Crime Boss Rockay City Review
When I first saw Crime Boss featured in a trailer, I was very excited. Seemed like something akin to Saints Row which is a series I have really enjoyed over the years. It looked like a 90’s version of the Mafia games with a star-studded cast (more on that later).
All the marketing leading up to the games release looked like a chaotic shooter gang war. The issue is what was released was nothing like the marketing led us to believe. The game launched to very middling reviews honestly. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with this game taking it in, learning what it is, before writing this review.
While the game 100% suffers from an identity crisis, once you get passed that, I don’t think I have had more fun playing a game this year. Is it a flawless game? Absolutely not, but if you take it for what it is at face value and understand it, it’s nowhere near as bad as others have made it out to be.
The game kicks off with you playing as Travis Baker (Michael Madsen) landing in Rockay city ready to try and take over some turf and make a name for himself.
Assisted by Casey (Kim Basinger) who acts as the finance person, Nasara (Damien Poitier) who is you planner and strategist, and your old buddy Touchdown (Michael Rooker) who acts as your muscle. After the King is murdered it puts the whole territory into turmoil as rivals’ gangs lead by The Dragon (Danny Trejo), Hielo (Vanilla Ice) and more join the fray.
Eventually even attracting the attention of Sheriff Norris (yep, Chuck Norris) and former detective Gloves (Danny Glover) all leading up to a mess of a tangled story that twists and turns at every angle. Most of the cast does a good job with the voice acting bringing the characters to life (mostly).
Where the game comes unhinged for most people is what this game actually is. It’s a rogue-like first person shooter, with looter elements, resource management, and worker placement. Yep, that’s right it’s nothing like you thought it was.
Let’s break it down bit by bit, as you play the game if you ever as Baker die, your run ends. Hence the rogue like, however you keep any perks you selected as you leveled up your boss when you start over. Different things like more crew, more money and better weapons and health can carry over via these things making it an easier time around next time.
Shooter/Looter is through the different heists you can perform through various missions, whether it’s a smash and grab at a jewellery store or drilling into a banks vault or an armoured truck, to even going for a crazy train robbery it’s all there.
Your objective is to use your crew, load up the bags and get out alive. The more noise you make in the process the more aggressive the police/swat come after you. If you hit up a rival’s gangs turf you can also get on their bad side as well. With the spoils of the heist, you can build up a stash with drugs, gems, money, electronics, etc each with a variable resell value on the black market which fluctuates daily. It’s up to you to decide when and what to sell and where to invest that money, buy more crew, better weapons, or decorate your office to increase your status.
You will need money to pull off heists and missions so take care to keep some in reserves whenever you can. Worker placement falls under your crew, utilizing Touchdown and his team you have to continue to invade and take over rival territory and defend your own from attack as well. So, you have to decide where and when people move so that you can control as much of the map as possible to keep the cash flow coming your way.
Once you understand all these different things going on, it’s honestly a very enjoyable and satisfying gameplay loop. The graphics aren’t the best, but they aren’t horrible either. The gun play is decent with different things to pay attention to with your characters, weapons sway, accuracy, etc. All in all, its a fun game if you can get into the loop of things. Each run I have discovered new ways to do things, new goals to obtain and much more. The game definitely has some flaws, but I think it’s fun, and we don’t get that as much as we should in games sometimes.