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Crime Boss: Rockay City Review

Crime Boss: Rockay City Review

For a game that from its marketing seemed like an early year hit and miss (less hit, more miss) later picked up by YouTubers 10 years from now and praised as a “hidden gem”, I wasn’t expecting much. Now that it’s out, I can say Crime Boss: Rockay City has truly made a 90’s Miami-themed, crime-spree-filled, balls-out videogame from debut developer Ingame Studios a reality. From memory, the only crime game based in Miami that wasn’t Grand Theft Auto was the 2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours. Set in the 90's, the death of a kingpin called The King leaves the city open to rival gangs wanting to claim the crown with brass and blood while blasting Freestyler from a boombox. 

Crime Boss: Rockay City’s campaign, titled “Baker’s Revenge”, is a roguelike following the rise of the main playable character, Travis ‘Candyman’ Baker, as he takes over the crime world. With the help of associates, you’re in charge of heists, hostile takeovers and whatever the main missions are, too. But your luck will run out when you die, get a pep-talk from sheriff Chuck Norris, then begin again at day one with accumulated perks collected from previous runs. While the story stays on a particular beat, setting up main story missions the same way, the way you get there and the obstacles you push through changes.

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After a while of playing, the game is trick you into putting your team into suicide missions, like a “random” police ambush when defending a warehouse forces a reset on my playthrough twice. Additionally, learning how the game coaxes you into dangerous situations when playing as Baker makes you not want to put Baker into harm’s way, wasting money hiring weak henchmen and slowing down your level progression until you give up and let a gangbanger double-tap you into a better playthrough.

Outside the main story, a quick-play mode titled “Crime Time” lets you play all the legwork missions to save up for high reward jobs. Playing as an assortment of the hired muscle from Baker’s Revenge, you spend the heist money on upgrading your weapons and new team members to make future jobs flow smoother. Crime Time can also be played with up to three other players.

Crime Boss: Rockay City’s main multiplayer mode consists of several missions of three segments adding lore to the campaign where — if you get a final score of three stars — you unlock a playable character for the quick play mode. While the missions can be done with AI, to get a perfect score you’ll need to have competent team members to achieve it. However, getting a perfect score is easier said than done. This could lead some perfectionists to spend too much time trying to get all of the playable characters only to realise that they are mostly all the same.

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You’d be misguided to think from looking at the gameplay that Crime Boss: Rockay City is trying to be PAYDAY 2 — with headlines constantly comparing the two — due to major similarities to gameplay. Both revolve around heists, planning on the fly how to rob the same bank multiple times, and your team totalling four per mission. However, you’d be wrong. Crime Boss: Rockay City is more user-friendly than the nearly-decade old game, and prioritises single-player gameplay.

Where PAYDAY 2 (last time I’ll bring it up, I swear) is designed to be played with friends, with an offline mode to practice missions and gain revenue with three human-shaped automated sentry guns that can carry bags for you. Basically, the fanbase is just grown people one-upping each other on who has the most free time in their lives. Crime City: Rockay City streamlines missions by letting you unlock doors without a gadget, arm and holster your weapon whenever you want, and the ability to hire competent team members with a complementary AI. I could go on, but I will finish the argument between the games: which one lets you speed up the drill — day one.

Visually and audibly, the game is a French kiss until the rare texture glitching on character models giving them graphics vitiligo, and the audio files start popping during cutscenes. Besides that, it’s on par with the quality of multi-million dollar AAA titles — but to be honest, multi-million dollar AAA titles have worse issues than that.

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Crime Boss: Rockay City will begin to drag after the double-digit days as you and the other gangs dig yourselves into a stalemate, turning the base gameplay into a finance/micro-management game that happens to include FPS gameplay. However, that could just be the game hinting you to start making risker plays with Baker as your personal meat shield. 

If you’re looking for an extremely well-executed crime game with spectacular graphics, smart AI, and a simplified turf takeover management similar to Saints Row: The Third, here is a recommendation. If you want PAYDAY 2 (I lied), just go play it until the next one comes out.

8.00/10 8

Crime Boss: Rockay City (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Crime Boss: Rockay City is a pleasant surprise considering all of the aspects that make its foundations usually crumble from the weight. Just get ready to die, try and die again until you take the throne.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Bennett Perry

Bennett Perry

Staff Writer

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