Top 5 Video Games that have Made the Best Use of AI
By Saheli Roy Chowdhuri
There has always been a deep-seated connection between AI and Gaming. When researchers at Open AI, a think tank co-founded by Elon Musk, imparted curiosity to an AI program, it basically played video games all day in a bid to seek new experiences. And as the rules of fair play dictate, AI technology has returned the favour over the years by helping games to be exponentially better at design, functionality, and gameplay.
Here’s an in-depth look at some of the leading games that have leveraged AI to improve the performance and decision-making process of non-player characters (NPCs):
1. First Encounter Assault Recon (F.E.A.R)
Developer: Monolith Productions
Release Date: October 17, 2005
Genre: Horror and Strategy
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Although there have been numerous benefits of artificial intelligence in the gaming industry over the years, nothing comes close to this. Even after 14 years in the market, F.E.A.R is one FPS game that is known to have explored AI like none other. Its game engine's use of artificial intelligence techniques is extremely intuitive and acts on every minute detail, forcing the player to keep on exploring new strategies. For instance, enemy soldiers can work together to form impromptu squads based on their proximity to you and each other. They are also constantly self-aware, actively chanting out narratives such as “He’s flanking us” or “I’ve got nowhere to go!”
2. Alien Isolation
Developer: Creative Assembly
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Genre: Survival horror
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Alien Isolation is one of the most impressive games when it comes to enemy AI and has been dubbed as ‘The Perfect Organism’. As the protagonist, you are trapped on the Sevastopol space station along with one intelligent (and lifelike) alien that runs on some unique and complex components of artificial intelligence. The game boasts one of the longest known interaction times between the player and the enemy. To live up to this purpose, its AI has imparted a unique design perspective via a collection of decision-making systems that intuitively react to every instance in the game.
3. The Last of Us
Developer: Naughty Dog
Release Date: June 14, 2013
Genre: Action-adventure Survival Horror
The Last of Us was another artificial intelligence breakthrough. Not only does it feature a dedicated Enemy AI but it explores a whole new gaming experience by including a Buddy AI as well. The enemy AI engine makes hostile enemies combat in intuitive ways. For instance, they can call for backup or may take cover, depending on the situation. They can even choose to take advantage of the player if he is injured or distracted! The Buddy AI is represented by the companion Ellie who can assist you in combat by throwing objects at enemies to surprise them or announce their location.
4. The Last Guardian
Developer: SIE Japan Studio, genDESIGN
Release Date: December 6, 2016
The Last Guardian is about a boy (your character) who befriends a giant half-dog half-bird creature named Trico. The fact that its artificial intelligence development took 9 years to complete speaks volumes about the attention to detail that the development team has put into it. Undoubtedly, the AI behind Trico is the highlight of the game which is known to be the most believable AI life-form ever created in a game. Its behaviour is in perfect randomness, making the players connect to the dog as if it was their own pet.
5. Hello, Neighbour
Developer: Dynamic Pixels
Release Date: December 8, 2017
Genre: Stealth, survival horror
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, iOS, Android
Hello, Neighbour is another promising entry where the player must sneak into the basement of the neighbour’s house to uncover a secret. It sounds simple enough until you realize that the neighbour remembers your past moves and lays around traps along the path you followed in previous attempts. This has been made possible by using a smooth AI training curve that constantly learns from your moves, modifying its own behaviour according to your tactics.