Let’s Talk… F.E.A.R. AI

Alma!  I was thinking back to my favourite games of yesteryear and F.E.A.R. is one always stays in my mind.  In part because back in 2005, it scared the hell out of me!  Even now if I replay it, whilst I know what’s coming, it’s still creepy.  Moving past that though, it did something back in 2005 most games didn’t do well then, and even now.  It had very, very good AI.

The A.I (artificial intelligence) of the enemies you faced proved that F.E.A.R. was very far ahead of other shooters, it just did what you would expect an enemy soldier to do.  If you’re sitting still in a spot, they would try to flank you and they would take different routes to reach you.  Hiding in cover you say?  Well they will just throw grenades over whilst flanking.  This rarely happens in games now as they just throw waves of enemies at you who follow the same path, or if it’s a cover shooter they will sit behind cover and not move, so it becomes an easy task for you to dispose of them.  This game however did none of this and you had to be moving and mixing your strategy up.  Repeating the same thing just wouldn’t work.  The AI in this would make use of cover too but instead of being static to it, they would move around whilst another flanks you.  Then you may have one throwing in a grenade to top it off.

Not only will they do what I have mentioned, they will retreat if needed instead of just being a bullet sponge like a modern shooters.  You may see a window and a door; well they will use that too to try come back at you from a different position, or 2 may come from each position to flank you.  They also had brilliant aim – these were no Stormtroopers!  On top of this, to make it more intense, the enemy AI communicated.  So you’re trying to flank them?  Expect them to announce it to a nearby solider.  This just added to what was a very well done experience.  How F.E.A.R.’s developer achieved this was just brilliant.  If only they could work on AI on every game.  What makes all of this is a shame is that, since 2005 and many many games since, I don’t feel any AI has or is as good as it was in F.E.A.R.  This game is still brilliant today and if you do wish to play it, it’s very cheap now and easily obtainable.  Quick search on Steam and you will find it.  I highly recommend the game itself – it’s outstanding.  You may need some extra pants though… after all Alma will say hello.

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Mark

The newest member of the Codec Moments team… you can find me on nearly every gaming platform there is.

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