Monday, 9 January 2012


Firstly let me address the distance between posts, It been nearly three weeks, I must apologise, been researching  (i.e doing nothing but playing computer games, stuffing my face and taking the dog for a walk)

I have too many games to play and too little time. 

I was going to do a post about what I want to see implemented into the next generation of consoles/xbox, but with a major lack of research, (thanks to epic and gearsmas, and xmas preparation, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.) I will do that in the new year when I actually have the time to create a list first and foremost and then have the time to research the instruments of enticement and improvement to the consoles.

In Other News: My favourite NFL team; The Indianapolis Colts finally won a game this year!!! YAY!!!! 

Oh and it's Christmas!!!

Now to today's topic; I'm not sure what to call this, so lets say it is about Artifical Intelligence (AI) and how it relates to real life situations.

AI is anything that the computer itself controls to play alongside or against you. (Enemies in a First Person Shooter, teammates and opposition in any sports game) 

Sometimes the AI can be your best friend, (in gaming terms you could refer to this as SI (Situation Awareness)) at other times it is just terrible. For example in Fifa Football one of the most popular game modes is Pro Clubs. If you do not have a GoalKeeper, you could be in serious trouble. One of the major flaws in the AI of this game is that they make really really really stupid mistake, like the GK will Kick a goal kick out as a small pass, and the timing is normally terrible, as it is random, it could be the first goal kick of the match or it could be the 89th minute and you are tied in the cup final. And if you do not have a defender prepared to cover, then chances are the other team, will intercept it and score.

The AI is just as poor sometimes when passing the ball, and will chip it to you from about 4 yards away.

Despite that, in career mode, it is annoyingly good, as it just holds onto the ball and pass the ball around and away from you when you try to predict where they are going to pass next. So it is good in some aspects.

The problem is, you cannot train with the AI, for example the Barcelona Football Club in games and real life, and are famed for the attacking free flowing passing play. They all have a great chemistry within the team as they have been playing that way for years and years and years. Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Xavi, Andreas Iniesta, have all come through the Barca Academy and have played probably in excess of 4-500 games together easily in their lifetime.

It has probably gotten to the point where they know almost telepathically what one of the other's are going to do. You just can't do this with Computer Controlled AI, as they do not play consistently enough to predict. One Game they are the MVP, next they can't string two passes together.

The difference from game is excruciatingly annoyingly, the Barca players have confidence in each other, which leads to significant trust, once you trust someone, especially a team mate in a sport grows your own confidence, and allows you to play freely.

It dosen't help that computer ai dosen't play their positions correctly. I play Left Back for my club online, and the other three defenders do not play offside well at all, their positioning is poor for lack of a broadcastable word. Communication is also an issue. You can tell if someone is playing badly, you can have a word, whether to have a go, or encourage, or even to say calm down, and just do some simple passes alright. You cannot do this with a Computer as it dosen't understand. If you didn't ask for a pass, i'm not entirely sure what the ai would do.

Communication, Consistency, are the main problems of the Computer Controlled AI. Which is bad considering it is there as a CRUCIAL MEMBER of the team in every game, this is very much a bad thing.

Sometimes AI can be useful. Take the Game Halo: Reach. You play Noble 6. The 6th member of Noble Squad. A team of super soldiers. The other five whenever you play alongside them are invincible. (very Handy feature) but they lack a killer instinct as a soldier. Considering the achievement in this game is to complete the game on it's hardest difficulty on your own, (a very considerable task) you would think that the team mates would be better than what they are.

As it turns out though, this is not the bad news you would think. You see said achievement I mentioned, states that you have to do this solo, and this is the first game where you are not the only super-soldier around. Meaning the previous games Halo's 1, 2, 3, had sub-par allies while you were a big weapon of destruciton.

Odst: had a squad but it felt more like you were doing all the work.

The allies I believe have been made to be sub-par to make your efforts more important, so that you become the hero that the achievement requires you to be. Only the very best are really going to get this achievement. I've only done 2 missions so far. Of which I really abused my team-mates just picking off whoever beat them up for the last ten minutes while I hide in the corner silently crying.

One game where I have found the Allies useful was a World War II game, Call Of Duty 2. The COD series, in single player, has always been solely about the player, it is all on you, and how you must fight to win the fight before they get themselves inexplicably killed. However they are useful in when you get a bit further ahead of the level and hide in a corner as they will move up and clean a room out.

But The allies of COD do fall down, as the game just simply asks you to put what seems like the entire allied forces on your back and carry them to victory.

The Best AI in any game, Is Rainbow 6 3 on the original Xbox. You gave them an order they did it. They got execute complicated orders as well. Like Open, Flash and Clear (Open door, throw Flashbang, then execute enemies.) Absolute dream. The 4 man team could hold their own in a firefight, although they would follow you, and I think their get into cover skill was lacking a bit. But they would spot enemies and if under right combat instructions, (Fire on Sight, Fire when shot at) would take out said enemies before even I knew what was going on.

I'm not too sure what to expect from Computer AI, but the very least I expect is for said AI to back me up sufficently. Whether it's Fifa, I'd expect it to be able to tackle, pass, and shoot efficently, or a shooter, I expect it to be able to at least kill something, and to know when to revive a team-mate.

I do not know if this is possible right about now, but I do wonder if it is possible to create an AI in a game which is superb, that rarely misses, that wont mess about.

I think the closest you come to that is on the hardest difficulties on most shooters. especially in the now standard Horde Mode in every shooter worth it's salt.

Anyway, Keep Gaming, and send me moments of pure gaming pleasure for me to publish on here.


Mason Cooper 42

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