Video games have come a long way since the days of pixelated characters and simple gameplay. Today,
they are a fusion of art, technology, and storytelling, thanks in no small part to the subtle yet
powerful role played by artificial intelligence (AI). While AI in gaming often goes unnoticed by
players, it's the driving force behind creating immersive and dynamic gaming experiences.
AI-Infused Text Games
Leveraging technology akin to the one fueling ChatGPT, AI text games harken back to the era of classic text-based adventures like Zork or The Hobbit. However, unlike their predecessors with limited scope, AI text games open the door to nearly boundless possibilities. Take AI Dungeon, for instance, where you can seamlessly traverse worlds, epochs, and dimensions in just a few sentences.
Games Crafted by AI
AI-generated games are those that have been predominantly crafted by AI models. Given the relative novelty of the technology behind these games, they remain somewhat scarce in the market. A noteworthy example is "The Girl Does Not Exist," a relatively straightforward puzzle game where every element has been generated by an AI model.
Advanced AI-Enhanced Gaming
Numerous games currently available employ highly advanced forms of AI to enhance the player experience. Consider "The Last of Us: Part II," which harnesses advanced AI to empower its adversaries, granting them a heightened 'awareness state.' This means that if an enemy witnesses one of their comrades meeting an untimely demise without actually spotting the perpetrator, that specific enemy will be on high alert, more vigilant, and driven by a vengeful resolve.
Games Powered by Generative AI
This category encompasses games that incorporate AI-driven NPCs, AI-generated assets, procedural generation, or any other features primarily brought to life by generative AI. While many of these generative AI components are relatively new to the gaming industry, procedural generation has been in use for a significant duration. It has even found its way into several prominent titles, including No Man’s Sky, Persona, Hades, and Diablo. An example of AI NPCs in games can be found in Cygnus Enterprises, where the companion character PEA is fueled by generative AI.
AI in video games is a constantly evolving field, with each game genre employing AI in its unique way. One of the critical aspects of AI in gaming is programming the behavior of non-playable characters (NPCs). These characters need to feel credible and capable, adding depth to the gaming world.
The gaming industry has been a breeding ground for AI advancements. In the past, AI was primarily used to help players plan their next move. However, in modern games, AI is harnessed to enhance aesthetics and resolve in-game issues on the fly. This evolution goes beyond mere amusement; AI in gaming has real-world applications, like using AI to educate future generations about this exciting technology, as seen with Sophia the Robot.
Let's delve into some of the most notable examples of AI in video games that have pushed the boundaries of gaming experiences:
Intelligent Foes That Keep You on Your ToesFirst Encounter Assault Recon (F.E.A.R.) is a first-person shooter horror game that introduced Goal Oriented Action Planning (GOAP) to AI in gaming. This breakthrough made AI-controlled opponents behave more like humans, creating thrilling gunfights and unforgettable gameplay.
- The Last of Us
AI That Shapes the StoryThe Last of Us is a survival horror game where AI takes center stage. Each playable character has a distinct personality, reacting differently to player actions. The AI-driven world adapts to your choices, offering various narrative paths and dynamic interactions with non-playable characters.
- Splinter Cell: Blacklist
AI That Watches Your Every Move. In Splinter Cell: Blacklist, you're faced with a challenging stealth game where the guard AI is highly impressive. Your every move is scrutinized visually and aurally, forcing you to outsmart the AI to succeed.
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Tactical BrillianceXCOM: Enemy Unknown showcased AI that meticulously planned the most efficient course of action for each turn. It considered factors like objectives, enemy locations, and behavior, setting a standard for turn-based strategy games.
- Halo: CE - Formidable Foes
The Halo series is renowned for its formidable AI-controlled Covenant and Flood adversaries. Halo: Combat Evolved marked a turning point with AI tactics unique to the franchise, creating memorable battles.
These are just a few examples of how AI has revolutionized the gaming industry. From creating intelligent foes that keep players on their toes to crafting dynamic and adaptable gaming worlds, AI has transcended its role as a mere game mechanic. It has become an essential tool for developers to create immersive and engaging gaming experiences that captivate players like never before.
As technology continues to advance, we can expect even more innovative uses of AI in the world of gaming, pushing the boundaries of what's possible in interactive entertainment. So, the next time you pick up a controller or sit down at your computer for a gaming session, remember that AI is working behind the scenes to make your gaming experience more thrilling and unforgettable.