Meet the motorised Patriot. This creepy, Washington-faced automaton will try to mow you down with his gatling gun in the first-person shooter BioShock Infinite, which will be out October 16 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.
He's one of the Heavy Hitters, a group of enemies that the team says will "provide a unique challenge" to protagonist Booker DeWitt as he tries to fight his way out of the city of Columbia. He also started life as a tour guide, Infinite director Ken Levine told me during a phone interview last week. The demonic patriot was built by Columbia's ruling faction, the Founders, and designed to show the sights and sounds of their floating city.
"His job is to sell people on the vision of Columbia," Levine said. "The Founders have this extremely grandiose vision of what their mission is, and the motorised Patriot's job is to go around and sell that vision -- at first."
Then shit goes down. The Founders arm the motorised Patriots and set them loose on the city. And while you might be able to reason with some of BioShock Infinite's other big baddies, these creepy presidential robots are pretty much all bloodshed, all the time -- although Levine says you'll be able to hack and force them to join your side.
"Also, the Vox Populi can hack them," Levine said, referring to the game's second main faction -- a resistance group that uses brutal methods to fight the Founders. "Later on, you'll come across motorised Patriots who are sort of dressed up in Vox Populi colours, with different heads put on, representing one of their heroes. And they're working for the Vox Populi, spouting their propaganda."
The team won't talk about the other Heavy Hitters yet, but Levine doesn't want to compare them to the first BioShock's Big Daddies.
"I don't generally try to sort of say, 'Well, we had a tap dance number in the first one, we need to have a tap dance number in this one,'" he said. "We are really trying to make something that is its own, has its own interesting things.
"There's gonna be a lot of interesting things in the game that I think remind people a lot of BioShock, but we're not really trying to sort of match anything nose for nose."