabbing loot, and escaping.

Is it Like Payday?

There are similarities. Both are cooperative heist shooters with character progression. However, Crime Boss is considered less polished with a single-player focus (though co-op is available). Payday offers more dynamic gameplay and a stronger focus on teamwork.

Is the Cast a Selling Point?

The cast includes Michael Madsen, Danny Glover, and Kim Basinger. While their presence might be intriguing, reviews mention underwhelming voice acting that doesn’t quite live up to the star power.

What are the Biggest Criticisms?

Repetitive mission design, clunky controls, and lackluster gunplay are common complaints. The single-player experience, which relies heavily on permadeath and restarting, can feel like a grind.

Are There Any Redeeming Qualities?

Some players find the 90s aesthetic charming, and the heist concept itself holds promise. The co-op mode can be enjoyable for a short burst with friends, especially if you find the “so bad it’s good” vibe entertaining.

Should I Buy It?

If you’re looking for a polished, deep heist experience, Crime Boss might disappoint. However, if you’re curious about the 90s theme, enjoy B-movie aesthetics, and don’t mind some jank, it might offer a unique, albeit short-lived, experience. Consider waiting for a sale, as the price tag might not justify the limited appeal.

Is There Anything Else to Consider?

Look for gameplay videos to get a feel for the shooting mechanics and mission structure. Reviews highlight the game’s flaws, so be prepared for a potentially frustrating experience.

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