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American Patriots: The Swamp Fox (PC) artwork

American Patriots: The Swamp Fox (PC) review

"This swamp might have a leech infestation - Because it sucks."

Steam is filled with awful games, and it would be pretty unfair to lump American Patriots in among the worst of them but, at the same time, it’s not particularly good. It’s stable enough and it’s not a mindless asset flip; it knows what it wants to be, and it works towards its own sense of identity. Inspired by a scene in movie-I’ve-never-seen, The Patriot that where, I guess, a lot of British dudes are shot in a swamp, American Patriots drops you in a swamp, gives you a gun and introduces you to a lot of British dudes. You have to shoot them. There’s no enemy variation; Team Britain arrive, resplendent in their spiffy red coats, shuffle forward awkwardly a few steps in your direction, fire the identical single shot rifle every last enemy troop has then s-l-o-w-l-y reloads in preparation to repeat the cycle over and over until they win or they die.

Their biggest strength is in their number. They’re infinite. So, how does one lone Yankee stand a chance? The short answer is, he doesn’t. There’s no win conditions; you fight the endless red wave until they shoot you. The more complex answer is you have access to dirty tactics the honour-bound British forces would never sully themselves with, such as side-stepping or aiming. Mobility is your greatest weapon, but this will only get you so far. There’s no cover to abuse, and strategic retreats are often curtailed by the invisible walls surrounding the swamp. Still, a lone Redcoat presents little threat, and his telegraphed attacks are easy to avoid. You also have a superior weapon, allowing you a majestic TWO attacks before needing to reload. But put one enemy down, and another two painfully shuffle out of the awful draw distance mist. Accuracy is always forced to accept redundancy under the weight of sheer volume.

The British are coming. And coming. And coming.

If winless horde mode doesn’t strike your fancy, you’re also offered winless rougelike mode. Here, you’re given a bigger swamp and a more manageable spawn rate so you can wander around and complete optional chores. Exciting era-appropriate chores, like making homebrew beer, or growing cabbages. Completing these tasks will buff your American, letting him move faster or absorb a little more punishment. Which he’ll need, considering he’ll spend most of his time lost, because the environments all look the same and there’s no map function provided.

Maybe the biggest issue is there’s little reward to aim for. There’s a single achievement available for killing 66 Redcoats in horde, but that arena is so basic that survival comes down to dumb luck rather than mad skills. The majority of my deaths came at the hands of a sneaky Brit using his everspawn skills to teleport into a blind spot. There’s no plot to advance past the intro screen which is just a screen of text, there’s no finishing line to crawl towards. There’s the foundations of a game present – which elevates it above the quagmire sloshing around at the bottom of Steam’s barrel -- but there’s just precious little reason to want to play it.

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (January 04, 2021)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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A clever inside reference.


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