AC: Artificial Cleverz (Reposted from my external blog)

Published by Xeno in the blog Xeno's blog. Views: 213

NOTICE: This article contains copious amounts of Nerd and Gamer. We urge you to at least try reading it to the end, if not for our sake, for the HORDE children.

OTHER NOTICE: Also, it’s very long.

One thing I should explain before I get things underway, I’m a gamer. A PC gamer, to be specific, mainly due to my Father. I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. My Daddykins (you really should see the shade of purple he turns when his 18 year old son calls him Daddykins. There is no other reason to call him it, other than the reaction it provokes) is the sort of person who thinks that if he’s going to spend money on something, he doesn’t want to have to spend more money on it in the future. This is why for my 16th Birthday he bought me my current PC, after my previous one was infected by Beelzebub himself (My stepdad plugged a USB stick into it to try and fix it, the PC infected that too) and why he spent over one thousand pounds on it. It’s a Quad-Core PC with 500GB of Hard Drive space, a 1TB External Hard Drive, 8GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT Graphics Card.

I had to do some serious googling to know what any of that meant.

What all of this means however, is that I have a very good PC for everyday life (although we will not mention Vista). It also means that I have a very good PC for gaming. I have the ability to play Crysis on its highest display settings smoothly (which, if you haven’t seen the highest display setting on Crysis, is almost photo-realistic) and play most games at an XBOX360/PS3 level of detail.

Now that I have not much to do in my everyday life, I tend to play games a lot. Recently, I came across the PC versions of Star Wars: Battlefront and Star Wars: Battlefront 2 in a bargain bin and, remembering the love I used to have for them on the PS2, immediately bought them. Getting home and playing them was as surprising as it was a trip down Nostalgia Lane.

These games are as good as I remember. Good ol’ fashioned third person (or first person) shooting with the added bonus of a keyboard and mouse (the only way I can decently play shooting games that don’t feature auto-target), but with lasers. Also fun is the fact that you can run around as a Stormtrooper, which I don’t think a single Star Wars fan would turn down.

However, I have one issue with the games, particularly Battlefront 2, as I have spent comparatively more time playing it than the first.

The A.I. is hilarious.

I can remember an article in PC Gamer years ago with the Top Ten Things a Soldier in a Shoot-Em-Up Should Not Do, which included things like walking quizzically over to the exact spot where your friend was just shot, or standing fixed to the spot while firing at a legion of oncoming enemies, etc, etc.
The A.I. in Battlefront must have seen this article and decided that these were all really good ideas.

This is evident practically all the time whilst playing. For instance, say you’re in a corridor filled with both Rebels and your fellow Stormtroopers (not unlike the first scene in Star Wars IV), firing blindly at one another. You (the player) step out from cover and unleash your Laser Minigun into the crowd, mowing down Rebels left, right and centre. It is at this point that Trooper number GD-605 (henceforth known as ‘Rambo’) will run straight past you, the man with his finger firmly pressed on the trigger of a Laser Minigun, whip out his tiny handgun and try and take on the entire Rebel army. As you can probably guess, he gets mowed down as soon as he steps in front of the LASER FRIGGING MINIGUN, and you receive -1 point for teamkilling. Well done, Rambo.

Another example, you’re on a map that features automatically opening and closing doors (EVERY SINGLE MAP) and there’s a clump of Rebels charging toward your position. You’re stood there with your Troopers, firing into this crowd to try and slow them down, when Rambo chucks a grenade at the clump. Good tactic Rambo, but there’s one thing you forgot: The door is automatic. All of the Troopers instinctively run away from the grenade, causing the doors to close and the grenade to bounce back, sticking itself to any one of the poor Troopers who happened to be in the way. Grenade explodes, all Troopers killed, Rebels take over base. Congratulations, Rambo!

However, the best example, absolutely biscuit-taking demonstration of the A.I. in this game occurred this very evening.

Every class of infantry has two weapons, a primary weapon and a secondary weapon. The primary being a blaster or shotgun and the secondary being a pistol. Now for this moment of hilarity, Rambo is a member of the engineer class, who carry shotguns as their primary weapon. And a very powerful weapon it is, as Rambo demonstrates by wading through an entire garrison of Rebels scum with One Hit Kills to each soldier he comes across. All well and good, until Rambo gets to the last Rebel and finds that he’s out of ammo. So he switches to his secondary weapon, which is a ‘Fusion Cutter’. For those unfamiliar with the game, a ‘Fusion Cutter’ is effectively a glorified screwdriver, which is meant for fixing turrets or vehicles. It is not a weapon by any stretch of the imagination. However, this doesn’t bother Rambo, who happily runs after the Rebel like he’d just heard ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ over the speaker system.

Think of the moment in Anchorman where the main characters are in a huge brawl, when suddenly Brick is stood in the centre, brandishing a grenade and screaming. Replace the grenade with an apple, and that is effectively the scene with have here. Rambo, obviously unaware that the ‘Fusion Cutter’ is not hurting the Rebel, happily runs after the Rebel wherever he goes, apparently trying to ‘fix’ him. However, the best part of this little scenario is the reaction of the Rebel soldier. It seems that the A.I. has a rule in which it will not kill an unarmed man, so the Rebel simply continues to run away from Rambo without even attempting to retaliate. It’s as if Rambo were a fangirl and the Rebel was Robert Patterson. And none of the other Rebels fire at Rambo either, so the chase continues until the Rebel is killed, at which point Eager Beaver Rambo will simply begin following another Rebel until either the end of the match, or he is led into the crossfire and killed. Points for perseverance, Rambo!

However, I will concede that one advantage the A.I. has over a human player is that it does not panic. Such as when I am fighting 57 Rebels with only 3 Troopers left (including myself) and my itchy trigger finger causes me to shoot the first thing that I see move. Which happens to be my reinforcements. Closely followed by the entire 57 Rebel troops.

  • Chudz
  • Xeno
  • soujiroseta
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