In this next-gen era where we’re all obsessed with graphics, AI (or artificial intelligence) is something of an underdog. It’s the lame, divorced uncle that no one wants to sit next to at dinner parties. The one who also happens to be a trash collector for a living, which means that – much like the AI in games – he’s utterly necessary but frequently undervalued.
Although most games these days are so reliant on online multiplayer, where the need for AI is completely removed by having actual people from around the world shoot you in the face instead of an algorithm, it’s still important. Single player games will never die out, of course, and now that graphics are more or less photo-realistic, it might mean that developers finally switch their priorities back – and maybe even make AI cool again.
It’s been around for long enough, and is arguably the very thing that true videogames were built on, so it is about time it came back to the fore. Did you know, for example, that even those four ghosts in Pac-Man had individually programmed artificial intelligence? No? Well, then you’re a disgrace. The original Halo certainly had a good go, too, and even gave the game the subtitle of Combat Evolved because it was so unique. I’d certainly never witnessed allies driving me around in vehicles before, or enemies rolling out of the way to dodge grenades.
But as far as AI has come, and as amazing as we’ve seen it get (Tom Clancy’s Advanced Warfighter anyone?), there’s certainly been some totally terrible misfires.
Here’s a list of them, see if you don’t agree.