One of the bigger surprises at The Game Awards last year was 505 Games’ Crime Boss: Rockay City. Surprisingly not because of its gameplay (of which little was seen), but due to the sheer number of big-name Hollywood actors attached. Releasing on March 29th for PC via the Epic Games Store, we’ve since learned many more details about this co-op multiplayer shooter. Let’s go over 15 of them here.
The overarching “story” of Crime Boss: Rockay City is that the previous boss has died, and applications are open for the top spot. Of course, it’s not easy as multiple gangs compete, committing heists and fighting for turf to ultimately come out on top. If that sounds like a set-up that would fit the ongoing nature of co-op, you would be correct, but there is a campaign of some note to play.
The single-player campaign is called Baker’s Battle and focuses on Travis Baker (played by Michael Madsen). It follows his story to become the boss of Rockay City, which means conducting heists and battling the other gangs led by Hielo and Dollar Dragon. There’s also Sheriff Norris played by, you guessed it, Chuck Norris, who attempts to stop Baker’s campaign of conquest.
One of the most interesting parts about Baker’s Battle is that it’s a “rogue-lite” campaign. According to previews, based on how reckless and bloodthirsty you are in each mission, Norris will get closer and closer until you’re finally caught. Of course, there’s also the whole capturing turf and adding more soldiers to your cause to conduct heists, but Baker can also participate, which results in a higher payout. However, if he dies, it’s game over. Each playthrough thus offers different objectives, missions and paths to keep you on your toes.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a rogue-lite campaign without some bonuses to tip the odds in your favor. Based on the experience that Baker earns before kicking the bucket, you can unlock perks that make future runs easier. For example, the Hoarder perk rewards you with additional cash when starting a new run, thus giving you an advantage in your Crime Boss activities right off the bat.
The big claim to fame for Crime Boss: Rockay City is its cast, and the ensemble is pretty impressive. Michael Rooker, Danny Glover, Damion Poitier, Danny Trejo, Kim Basinger, and Vanilla Ice join the likes of Madsen and Norris, hamming it up in action-movie fashion. However, several previews have called out the voice-acting for many characters as being less than ideal, so be warned.
Of course, co-op PvE for up to four players is the other hook. It’s available in two modes, the first being Crime Time. Think of this as quick play for heists, playable solo (with bots available) or with other players. Complete them, and you’ll get cash which is used to purchase gear and crew members in addition to further contracts. That same cash is also seemingly usable in Baker’s Battle, so there’s an incentive to delve into the co-op.
Urban Legends is where things get slightly spicier, consisting of multiple missions arranged in separate stories. Some cutscenes connect each mission, and you’ll choose from a specific set of crew members for each heist (and no, none of the Hollywood actors is available). Each character has a unique loadout, whether it’s assault rifles and pistols or baseball bats and rocks. You can also buy more equipment, though the selection’s diversity remains to be seen.
But that’s not all, as each crew member also has Traits. The problem is that based on various previews, not much is known about the Traits save for their names. So you have Resilient, Trained, Devoted, Valiant, Stout, Tearful, Bleeder, Vigorous, and so on. Some increase movement speed and others result in more melee damage. Hopefully, 505 Games and INGAME Studios will provide more details closer to release.
Don’t get too attached to your crew members, though. Polygon’s preview revealed that if they die during a heist, they’re apparently permanently dead, which would explain the seemingly random assortment of Traits that everyone has. However, Rock Paper Shotgun’s preview indicated that each gets multiple lives and if depleted, they’ll be “out of action for a while.” We’ll need to wait for more confirmation on this front, but regardless, you’ll need to be careful when going into a heist, guns blazing.
With all that in mind, what do the various missions in Crime Boss: Rockay City offer? The various locations range from banks and yachts to warehouses and a party at a restaurant swarming with rival gang members. Some missions require stealing stuff, whether cash or various illicit materials, while others task you with taking down rival gang members.
In some scenarios, you must escape by reaching the getaway van in one piece. However, there are some twists, like the getaway van blowing up, and the team rendezvousing at a secondary extraction point.
To Stealth or Not to Stealth
Oddly enough, for all of its focus on stealth, the game is quick to throw this all out of the window in favor of crazy shootouts. Several missions start as stealth-focused and quickly have you shooting up enemies. There are likely some stealth-only heists a la Payday 2, but for now, it’s better to treat Crime Boss as more of a wave-based shooter in terms of its gameplay.
If dealing with rival gang members wasn’t enough, the Rockay City Police Department will also respond to your crimes. A Wanted level keeps track of their appearance, and higher levels result in tougher units (SWAT is already confirmed) being deployed depending on how much chaos you cause. Long story short, expect to run into the cops more often than.
No Dynamic Day/Night Cycle
Given the game’s structure and how you’ll embark on standalone missions instead of exploring a huge open world, Crime Boss: Rockay City doesn’t have a dynamic day/night cycle. Actor Damion Poiter, who plays Nasara, Baker’s right-hand man, confirmed this in a Q&A with WCCFTech. So while some missions happen at night or during the day, time pretty much stays static.
Crime Boss: Rockay City requires a surprising 90 GB of installation space on PC, Windows 10 and DirectX 12. The minimum requirements include an Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600, 16 GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 (4 GB) or AMD Radeon RX 570 (4 GB). Recommended requirements include a Core i5-10600K or AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT, 16 GB of RAM and either GTX 1070 (8 GB) or Radeon RX Vega 56 (8 GB). Not the craziest requirements, thankfully.
4K Ultra HD on Consoles
Along with PC, Crime Boss: Rockay City is coming to Xbox Series X/S and PS5. There’s no release date for the console versions, but the Xbox Store listing does confirm support for 4K Ultra HD (which means PS5 players should expect the same). It’s also “Optimized for Xbox Series X/S,” so expect fast loading times on both consoles thanks to their SSDs.