The gaming industry has undergone a series of changes and games have played a key role in AI research, by posing interesting problems to tackle. But it is not just AI progressed thanks to games, the gaming industry too has benefited from the integration of AI. In fact, AI has bettered games on several fronts – from game design, development to functionality and even how it is played. DeepMind’s AlphaGo software, better known for beating reigning Go champion was one of the best milestones for AI in the gaming industry.
Game AI, which resembles AI, has long been in the game development space. The aspect of AI in a game is unique in every game. AI is programmed differently in terms of gaming. Right from Finite state machines in Pac-man to A* algorithm in Mario, the contribution of game AI towards improving the game has been immense. Thanks to the progress in deep learning, computers may next able to handle ‘cognitive processes’ in games and give gamers a run for their money.
1. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Gamers call the Splinter Cell series a revolution. Splinter Cell is an action-adventure game that relies on stealth and strategy in the gameplay. The player plays as Sam Fisher, a highly skilled agent for an intelligence division. A typical third-person shooter, the player will strategise his moves in order to accomplish each levels in the game.
The recent addition, Splinter Cell: Blacklist is touted as a gem. The opponent AI gets into the details. AI responds to every move made by the player and acts accordingly. Be it the different maneuvers in the game, the “Guard AI” is simply exceptional.
2. Rocket League
Rocket League is a football video game which features cars powered with rockets. Released in 2015, it is still one of the most played online multiplayer game. Gameplay involves players to hit the ball into the opponent’s goal with rocket-powered cars. Although it looks just like any sport video game, the game AI is very powerful to handle the ball game strategy. This provides a realistic experience. The idea of clubbing the fascination of soccer and cars has turned out very well, and Rocket League is a fine example of perfecting this idea.
Minecraft is a sandbox game first designed by developer Markus Persson and later on by Mojang. Unlike a conventional video game, Minecraft has no specific goals to achieve in the game. The players simply arrange 3D objects (blocks) to create a game world, making Minecraft a never-ending game. That’s it. The game does offer various different modes such as adventure mode, spectator mode and so on.
What makes Minecraft amazing is the game AI, which adapts to the players’ customisation and offers the power of creating virtual environments indefinitely. Although there are games similar to Minecraft, not one has come close to its creativity and the freedom it gives to the gamers.
First Encounter Assault Recon, better known as F.E.A.R, is a first-person shooter (FPS) video game developed by Monolith Productions. Released in 2005, this game garnered a lot of attention in the gaming community for its in-game AI. In fact, it gives a close competition to today’s modern games.
Coming to the gameplay, it is a typical tactical shooter game with a spooky storyline. As mentioned earlier, what sets it apart is the opponent AI which is extremely good and acts on even minute details. For example, in the game if a player takes cover behind a barricade, the enemy AI quickly processes and throws a grenade to eliminate the player. Another aspect is the Game AI’s communication in the game. The enemies talk and detail their movements according to that of the players.
F.E.A.R has explored what AI could not achieved in the earlier years, that is, giving a human-like experience . Even today, the game is one of the greatest shooter Game AI.
5. The Last of Us
Last but not the least, The Last of Us is an action-adventure video game published by Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2013. The game covers the story of a duo of survivors who tread to find a cure for a plague that has infected most of the humans in US. Gameplay offers a third-person perspective as the player goes through a host of tasks and scenarios spread across the game world.
Coming to the game AI, every character has two sets of behavioral traits — on the offensive front (opponent AI side) and the other on the defensive side(player’s side). It all depends on how the players respond to the situation which involves different characters. The AI switches based on these responses and acts accordingly. However, The Last of Us has received criticism, at times where the AI behaves weirdly. Nevertheless, the game patches has fixed these issue.
The Last of Us is certainly never to be missed if you want a have a feel of human-like AI.