Crime Boss: Rockay City

  • Online Co-Op: 4 Players
  • + Co-Op Modes
Crime Boss: Rockay City - Co-op Review
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Crime Boss: Rockay City - Co-op Review

Team up with fellow crooks to score a payday in this slick, co-op heist game!

When PAYDAY 3 arrived with a thud last fall, it paved the way for other games to take the “cooperative heist game” crown. Surprisingly, the one to take that crown actually came out before PAYDAY 3, and it came from the same publisher, 505 Games. That’s right, Crime Boss: Rockay City first launched on Epic and then consoles early in 2023, meeting somewhat mixed reviews. Since then, InGame Studios has released numerous updates to address player feedback and overhaul multiplayer progression. Now, Crime Boss: Rockay City has just expanded its territory by launching on Steam, giving us a perfect chance to review it.

Crime Boss begins with a single-player tutorial that teaches the basics of gameplay. The tutorial can be skipped if you’re in a hurry to hop into multiplayer, but it’s only 5-10 minutes long. The solo campaign opens with the tutorial anyway, so most players will end up completing it one way or another.

Crime Boss Rockay City Steam

The campaign starts with a cinematic depicting the death of the old crime boss of Rockay City. In the old boss’s absence, Baker (the main character, voiced by an aged Michael Madsen) and other gang leaders now vie for the top spot. Several other celebrities lend their voices to the campaign, including Michael Rooker as Baker’s foul-mouthed lieutenant, Danny Glover, Danny Trejo, Vanilla Ice, Chuck Norris, and Kim Basinger. These big-name voices don’t all do a great job at voice acting, but they do lend the cinematics a certain movielike atmosphere. For better or worse, Crime Boss’s cinematics seem to be partially responsible for its huge installation size: nearly 90 GB on Steam. That’s approaching Call of Duty levels of disregard for players’ storage space.

Crime Boss Rockay City Steam

As for the mechanics of the campaign, Baker and his gang must work to expand their territory throughout the city. Each in-game day, players will access a map of the city and choose whether to perform heists, attack and steal rival territories, and more. On these missions, the player will select and command a squad of NPC teammates. Directing subordinates to steal loot, tie someone up, and other activities is as simple as looking at the target and holding “up” on the d-pad. Underlings will also fight and revive you if you’re downed, so they’re surprisingly fun to bring along. However, teammates can only be used once per in-game day. Players must pick and choose what to do each day in order to get the most bang for their bucks. Upgrading the team, selecting and completing optional goals, and managing the gang’s finances are also part of the campaign experience. If you fail during a campaign run, you get to restart while keeping some upgrades, so there’s a roguelite element too.

Online multiplayer is where most players will spend the bulk of their time, and it’s entirely co-op. Missions can be played individually or in sets via the Shuffle and Urban Legends options. The Shuffle option lets the team choose to play through a short, medium, or long playlist of missions, culminating in a longer and more challenging heist. Urban Legends, on the other hand, is a set of short multiplayer campaigns with cinematics that play between missions. Completing Urban Legends will unlock unique characters for hire in other modes. Co-op players can join the team during the lobby phase and even mid-mission, incidentally.