Crime Boss: Rockay City - Official Launch Trailer

Michael Madsen carried the burdens of 1000 lifetimes into the recording studio for this, and none of them turned in a good performance. Serial asshole Chuck Norris is so lifeless that an 80's text-to-speech system could have done a better job delivering his lines. Kim Basinger and Danny Glover’s agents should be fired into the sun for this. And Vanilla Ice...well, Vanilla Ice is actually great here, I have nothing bad to say about Vanilla Ice.


There’s writing in Rockay City in the most qualifying sense, in that there are words in the English language that come after other words, but whether these form complete and coherent sentences is up for debate. There is also a plot, in the same way the key art and promo tweet for a Grand Theft Auto Online mission has a plot.

There’s no vision here beyond “here’s some stuff that might seem cool to guys who got too into the Johnny Depp trial and whose two favourite movies are Resorvoir Dogs and Scarface”. There’s no context or cohesion either, even though visually everything has the same generic crime game sheen you’d have expected from a clone of a clone of a GTA clone on the Xbox 360. To look at Rockay City is to be shaken around the inside of a shipping container full of Ed Hardy jeans and Steven Seagal movies.

6 Minutes of Crime Boss: Rockay City Official Gameplay

What’s it actually like to play? See above. You sneak around for a bit, you shoot some guys—who are often just innocent people, and who take a lot of bullets—then you shoot a lot more, because Rockay City never knows when to turn the volume down. It’s a “Level 99 Crime Boss” mobile game with the violent aspirations (or absence of a moral compass) of a late 90's PC shooter.


Rockay City had real money spent on it, paid for genuine Hollywood involvement. It was a crime game, it had guns, it spent enough marketing money that it somehow turned up in a announcement post, it should have meant something to someone. Yet we have, to our collective credit, rejected this game wholesale. The game doesn’t just suck, even the idea of it sucks. It’s a disaster at a conceptual level. Nobody talks about it, nobody plays it; the game is only available on PC, yet isn’t on Steam, and its official subreddit has...242 members.

I can’t say Rockay City is good. I can’t say it’s bad beyond the ways I’ve already described it (though here’s its Metacritic page if you’d like to broaden your horizons). I can’t say it’s so bad it’s good. I honestly don’t think traditional video game quantifiers work here. This isn’t a 2023 game release, it’s a black hole in the middle of it, sucking light and energy and washed up old actors into its void.