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Enemies I Hate: The Motorized Patriot

the-motorized-patriot

Enemies I Hate is a new segment where I take a closer look at some of the more frustrating or difficult enemies I come across in games. Whether they are tough to beat, hard to figure out or just plain annoying – I’ll clue you in on exactly what they did to rouse my ire.

Warning: The following contains mild spoilers about weapons, abilities and enemies (duh) in Bioshock: Infinite. Read at your own risk (and if something gets spoiled, cry about it somewhere else).

You just know it’s going to be a good article* when I’m 100 words in and I haven’t even got past the disclaimers yet (*actual article quality may differ) – but anyway, I thought I’d share some thoughts on the enemy which has been terrorizing my nights recently, fresh out of Bioshock: Infinite: The Motorized Patriot.

For anyone who hasn’t played, the Motorized Patriot is a slick blend of propaganda and killing power. It’s basically an automated mechanical sentry which is equipped with a heavy-duty “Pepper-Mill” gatling gun and a strong sense of national pride. Both of these things tend to grate at me, but let’s get into the specifics first before I begin ranting about how in particular it hurt my feelings.

Name: “The Motorized Patriot”, I thought I had made this obvious by now.

Size: It stands roughly 2 feet or so taller than your character, Booker DeWitt, so I can assume it’s roughly in the 7-9 foot range. It’s also quite wide due to the wings on its back, and has an alarming tendency to fill doorways making it difficult to get past it (or get around behind it).

Shape: The Patriot was originally designed to be a tour guide to the city of Columbia (or so Wikipedia tells me) and as such they look like large robotic models of the American founding fathers, particularly George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin. Getting more specific, they are humanoid machines with large wings on their back and visible red cogs in between the wings. They have a waxy, porcelain-like face which depicts one of the founding fathers and as I said above they carry a large machine gun.

Weapon: Not to directly repeat myself, but the Patriots use a Pepper-Mill Gatling Gun to inflict large amounts of damage. They also attack relentlessly, being robots, despite any damage they take and will charge you if you are in melee range (or are stupid enough to try a Skyline Strike on them, which puts you in melee range).

Weakness:
As with most enemies Patriots can be stunned with Shock Jockey and Bucking Bronco, or possessed with Possession. They are immune to Murder of Crows so don’t try that. They have weak points (critical areas) in the head until it is blown off at around 30-40% health (assuming you are hitting it) and in the visible cogs between their wings (assuming you can get behind them to shoot it). They are also predictable in their movements, so it’s easy to lay traps for them, and due to their large damage output they make great targets for Return to Sender as you won’t have to hold your shield out long before absorbing a decent amount of damage.

Rarity: Motorized Patriots are fairly common throughout the game, the first one being introduced within the first few hours and then others popping up with regularity as the game progresses. When you first encounter a Patriot it is in a room by itself, but this quickly swaps over to being deployed along side other enemies (usually not heavy-hitters) and occasionally you will even fight two of these at once. As far as “heavy hitters” go in Bioshock: Infinite, these are the most common (with the possible exception of fire fighters).

Difficulty (on a scale of Grunt to Hunter): Hunter.

These big guys are slow-moving and predictable, easy to anticipate and take damage from virtually everything in the game except Murder of Crows. This should make them easy, but unfortunately their massive amounts of health and damage output counteracts this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s never really hard to work out what you should be doing with a patriot – they are essentially a walking, talking, historic phrase-spouting target – but they are such a drain on ammo that it’s never quite as easy as it should be.

Subjective example: I think I used over 6 RPG rounds (see: rockets) on one of these bad boys before it stopped ticking. And RPG ammo doesn’t grow on trees.

Luckily, Patriots are loud and easily visible – which helps when you need to get away from one to regenerate your shields or, more likely, scrounge around for some ammo (assuming they don’t block the door you are trying to escape through and cause a horrible death). The fact that you can possess them also helps since they will eliminate your other enemies for you and take some damage in the process. But in the long run the sheer amount of bullets and salts (mana) that these guys will take up has been a bit of a game breaker for me.

It all comes down to the crit points. As above, weaknesses are in the head and the back. But as the head blows off when the patriot takes sustained damage to it – this isn’t a given (although shooting the empty neck socket is a potential win, I haven’t been able to confirm whether this works 100% of the time or not). This leaves you with the cog in the back – guarded by two giant wings and the Patriots tendency to swing around to face you.

So what do you do? Stun and gun ofcourse!

Or I would, if the patriot didn’t have a bad habit of snapping out of my stun about .5 of a second too early and then immediately charge me since I am inevitably too close to his back – taking off about half my health.

Here is where the game design lets you down a little. I feel like had the stun lasted a little longer, patriots wouldn’t feel as time/ammo/salts consuming as they are. But as it stands, I end up spamming either my vigors or my weapons (usually both) just in order to take one down – and then find myself low on either salts or ammo (usually both) as well as missing a fair bit of health by the time I’m finished.

Keep in mind, this is on the “Hard” difficulty setting, so who knows if the stun lasts longer on Easy or Normal (I’m guessing if you are playing on those difficulties you do know, in which case feel free to comment).

Anyway, to summarise, The Motorized Patriot is an enemy I hate in a game that so far I love. It’s not that they don’t fit into the universe, they are a perfect match with the city of Columbia and all the propaganda flying around, it’s because they are boring and irritating to defeat. I don’t feel like they take much skill or effort to get past really, they just take a lot of your resources and leave you unprepared for whatever is around the next corner. Unlike the Big Daddy in the original Bioshock, I’m not scared of the Motorized Patriot – I’m just scared of what will happen when I run into a pack of Comstock’s soldiers directly after fighting one.

Motorized Patriot, o how I loathe thee.

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